STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Swedish footwear brand Eytys, which found overnight success in 2013 with its signature thick white soled sneakers, is launching ready-to-wear with a capsule collection of 12 five-pocket unisex jeans to roll out starting in November. Inspired by ‘90s styles, the collection is split into three categories — “Benz,” “Boyle” and “Cypress” — and is produced in Japan and China using fabrics that include Japanese wool twill, Belgian industrial nylon and dead-stock denim found in a Hong Kong mill.
The label began with just one product: The “Mother,” an affordable unisex platform sneaker with a significantly thick rubber and cork sole and a minimal upper that looks like an unbranded deck shoe. It was a welcome alternative in a market awash with heavily branded performance sneakers and high-priced luxury sneakers. The style immediately sold out, and the company, founded by childhood friends Jonathan Hirschfield (the label's chief executive) and Max Schiller (creative director), realised it had an opportunity to expand. Other sneakers, shoes and a few bags soon came after, and now the brand is dipping its toe into ready-to-wear as it expands its global retail network.
“When we started Eytys, the plan was never just about shoes,” said Hirschfield. At first, the label had only 25 stockists, but today Eytys has over 250 stockists worldwide, and the founders believe sneakers and denim are at the core of the modern wardrobe. “The offering is richer as we start to expand our dedicated retail spaces — both our footwear styles and now our 5-pocket collection can be the basis of a strong wardrobe.”
Schiller described the denim collection as “genderless, refined workwear. No stretch. No wash. Not distressed. It’s supposed to look sharp!” Seven items from the collection will pre-launch on November 16 on the label’s e-commerce site and in their Stockholm flagship, which opened earlier this year, while the rest of the collection will launch with selected stockists including Ssense, LN-CC, Slam Jam and Voo Store in March 2018.
The campaign for the collection riffs on vintage denim advertising with slogans from the ‘70s and ‘80s. It was photographed by Phillippe Vogelenzang and created in collaboration with Buffalo Zine, the London-based style title. The brand also commissioned Puerto Rican artist Jonny Negron to create a series of paintings showing the fit of the denim, which is printed onto removable silk tags.
“We needed the campaign to clearly show that all styles can be worn by any gender, and that the collection is a new kind of sexy, with confidence and cheekiness,” said Hirschfield and Schiller. “The visuals show the signature features of the collection: crisp fabrics, heavy contrast stitching, and contemporary fit.”
It's an important step forward for the brand. “We finally are at the point where we have a strong team in place and a supply-chain that allows us to scale,” said Hirschfield. “[But] we’re still a small business with an internal CAGR [compound annual growth rate] target of 30-40 percent.” And while the brand continues to expand, Hirschfield said that it will keep growth slow and steady "to sustain the integrity while still being profitable."