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In Talk: Elisabeth Synnes of Jumperfabriken

Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 1:31 PM • Gothenburg, Sweden

With a delightfully nostalgic take on bygone fashion, Swedish label Jumperfabriken confirm the lasting appeal of 1950s, 60s and 70s style for young and old customers alike.

Founded almost five years ago by locals Elisabeth Synnes and Carina ‘Tullis’ Zervakos, the relatively young label has quickly gone on to retail in wider Scandinavia and other stores as far flung as Japan.

Well-crafted, snug knitwear is their signature style, and Synnes and Zervakos profess a fondness for natural fibres such as wool, angora, alpaca and cotton. Cardigans, sweater dresses and twinsets compliment colourful frocks in each collection, while for the boys there is Ollefabriken – an equally enduring (albeit smaller) line of cardigans and pullovers.

We spoke with Synnes about Swedish fashion and the philosophy behind Jumperfabriken.

TribaSpace: How did your career in fashion begin?
Elisabeth Synnes: At a young age I decided that fashion and clothing would be my future. After working as salesperson in different shops I worked for many years [in other facets of fashion business], first as a buyer/production manager, and then as a designer for a big company. With all the experience I decided to start my own business together with a former colleague... and Jumperfabriken was born!

What is the philosophy behind Jumperfabriken?
To design beautiful, feminine clothes with inspiration from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s – retro meets fashion. Almost the whole collection is knitted, including twinsets, jumpers, cardigans and dresses.

It’s also a tribute to our mothers, grandmothers and the women in those days. We name our garments after them, and my mother appears on every garment’s hang label.

Jumperfabriken is based in Gothenburg – how does that differ from Stockholm?
Gothenburg is a smaller and calmer town than Stockholm. In Stockholm the fashion people and business is a lot more pretentious, which I really don’t like. Here in Gothenburg you can also be more individual. I am tired of the fast fashion circus and wanted to build our brand on long-lasting, thoughtful slow fashion.

Swedish brands Nudie and Monki are also based here.

Do you think Swedish fashion evolved over the last few years? If so, in what ways? Has the Internet and online business increased interest for Scandinavian design?
It has indeed. We have companies like Acne and Nudie and many more which have become very big with great success. It inspires new companies to start up and be brave enough to think that nothing is impossible and be able to expand abroad.

The Internet is extremely important nowadays. Many of the shops we sell to abroad have found us online. Also, from the beginning we understood that online shopping is the future – 10 % of our total sales is from our web-shop.

What are some of your personal business highlights?
Recently a full page article about Jumperfabriken's success was published in a newspaper with mostly male readers – women power!

Also, the first phone conversation I had with a customer. She was 75 and loved our garments! The following day I had a phone call with a 20-year-old woman. I was so happy because our whole idea for Jumperfabriken is that we have no specific customer of a certain age. It is irrelevant, we think!

Any upcoming plans you can tell us about?
We plan to open our own shops that have a vintage feel. Then we would love to start selling in more countries, as we are still not in Germany or America.

Contact Jumperfabriken on TribaSpace

Melisa Gray-Ward | TribaSpace

Product Groups: Creation, Ready-to-Wear, Fabrics
Markets: Children's, Men's, Women's

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