Text: Hanna Andersson | Photo © Anton Olin | Frans Nilsson
A ‘30s to ‘50s-inspired clothing brand for every woman
R etro fashion, especially retro clothes you can wear every day, is hard to find. Most vintage boutiques feature fancy and delicate dresses while trousers and warmer clothes are rare. This is what inspired Emmy Nilsson of Emmy Design to start her business: a 1930s to ‘50s-inspired clothing brand for every type of weather, and all body shapes.
Emmy Design was established in 2010 after Nilsson graduated from Copenhagen Academy of Fashion Design in 2008. After struggling to find a job and noticing a real lack of businesses offering high-quality retro clothes for all sizes, she decided to take care of it herself. “I realised how limited the selection was. There’s a lot of vintage dresses, but no clothes for colder weather, and if you live in Sweden you cannot wear dresses all year round. I saw a gap in the market and went for it,” says Nilsson, founder and CEO.
Emmy Design focuses on the clothes you wear every day, and clothes that fit everyone. “It is hard to make clothes that fit everyone, but we are doing our best. Our trousers leave room for the hips, and our dresses complement all body types. We are also proud to offer a wide size range, from XS to 3XL, which is rare. We have realised that it is the everyday garments, the clothes building a wardrobe, that people want to spend money on. But what essentially inspires me is how the 1930s to the 1950s brought out the female body in a way today’s fashion doesn’t, and with this brand I want to take a step back from mass production and produce clothes that are timeless and flattering.”
Emmy Design’s naming of clothes is one of many things that make the brand special. The bestselling cardigan is called The Ice Skater cardigan, but the brand also features garments like The No Shit Sherlock coat. “We want the names to be memorable. Sometimes, when designing a product, the name feels like a given. But sometimes we sit for hours trying to come up with clever names, which is fun.”
Nilsson started the business by herself but has since then added someone to share the workload with: her sister Lisa. “Together, we form the best team of design skill and business mind and, above all, we love working together!”
Customer service is very important for the company, and Nilsson is grateful for the response they are receiving. “We love to stay in touch with our customers and are very active on social media, especially Instagram. We reply to our customers and repost their pictures of our clothes,” says Nilsson. “It is very nice to see how they wear them.”
So, what does Emmy Design want for the future, more than to continue producing timeless designs for everyone? “Since we are only two people running this business, it would be nice to add another person or two. It would also be great to have a physical shop to meet our lovely customers. But it is difficult these days, with everyone shopping online; you can’t just open a shop and say, ‘come and buy stuff’. We are grateful that we have such a well-functioning web shop and that we have awesome boutiques, all across Europe, selling our clothes for us,” the founder concludes.
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