I was always fascinated by the fact of how people become designers and even more, how they start their own brands – it takes a lot of knowledge and, yes, guts! So when I first introduced you to the Swedish brand STRÖM, I decided to find out more about their owner and designer, former model Erika Stromquist. There was no doubt in my mind that, as a model, Erika must have had quite some experience with jeans that don’t fit right, jeans that pinch and scratch and make you look bad…. as well as amazing experiences with just the right pair of jeans and the perfect fit. I love the way she is keeping her designs simple, but with a special “touch”here and there, like a leather patch or a different kind of seam, but keeping the basic: Denim IS Denim. Designed by a true denim lover for true denim lovers – see below!
Q: Erika, you have been a supermodel and have been out there with a lot of different designers. How did you get to creating your own denim line now? I mean, what exactly made you go into denim and not anything else?
A: I began designing denim because I could never find the perfect jean I was looking for! For me it’s the most exciting piece in my wardrobe – the core item that I have used in my life and career in any situation. To me, denim has always been more exciting than any couture dress or designer piece – I can always apply great jeans to anything in my closet. It excites me now and always has!!
Q: Would you say that the experiences you had while being a model influenced the way you wanted your denim to fit and the style?
A: Absolutely. I learned a great deal in my experiences modeling, especially during the show seasons. I was definitely influenced by the designers I worked with and paid attention to their processes of creating collections, and attention to every detail in every garment. This is why I am unwavering and meticulous about exactly what I want – quality and authenticity. I hope to bring a new perspective to women’s jeans coming from my background in high fashion.
I want STRÖM customers to feel that I have put my heart and soul into every jean because I live this.
Q: How are your jeans different from all the other denim brands out there?
A: My jeans are certainly more tailored and customized – it’s a more aggressive style of cutting and fitting jeans. They have a European feel and I do not do vanity sizing. STRÖM jeans should feel personal and effortless and break in with you like your own custom jeans.
I only use the highest quality denim and custom polished trims – I prefer textured weaves that feel like vintage jeans to contrast the very clean aesthetic. STRÖM jeans are contemporary and sophisticated with an edge.
Q: What essential jeans should every woman have in their wardrobe?
A: The pair of jeans that she loves…… in every situation. The jeans that she wants to create history in!
It’s about how you would like to view yourself.
For me it’s more about the “feeling” I get when I put them on!
When I buy a pair of jeans, I don’t ever base my decision on one season of fashion or temporary fad. What is romantic about denim is that they are yours and they just get cooler over time with you….hopefully.
Q: What are the first pair of jeans you remember?
A: Depends on when I start…….
My overalls I wore everyday. when, as a kid, growing up in Sweden on my family farm…..I was a total Tomboy!
My 2nd favorite pair was when I was a teenager – I stole my older sister’s worn in 501’s that were completely torn up ….Big E’s !
Q: What have been your favorite pair of jeans that you have owned and why?
A: My very first favorite pair were “Puss & Kram” dark wash denim that I owned when I was 13 years old. I was a very skinny kid (people used to laugh at my stick legs) and they were the first jeans that ever really fit me well! I wore them until I was 18 in the modeling world at which point I started to wear some other brands that I won’t mention!
Q: How many pairs of jeans do you currently own and which ones do you wear the most?
A: I own too many jeans which is kind of a problem! Some I bought just for the fabric, wash or stitch detail, etc.
The ones I wear the most are my pair of vintage Japanese men’s jeans I bought in Tokyo in 2001 which never had a label, and my 1990’s Black Helmut Lang jeans I bought while Helmut was designing.
I wear STRÖM every day.
Q: Who is your current favorite denim icon (male & female). I am thinking the person who has the most denim style?
A: This is very difficult – given the great history of denim I feel too much has been diluted perhaps for me to fully appreciate today’s denim icons?!
I have not met my denim icons. I have seen them on the street from time to time in New York, or London, or Tokyo. My denim icon is the girl (or guy) who is creating her or his own personal style from what they have in their closet and combining it with denim in a cool way – whether it’s more street style or more dressy. I look forward to meeting her though.
Q: Which person living or dead would you most like to see in a pair of your jeans?
A: I’d like to see the girl who has great style but can’t afford them! Strong, independent women with their own unapologetic style and attitude.
Q: What advice would you give to women who want to look sexy and confident in their jeans?
A: Embrace your body. Know that when you feel good, you look good! Don’t ever wear something that doesn’t feel like you.