The sleek retail space celebrates the Swedish fashion designer’s female clientele.
BY NAUSHEEN SHAH
It took eight years, but Carin Rodebjer finally grew out of her meager starter shop on Jakobsbergsgatan. Judging by her capacious new digs on Stockholm’s most fashionable street, in the central Norrmalm district, it was worth the wait. “I’m obsessed with space,” she says, noting the size of the new 3,200-square-foot flagship on one of the most expensive lots in the city. “I’ve lived in small spaces in New York and Sweden for some time. I wanted to create an environment that entices women, where they want to leisurely spend time, relax, and have a luxurious experience.”
Rodebjer teamed up with set designer Sahara Widoff to transform the former bank building into an austere, gallery-like showroom, where her range of women’s ready-to-wear is exhibited like artwork. The clean lines give flourishes of color added impact: the pink terra-cotta sales counter, cerulean sea-brushed rug, and snaking, pea green display table. The store’s opening also coincides with a brand refresh. For that, Rodebjer enlisted Fredrik Nathorst, the creative director of All Blues, who reimagined the logo while maintaining the identity that shuns the industry’s increasingly generic approach in favor of a retro sense of design—artistic, focused on small-scale production—inspired by the 1970s. The shift is evident in pieces like illustrator Liselotte Watkins’s limited-edition recreation of Rodebjer’s iconic Agave caftan.
A member of the forward guard since her pieces were first picked up by leading boutiques like Tenoversix and Milk as a student at FIT, the designer made a point to turn the shuttered bank, a symbol of a stuffy male-dominated industry, into a place for modern women. “We developed a strong layout for strong women who embody the brand,” she says.
Finally, after all these years, Rodebjer feels that she’s built a place that evokes the very essence of the brand. “I’m able to display each piece as I’ve always imagined, like a masterpiece in a museum.” Or, more aptly, like a work in the converted-vault art space devoted to feminist themes. The name? Vaginan (vagina).