Vardag, behind the scenes
Timelessness and functionality are at the heart of our new collection Vardag. Is that by luck? Not likely. Let’s have a talk with Sara Isaksson, designer at Fjällräven.
It should be easy to get outdoors. So easy that you don’t even need to get changed before you head on out – for a walk or a picnic that will clear your head and give you a new lease of energy.
This is the philosophy behind the collection Vardag, which translates to “everyday” in English. It takes classic and timeless outdoor designs into the urban environment, and then back out again – to those places we all need so much in our everyday lives.
“The idea with this collection is to build a bridge between the city and the outdoors. These clothes should work just as well on the way to school or work as on a nature outing,” says Sarah Isaksson, designer at Fjällräven and one of the creators behind the collection. The Vardag family of products has previously included a daypack and a tote bag, but for the autumn and winter of 2020, it has been complemented with a number of garments: A classic anorak, a sweater, a t-shirt, trousers and caps.
Just as the name suggests, these are not the sorts of garments that you will take with you on a two-week trek into the wilderness. Rather, they are the sorts of garments that make going on adventures close to home even easier. The kind that is only a bike ride away, or at the far end of your bus route, and that can do wonders for both your physical and mental health. But Vardag is also about our love for classic design and a desire to pay it a tribute. Even the logotype looks back to times long past with its design that awakens nostalgia. “We have taken the labels we used to have inside the collar of our older designs and put them on the outside of these new ones. The only change we have made is to update the font so that it matches our current logo,” says Sarah Isaksson.
If you succeed, it should be contemporary and classic at the same time.
Designer at Fjällräven.
Timeless designs last longer
Classic and timeless designs have always been a central part of Fjällräven’s existence, and with Vardag, our belief that simple, functional designs are the best in the long run is clearer than ever. In addition, a traditional garment is making a reappearance; the practical anorak is back.
“We decided to include an anorak instead of a jacket partly because it is such a functional garment that can be so flexible depending on what you wear under it. But it also feels completely right to use in your everyday life right now. It’s both functional and contemporary,” says Sarah Isaksson.
For inspiration for the new garments, she has looked to the past while all the while keeping an eye on the present. Creating timeless designs means you have to have a feel for expressions and cuts that are going to be relevant over time. And it is also a question of sustainability. Something that will suddenly be unfashionable tomorrow can hardly be called sustainable, regardless of the good intentions and efforts made in its production.
“But talking about classic design doesn’t mean we want it to look like something from the 80s. If you succeed, it should be contemporary and classic at the same time,” says Sarah and explains further:
“As a designer, I can’t create something that I think will be fashionable in 20 years, because I don’t know what will be fashionable in 20 years. And even if I did know, I probably wouldn’t want to buy it today.” For Sarah, timeless design is more about creating something that is well thought through and well balanced, but primarily that is functional. Functional garments stand the test of time. When it comes to the new Vardag family members, being easy to mend has also been a key focus. Buttons and zippers are easy to replace on the anorak, for example. “So this is why the zipper isn’t sewn into the flap of the pocket on the front, which would make it too hard to replace. This is also a detail that adds to the garment having a long life.”
Both attractive and reliable
“While an anorak can be inherited by the next generation, trousers often get more wear and tear,” says Sarah. “In addition, they have been requested in tighter fits, especially by women. Before, the problem has always been that we couldn’t have tighter fitting trousers in our static fabrics as the fabric reduced the wearer’s ability to move freely and comfortably. But now we have created a new fabric, G-1000 Eco Lite Stretch, which gives us more possibilities in this area.” It’s made from organic cotton and recycled polyester, and some of the polyester has a certain amount of inbuilt stretch – meaning the fabric stretches without needing to use elastane.
“Elastane fibres are difficult to recycle, so we want to avoid them. In the fabric we use, the fibres are tightly curled, like old-fashioned telephone cords, which gives a mechanical stretch. It’s not the same amount of stretch as you’ll find in tights, but the fabric is more pliant and comfortable that fabric found in traditional trousers.
” The tighter look means these trousers now fit in well in urban contexts, but their durability isn’t compromised. With G-1000 as a base, they are still functional and hardwearing. Even the other garments in the series are suitable for a range of contexts, with their down-toned base colours and trendy yet classic retro styles.
“I’m really pleased with the results. Sometimes you don’t get as far as you might have wanted or reach your vision, but here we have created clothing that awakens a desire to get outdoors, I think. These garments make it easy to improvise and head outside when you feel for it. They are attractive, and at the same time you can rely on them to be able to handle what you want to do in them.”