”I got myself a 600 square meter industrial building on the island — Fåken”
On living on the island of sun and wind.
November 04, 2021
Swedish designer Alexander Stutterheim has decided to cut the links to Stutterheim and John Sterner. Instead, he’s currently creating the first collection under his own name. For the last few years, he’s been based at the ”small, flat, narrow, and very special” island of Öland.
Stutterheim describes himself as a hybrid of designer, brand builder, and creative director.
— I’m a curious person, slave to my ideas and impulses and enjoys fulfilling them almost at any price since I think life is too short and passes too quickly to just let them go, he says, continuing,
— My objective now is to gather all projects, clothes, texts, images, and ideas under the ”Alexander Stutterheim” umbrella, and to make that possible I have decided to cut my links to Stutterheim and John Sterner. Instead, I got myself a 600 square meter industrial building on the island of Öland that I have named Fåken, which is also the local word for the mighty blizzard that hits the island in wintertime. Fåken will also be mirrored digitally and my products will be possible to buy online. Right now, I’m in the midst of composing my first collection under my own name — Alexander Stutterheim, that is — and have decided to try to establish a meeting between organic and high fashion.
For someone who hasn’t been to Öland, how’d you describe it?
It’s a small, flat, narrow, and very special island that owes its existence to a bedrock of 500 million-year-old limestone. She has unique natural features, first and foremost manifested in the Alvar, a plain with very thin, if any, soil, and sparse vegetation, making it look and feel like a savannah at places. It’s even listed as a World Heritage by Unesco. The sea is never more than a few minutes away. Here, time stops for me. The light, the big sky, and the sea give me inspiration and lust for life.
My favourite thing that makes me proud of Öland:
I am not sure there is a thing that makes me particularly proud. It’s more the wholeness of it all that makes it magical all year round.
Öland is a small, flat, narrow, and very special island that owes its existence to a bedrock of 500 million-year-old limestone. She has unique natural features, first and foremost manifested in the Alvar, a plain with very thin, if any, soil, and sparse vegetation, making it look and feel like a savannah at places. It’s even listed as a World Heritage by Unesco. The sea is never more than a few minutes away. Here, time stops for me. The light, the big sky and the sea give me inspiration and lust for life.
My favourite weekend routine: I follow my impulses, my energy, the light and the weather. Often I head out with my camera though, bringing some coffee and sandwiches along, only to return to Fåken and go through the images. Then I get down to work with more hands-on stuff like contacts with factories, pattern constructiors, knitters, seamsters, production managers, accountants, customers, buyers, media, suppliers and everything else that comes with what I am trying to achieve.
My favourite cultural spot: There’s a museum I think is underrated but is almost as magical as Louisiana in Denmark. It’s called VIDA. And I never cease to be fascinated by the ruins of Borgholm castle, and all ancient remains scattered around the island.
My favourite place for dining out:
There are a number of fine restaurants on Öland. Primarily in Borgholm, the biggest town. It is evolving into an interesting gastronomic place spearheaded by Hotell Borgholm, that recently was awarded one star by Guide Michelin. I also like Brasseriet,Gamla Televerket and Lundgrens. I try to allocate my dinner budget fairly and solidary across these. Local produce is excellent here and it’s known for lamb and herbs.
My favourite place for a creative or business meeting: All meetings are held at Fåken. I like peace and quiet around me and am also a bit sensitive to environments. That’s another reason why I’ve created this space upon leaving Stutterheim.
My favourite breakfast place: I rarely have breakfast, but Hotell Borgholm has a magnificent one, easily among the best in the country.
My favourite city escape:
I often go to Stockholm but a few days are enough to saturate my senses and make me long to go home to Fåken.
My favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:
There are many fantastic inventors on the island. You’ll find solutions to everything here. The other day the guy at my printing press came around with a big print he had made on flat-rolled aluminium and suggested I should arrange an exhibition with my photos in the form of traffic signs. Who knows, maybe I’ll do it.
I never get tired of walking along the shores, on southern as well as northern Öland.
My favourite place for fashion:
I don’t buy clothes that often since I make my prototypes in my own size, very cost-efficient. But popular stores are Danielssons, Ester, and Lavendel.
My favourite space for great design:
There are many artists with studios open for visits, and crafts and applied arts is very strong indeed on the island. Capellagården in Vickleby stands out as a destination though, with its mix of school for craft and design, exhibition spaces, organic market and café, all in a quintessentially Öland setting.
My favourite example of tech innovation at Öland:
The Öland windmill was a smart way to make use of the winds blowing in all directions on this low-lying strip of land surrounded by the sea. It’s not for nothing Öland is nicknamed the ”Island of Sun and Wind”.
My favourite local media:
I am a subscriber of Ölandsbladet, the island’s local paper, for many years. Always a must-read.
My favourite thing at home:
The wifi taking me away from Öland perspectives only.