frequently asked questions
what inspires you most?
people and subcultures. i’m generally a very curious person.
your favourite place? my home and paris.
your favourite outfit?
actually, i’m very conservative, i always wear the same stuff: trousers a bit too short, with a narrow double-breasted blazer, black hats, funny socks. socks are my passion. what i’d like most would be to wear a red one on the left foot and a green one on my right ...
clean and international
“don’t think you’re something special” is an important swedish concept. being reserved but at the same time also extraordinary has also been the company philosophy of the fashion label tiger of sweden for more than a 100 years. fredrik blank, men’s designer from sweden, knows where this beautiful mixture of clean aesthetics and cosmopolitan attitude comes from.
dear fredrik, how did you get to be a fashion designer? was it a dear wish or more of a coincidence?
for me, it was more like a vocation. i’ve always been interested in forms and subcultures and in how people dress. actually you could say that it all started with my love of graffiti … before that, i did a lot of different things: i worked 3 years as a tailor at the stockholm stadsteater, for example. currently, i’m a freelance designer for tiger and have my own business which always has been my dream.

do you think that sweden is a good breeding ground for creative people?
yes absolutely! as i see it, the mixture of freedom and social security is an ideal breeding ground for creative growth. the swedes have state-of-the-art technology as well as a fine awareness of aesthetics. what’s so inspiring about sweden is the clash of the “clean” swedish style with a cosmopolitan attitude and internationality. sometimes, you have to look for this phenomenon, it will not strike you at first glance.

scandinavian fashion and lifestyle design always seems to be modern but also down-to-earth. why do you think is that?
probably it’s because of the darkness, the light, the winter, the summer and the swedish ”jante law” telling you: don’t think you are special! in this sense, the swedes are rather more correct than eccentric, we prefer perfectionism and conformity to an exaggerated peacock style.

how do you, as a (men’s) designer, perceive the 100 years of tiger of sweden’s company history? is it a “respectful frame” or rather a stimulating source of inspiration?
of course it’s a respectful frame. in tiger’s case, their 100 year old history means that i want to produce the best suits in the tradition of tailoring. however, at the same time they should be trendy with a good fit and high quality for the younger consumers. the know-how of the tiger team in the field of quality and finish never ceases to amaze me.

the company roots are based on classic ready-to-wear clothes for men, i.e. solid suits for sophisticated appearance. today, it isn’t that easy to interpret a classic suit in a modern way. how would you describe an up-to-date suit?
actually i don’t agree with you on that one. i actually think that suits and ready-to-wear clothes are indeed very modern. my definition of a modern suit includes a lot of aspects: it should have a slim fit, it should have short, tight trousers, it should be double breasted … i feel that today the leisure trend that’s been popular for a couple of years, is totally out. i would say that today masculinity is defined by a modern man in a suit.

how do you develop new ideas? do you think of a certain person, sales figures, fashion trends, creative elements?
i always see a person first and i build the collection around his or her culture. sometimes i’m also inspired by historic photographs. at tiger, there are two basic product lines for men: black and silver. black is the modern-conservative line, silver is pure trend. at silver, i can give way to all my creativity in the field of modern suits.

how would you describe the typical lover of tiger products?
a young man wearing a suit at work who cares a lot about his appearance. besides, he is aware of quality and a good fit. i think that a tiger coat, suit or blazer embraces your body in a certain kind of way that makes you feel very special.

do you think that it’s possible to design fashion that at the same time is timeless and modern?
i think that trends usually only last for a very short time. however, in some cases they can also set the style of a whole decade. if you know a bit about ready-to-wear fashion, you can also see the classic suits change, mostly in fit and fabrics. pinstripe, for example, is a conservative look but at the same time very trendy. at the moment, it’s check patterns that are trendy from the conservative perspective of a young model. i think that it is indeed possible to combine timeless and modern design. however, i don’t think that the end result necessarily always is “timelessness”.

high-quality fashion has its price. how do you make this price comprehensible, especially what with the many discount products available?
we strongly believe that the consumers can feel the difference. the fit, the fabrics, details and finishing are simply different and the garment embraces your body in a special kind of way. we develop our own fabric designs in close collaboration with the weavers, which makes tiger of sweden unique. what’s more, we dispose of a first-class production and extensive knowledge in the field of high-quality clothes.
helmut wolf