For this Q&A, we speak with two people behind the fashion brand Très Bien. With an influential e-store, several collaborations under their belt and an eyewear brand in Sun Buddies, we’re amazed Simon and Hannes Hogeman, along with Jakob Törnberg, found time to create Welcome. But find it they did.
Welcome, for those that don’t know, started out as a store in Stockholm in collaboration with Our Legacy. This grew into a joint label that’s only sold in Très Bien and Our Legacy stores. They released their first collection last year and the second collection this month, so we decided to find out a little more about it. Read on to see what they have to say.
Judging from the two latest collections, Welcome is extremely different from any other collaboration we’ve seen in a while. What’s the aim behind the brand as a whole?
HANNES: Welcome isn’t the usual collaboration between two brands. It’s built on the foundation of our long-term relationship with Our Legacy and the temporary store we had with them in Stockholm which was also called Welcome. Why do we do it? It’s fun and let us think and act outside the box from what we would normally do with the Très Bien and Our Legacy brands.
Has the blank canvas approach to Welcome continued or will there be some guidelines as the range progresses?
SIMON: There are no guidelines, but at the same time the Welcome store and what we’ve done with the two previous Welcome collections has somewhat created a feeling that we will continue to cultivate for the Welcome line in the future.
What are some of the influences for the second collection? Motocross looks to have inspired it somewhat.
SIMON: Yes motocross obviously, or maybe motor sports in general.
Why did you choose to use mesh fabrics from Schoeller?
SIMON: We were looking for a thick, high-quality mesh fabric and Schoeller provided us with the best.
How many releases of Welcome do you plan on doing a year?
HANNES: At least once a year.
How important is avoiding the fashion schedule for Welcome?
HANNES: Avoiding the standard fashion schedule is not that important since we have to follow that schedule with everything else we do. But it’s just easier to work when we have more time and feel inspired.
Do you find the fashion schedule restrictive overall?
HANNES: The entire industry is kind of messy these days with everyone releasing new products every other week. Spring starts in November and Fall in March. The brands’ collection schedules and deliveries don’t really follow the costumers’ buying behavior anymore. It’s more [of a] “the sooner the better” kind of mindset.
Will Welcome remain exclusive to Très Bien and Our Legacy for the foreseeable future?
SIMON: At the moment we do not have any plans to bring the Welcome collection outside of Très Bien and Our Legacy.
Welcome started as a shop and progressed into its own label. Is this an aim for you guys in the long-run?
HANNES: I think our goal has always been to be a small-scale independent fashion house. But we couldn’t go to the bank and say we want to sell Raf Simons next to Nike shoes. And we want to do our own in-house labels and open shops around the world. They wouldn’t have grasped it, so we started in the retail end because you have to have a business model that works right away if you don’t have like big funding which we never had. We’re building Très Bien step by step and Welcome is one part of it.
Jason Dike is a London-based writer who’s contributed to the likes of Esquire UK and Men’s Health amongst other publications. He has a highly entertaining (his own words), but sporadically updated (our words) website at jasondike.co.uk. You can follow him on Twitter at @jasondike.