Sandberg popped into the country from Sweden, to connect with the market, the team and celebrate the expanding Tiger of Sweden brand, while sharing with us recent movements.
His role as Export Manager for Tiger Jeans has him trotting their markets in the world and connecting with brand representatives, ensuring that all is on point and reminding them of the message of the brand. Oscar Sandberg came into South Africa recently after the opening of Tiger of Sweden’s fifth store in the country, in the Mall of Africa. And with Tiger Jeans making up 22% of sales within the whole Tiger of Sweden house (which includes Tiger Suits, Tiger Woman, Tiger Man, Tiger Shoes and Tiger Accessories), there’s toying around with the idea of having a separate store for this line. In fact, Tiger Jeans pop-up stores began last year in Stockholm and Gutenberg, this is a great way of sussing markets and realising a distinct image for the line.
“In Tiger of Sweden they talk about the different cut, they took the suit from the banking to the street. For me and for us at Tiger Jeans, it’s not about the different cut, it’s more about the different look. We want to create something unique but still keep the heritage, the details and history, but do it in a modern way,” says Sandberg.
Sandberg arrived looking quite stylish, wearing of course the brand he represents – in a black scuba jacket (an object of desire) and jeans, demonstrating the flattery of minimalism.
Tiger Jeans has a good position in premium denim which is made in Italy, Turkey and Tunisia, with most of the clothing produced in Europe.
"When you look at our denims, when you see light washes or ripped ones with holes, then you must know it’s made in Italy. So they do all the washes, which is pretty cool and all are handmade."
The handmade part is a unique selling point for the brand which is making a lot of emphasis on quality rather than having a whole lot of denim fits. For this season, comfortable stretch denim is centre, with some having between 40-60% stretch, almost like a rubber band, and the promise is that it will not stretch out. There’s also a 360 stretch for women, almost like a jegging he says, but has a strong denim look and has an 80-100% stretch. Amazing.
Pictured left: Oscar Stenberg in Tiger Jeans scuba jacket (photo by Charles Johnstone Photography)
When crunching numbers, the customer is mostly male, taking 70% of the sales. However, knowing Tiger Jeans and Tiger of Sweden as a whole, there are plenty of looks that work for women, he agrees and adds:
“Women can cross over and wear men’s and we’re seeing a lot of that. We took the suit guy to become more casual, wearing denim and the blazer, wearing t-shirt [and] not the blazer, shirt and tie. And together with that we have one of our biggest seller, the pistolero on men’s, which is loose pants and works perfectly fine as a boyfriend cut for [women].”
The Kelly in the women’s section also appeals to rock ‘n roll guys who like low-rise skinny jeans.
“So we are staying with our fits and adding on some seasonal fits but it’s a crossover, that’s music [to] my ears. Nowadays you can take your boyfriend’s pants and pair that with a feminine top and you can combine so many styles.”
For spring-summer 2016 it’s Swedish Darkness as the theme – it’s the big city by night, then it’s super dark in the night club, then it’s off the streets and there are billboards, all this picked up in colours of dirty green, dirty red and a few seasonal colours he says.
The next movement will be 70s and 80s stone washes carrying a Woodstock feel. The jeans will be super flared and high-rise for women. For men, the slim fits will lessen and jeans will become a little baggy but in regular straights.