The Deadwood Story

Deadwood was founded in 2012 by Carl Ollson and Felix von Bahder. The two buddies had gotten to know each other working in a jeans shop together in Stockholm but they would soon begin dreaming of creating a store concept of their own, one that truly embodied their personalities and aesthetics. Said and done, the dream came true and soon they had opened their very own boutique. It was going to be vintage store, a treasure chest for used pre-loved clothes, but it would go on and become so much more. Slowly the idea of a clothing line evolved, and more so – a new way of doing things differently. The production of clothing, today a trillion dollar industry, is one of the dirtiest in the world. It was clear that this fashion status quo needed to be turned on it's head. Carl and Felix had the perfect platform to rise to the task. Deadwood, as a clothing brand, was born.

Why recycled leather?

(Excerpt from Spanish Vogue)

Felix: This idea evolved naturally from the fact that we mixed vintage clothing with new garments in the store. At one point we tried to find some nice leather jackets to sell but realized it was really difficult. We had a really clear idea of what the perfect biker jacket looked like, but it turned out new leather jackets were far too expensive, and a nice-looking vintage jacket was almost impossible to find. We thought we should make them ourselves, but we had no experience in material sourcing so where would we get the leather from? The natural answer was obvious, to use vintage garments as raw material! We knew some people working at the vintage markets down in Bangkok and asked if they could help us. The patchy looking biker jackets were far from perfect but people back in Stockholm liked what we were trying to do and supported us. The 8 years that followed have been a struggle to perfect the sourcing, design and quality to something that we are now incredibly proud of!

How do we source our leather?

(Excerpt from Spanish Vogue)

Our way of sourcing has evolved and refined over the years. From simply chopping up old leather jackets and patching them together into new ones, like we did in the beginning, we have now moved onto making the leather industry more waste efficient. 30-40 percent of leather is wasted after tanning or cutting. Some skins are being rejected and discarded due to small blemishes that can easily be cut out. Much of the offcuts from garment and furniture production are thrown away only to end up in the landfill. This is our goldmine; this is what we make our garments from. By using more cutlines and applying some brains and dedication in sourcing we have been able to use wat most brands would consider trash. To us it’s treasure!

The design process

(Excerpt from Spanish Vogue)

Felix von Bahder, co-founder & chief designer:

For me my sources of inspiration vary quite a lot, but I try to stay away from chasing novelty for novelty’s own sake. I much rather sit down and envision all the functionalities that should be represented in the collection, and then craft designs that embody those functionalities. At Deadwood we value our carry-over essentials, styles that make it across many seasons, sometimes updated with small tweaks and fixes. When I see brands who switch out their collection completely every season I feel like that can’t be a sane way to do business. It’s like throwing out the baby with the bathwater AND reinventing the wheel twice a year!

When I design it is always quite pragmatic, almost like how I envision an architect would go about it. I often approach it like a problem to be solved. But I mean, other times I just see someone on the street wearing something cool and I go home and try to recreate it!

[The result is] hopefully beautiful, wearable and somewhat timeless. Closest to our hearts is the leather jacket; a garment which in itself carries a lot of symbol value, notions of rebellion and powerful confidence. So, I feel we really don’t have to push the punk attitude down peoples’ throats. I rather want Deadwood garments to be slightly understated, well balanced and sincere. Maybe that’s where the Scandinavian thing shows! Keeping things cool, that’s the Swedish way, isn’t it?