AW Bauer & Co – bespoke tailor, Stockholm

Friday, August 19th 2016
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Frederik Anderson of AW Bauer & Co

I don’t usually write about tailors unless I am trying them as a customer – it just feels like there’s a big part of the content missing. But one exception I’m happy to make is for young tailors, who often deserve and need the exposure.

One of those is AW Bauer & Co in Stockholm, Sweden, which is now owned and run by Frederik Anderson and Martin Ekolin.

I met them last year when we did a book launch in Stockholm with Plaza Uomo magazine. The Bauer store is just off a high street, with a ground-floor entrance and nice depth, allowing for a small shop in the front and workrooms behind glass doors at the back.

AW Bauer stockholm Front shop ,  workshopAW Bauer workshop

Frederik, the cutter (pictured top) has an unusual background. He started off as an apprentice in the theatre, making costumes.

Although he says it is rather looked down upon my most tailors, theatre work does give a tailor a very broad grounding, and requires a surprising amount of quality given the rigours the clothing has to go through.

The story of his transition to full bespoke is one of perseverance. He was originally dismissed out of hand when he came to Bauer looking for work. But he came back a month later, and eventually managed to convince the owner, Borje Moberg, to let him come in every Friday afternoon.

There were only three people working at Bauer at that point – including Moberg – and they were all old. After a few months of working there, Moberg said they were going to close up.

“He didn’t think there was any future in tailoring. Bauer was the only full tailor in Sweden and demand was dwindling,” remembers Frederik. “He said ‘no one understands bespoke, and we’re sick of explaining it to people’.”

AW Bauer tailor Stockholm

Fortunately, Frederik convinced Moberg to let him and Martin buy the business – slowly buying up the shares. That was 10 years ago, and two years ago Moberg retired fully, leaving Frederik and Martin in charge.

“There was a good 3 or 4-year period where I took on all new customers, and he dealt with the old ones, which worked quite well,” says Frederik.

Since then, business has been strong. The team is now up to six people in-house and two off site, and Frederik and Martin have started a small school, taking on the best people. (A great trick if you can work it – as Stefano Bemer has done effectively in recent years.)

BAUER_TAILOR_Stockholm

“As you might expect, we get a lot more enthusiasts into the shop now, people that really understand the product,” says Frederik. “These things are so much easier with social media, and people are fascinated by it.”

AW Bauer is over 150 years old, and when it was about to close, was the last full bespoke tailor in Sweden. It’s hard not to feel impressed and grateful that Frederik and Martin have managed to give it a new, bright future.

Prices start at 4000 euros for a two-piece suit.

Pictures of their work on the Tumblr account here.

AW Bauer bespoke tailor Coat

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S

Simon,

Any info on their prices?

Thanks,
S

Rabster

Simon,

Can you please do more / some exposure of regional tailoring in the UK.
(With all due respect) Its not all factories and mill towns north of Watford !

And not all your readers live in London, Paris, Barcelona, Naples or Stockholm for that matter.

Whilst the above articles are very good they will only apply to UK readers if the tailor visits the UK. And then they only visit London.

Thanks.

S

Interesting! How many from Norway if I may ask?

Thanks,
S

Rabster

Look forward to it.
And very happy to see the blog is appreciated internationally.
Also , it’s interesting which countries are largely mentioned in tailoring and which never are .
We never hear anything about US tailoring , eastern European tailoring (despite an increasing amount of clothing manufacturing coming from this region).

Matt

Second the request for more articles on tailoring beyond the confines of the ‘Great Wen’!

Claudia Chan-Deans

I did my first apprenticeship there while still studying Bespoke Tailoring. They are very honourable tailors. Yet not many people know about them in the Bespoke trade, which surprised me a bit provided the high craftsmanship they produce. Thank you for sharing and, great photos! -Claudia, undercutter @Sims&Macdonald, London

John

Its always sad when you hear about crafts being lost, even if some of them you can somewhat understand that demand has gone or mechanisation (eg wheelwright). In cases like this, where the product is still very much used and the craft truly does still offer something beyond nostalgia, it goes from sadness to confusion.

Its good to hear that in this case it hasnt been lost though. It does feel to somewhat highlight the issue of skill -v- business. The former owners I’d assume were skilled tailors but their business was declining and they were intending to shut it seeing no future where as the new blood, who I imagine probably wasnt more skilled as a tailor has managed to turn the company around.

Its an interesting conundrum as crafts people, in my experience, are rarely driven by making vast profits but simply being good at a craft doesnt mean you can run a successful business. In other industries you’d consider bringing in business experts to deal with that side but the first point makes that more complex.

J

Hi Simon,

Love the site. Off topic but I’m curious if you’re thoughts on the durability of Globe-Trotter have changed since your 2010 article. I also noticed GT was missing from your ‘Ten bags over ten years” article from 2015..

Thanks,

J

Anonymous

Eastern Europe had many tailors and if you do not hear about them today it is not a question of demand but the impact of communism. Virtually none survived into the communist era so the tradition was sadly lost.

Laszlo

Hungary has a good few, with very traditional methods, surviving thank God the 40 years of Soviet occupation. One is a father-son pair in Budapest, in the Buda parts, a lovely travel in time

joe cook

Brilliant story…

Mary

Costume tailoring is indeed looked down upon by many even though it is still bespoke and demands many more difficulties, how disappointing. Perceptions can be wrong…
Fair play to Frederik Anderson and Martin Ekolin!

Yang

Hi simon , could you please talk a little bit about WABauer‘s Style ?
Thanks