On Fridhemsgatan, just behind Västermalmsgallerian on Kungsholmen in Stockholm, lies one of my favourite clothing stores in Stockholm: Grandpa. Apart from a great selection of both new and vintage clothes, it also offers accessories, books and some furniture’s. The small inhouse café offers nice lunches and coffee, always to the sound of some great new and old pop music.
Grandpa offers clothes and accessories from both Scandinavian and international designer brands. But focus is on clothing for the “classic gentleman”, something that was also reinforced when Alexander Marchesan last Autumn decided to rent a corner of the store dedicated to high quality vintage men’s clothing. The store has a very cool classy British interior and sells tweed suits, bow ties and – my favourite – imported shoes from brands such as Crockett & Jones and Church. And since they only come in one pair each, you will be one of a very few people who have a pair in Sweden. As I walked around I asked Alexander about the store and his fascination for British fashion:
Tell me about the store, what inspired you to start selling classic vintage men’s clothes?
“What made me open the store was simply because I thought Stockholm was lacking this type of store. A dedicated second hand shopper and very interested in clothing design myself, I have often wondered why I haven’t found a store that sells the clothes I like. So I decided to change that. Focus is on quality and timeless design and the catalog ranges from the 1920s – today.”
“Unlike other second hand stores I only bring in garments hand picked by myself and only from my favourite brands, like Crockett&Jones, Gieves&Hawkes and Turnbull&Asser. The interior is inspired by classic outfitters with antique decorations and dark woods. This together is unique in Stockholm and I think in Sweden.”
What is your relation to Britain and British fashion?
“Genetically I have stronger bonds to the other design “superpower” as I am actually half Italian myself. But make no mistake, in clothing style I am undoubtedly British! Around 80% of the clothes in the shop are British, that says it all really. Without Britain, this shop wouldn’t exist.”
“A thing I really like about Britain and the Brits is their honesty. All my best business contacts are in England, they are very knowledgeable, serious and sympathetic.”
Do you have any favourite British brands or designers?
“I love ties from Drakes. Ironically, I bought my first Drakes tie in Italy a few years ago, since then they have been a favourite. As I love braces, I must also mention Albert Thurston. They probably make the best braces in the world! Unfortunately, a lot of people are not aware of that braces are the most comfortable way to keep your pants in place…”
What is your favorite places to shop for clothes in Britain?
“Predictable really, but I have to say Savile Row in London. All men interested in clothing must visit Savile Row when in London. As a shopkeeper myself I find it very inspiring, I look just as much at the interior and presentation of the clothes as at the clothing itself.”
“Jermyn Street is also a must-see, where I find a lot of the more affordable clothes that I sell, including T.M. Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt. These brands offers a very high quality for a reasonable price, especially if you are looking for garments you don’t need to try on, such as ties, handkerchiefs and braces.”
So, if you are ever in Stockholm, be sure to stop by Grandpa and Alexander’s store. It really is worth a visit.