Menswear Style Podcast

Stefan Pagréus, Co-Founder of A Day's March

October 26, 2020 Menswear Style Episode 90
Menswear Style Podcast
Stefan Pagréus, Co-Founder of A Day's March
Chapters
Menswear Style Podcast
Stefan Pagréus, Co-Founder of A Day's March
Oct 26, 2020 Episode 90
Menswear Style

A Day’s March is a clothing label offering quality shirts and wardrobe staples at a friendly price. The company was founded by Marcus Gårdö, Pelle Lundquist and Stefan Pagréus. Together they have a mixed background from different disciplines including retail, branding, graphic design and interior design. Their vision is to update the essential wardrobe and create a store they wished existed. A Day’s March is a direct-to-customer brand, and by cutting out the middlemen the label can offer high quality products at a friendly price.

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview A Day's March co-founder Stefan Pagréus about the backgrounds of each of the business founders and the  story of launching their menswear brand. They started the company because they couldn't find classic quality menswear at a fair price. Our host Peter Brooker and Stefan also chat about the process of designing and manufacturing garments, launching a womenswear range, sustainability motivations, the DTC business model, and the staple menswear pieces every man should have in his personal collection.

Whilst we have your attention, be sure to sign up to our daily MenswearStyle newsletter here. We promise to only send you the good stuff.

Show Notes Transcript

A Day’s March is a clothing label offering quality shirts and wardrobe staples at a friendly price. The company was founded by Marcus Gårdö, Pelle Lundquist and Stefan Pagréus. Together they have a mixed background from different disciplines including retail, branding, graphic design and interior design. Their vision is to update the essential wardrobe and create a store they wished existed. A Day’s March is a direct-to-customer brand, and by cutting out the middlemen the label can offer high quality products at a friendly price.

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview A Day's March co-founder Stefan Pagréus about the backgrounds of each of the business founders and the  story of launching their menswear brand. They started the company because they couldn't find classic quality menswear at a fair price. Our host Peter Brooker and Stefan also chat about the process of designing and manufacturing garments, launching a womenswear range, sustainability motivations, the DTC business model, and the staple menswear pieces every man should have in his personal collection.

Whilst we have your attention, be sure to sign up to our daily MenswearStyle newsletter here. We promise to only send you the good stuff.

Unknown:

Hello and welcome to another episode of The menswear style podcast. I'm your host Pete broca. On this episode I'm going to talk to Stephan progress. He is one of the founders of a days March, and I'm going to pull a short clip from the website which you can find By the way, at a day's march.com. We are a day's March days March is a Swedish menswear label. Founded in 2014. We offer clean cut basics and wardrobe staples of the highest quality at a friendly price. Our goal is to help you get through the day with style and dignity. Whether it's a hectic day at the office at the beach with a gelato in your hand or at your mother's fifth wedding. Our name a days March comes from an old military term referring to how far an army could move in one single day. We believe it's a fitting name for a closed company that helps you keep going through the triumphs and troubles of everyday life with your head held high. Nice. So that interview with Stephen become and I really enjoyed it I should say also, but anyone from London town their store on Berwick street in Soho is currently open. As Robert Palmer would say the lights are on baby. So go check them out and visit their website. Have a look at their online catalogue and take a trip down to see them tell them we sent you. Before we get to Stephen Don't forget to check out the show notes at menswear style Koto UK and on the social at men's wear style. If you want to tell us about your brand and your journey, you can email the show at info at menswear. style.co Uk Okay. Let's get to it. This is a good one. Hope you enjoy it. Here's our interview with Stephen Pingree is one of the founders of a days March. But it's my great pleasure to introduce Stephen progress one of the founders of a days March. How are you doing tonight, Stephen? Thank you. Thanks for having me. I'm, it's, it's great. It's it's nine o'clock here in Stockholm and the kids are in bed. So So I guess it's it's calm after the storm, I guess. Okay, and it never stops I guess. No day is the same for you. Now No, it's a pretty. It's pretty interesting days. No day is the other is like the other. So now. You're right. Maybe you can just tell me a little bit about yourself to kick start and also a day's March. How it's got started and where it is in the world today. Yeah, definitely. And so my name is Stefan I am I one of the founders of Swedish brand that is March. I'm 42 years old. I live in Stockholm with with my partner and two kids. And alongside my work for days, March I also work as a clinical psychologist. It was a three of us that started the brand was me and PAL and Marcus and million Pella, we used to work in advertising together. And we both left advertising in 2012, I think it was and I left to go to university to study psychology. And he left to Yeah, work on different design projects that about the same time we started to talk to Marcus who was a friend of us, he had this idea of starting a menswear brand to make a long story short, that resulted in the launch of this March, two years later with a with our first brick and mortar store in Stockholm and our online store as well. And I guess the reason why we started the company from the start is that we ourselves really well, apart from being really interested in menswear, but we ourself lacked a brand that that did like very classic quality men's wear, that you can have at a affordable price. So you have five stores now in Scandinavia and one in London on Berwick Street. Is that about right? That is right. Yeah, yes. So we have four stores in Sweden and one in Copenhagen and one in in Soho in London. And how often do you get to come to London was there quite a while? Since since I've been there now. I really love the city. And I used to go there pretty often actually. But while it's a pandemic, so I don't go anywhere near at the minute now now. But hopefully when we get when we get past that pandemic, I will be there more often. Maybe you can tell me what a day in the life is like for you. So I used to work alongside Pele to be to do all the creative stuff of it is March. But since I also had like a parallel work being a psychologists, so Now he is mostly running the like the daily stuff regarding the menswear right now I'm I'm more working with specific projects and collaborations and certain garments and certain props and and stuff like that you don't have a background in pattern making or fashion business. I know you're right, I have worked with closed in, in different ways. My first, my first job was actually as a sales clerk at nitty gritty, which is like a stock on concept store, which was really pioneering men's wear fashions so so I was really into menswear when I was when I was younger. So it started off like that. And then eventually I worked with, with advertising to to do branding and create campaigns for for fashion brands. So I've been like, around the business, but but you're totally right, we don't have an experience prior to designing or producing clothes. So we had a, we had like a really clear idea of what we wanted to do with the clothes and and the brand, we didn't really know how to do it. So we just had to learn that along the way. So you bring in a separate design team, or you have perhaps designs and ideas, and then somebody else brings them from concept to market, maybe you can just fill in the gaps for me. Yeah. Well, from the start, like, as I said, we had like a very clear picture of what kind of garments we wanted to create. So then we work with with different people like pattern makers and to make those garments come to life. But that's when we started. But now I mean, we have grown quite a lot. So now we have people on board that are the design the manufacturing element, exactly as we have learned a lot along the way, of course. So now it's Mora proper business now. Okay. Well, it looks proper business website. out. Thank you. So Stephen, what distinguishes a day's march from any other brand in the marketplace? Would you say? Well, I think there are a few things that runs through everything that we do. Firstly, it's, we really want to create clothes that you would like to wear for a long time that you will like to wear over and over again. And that lasts. So I think that quality is important. Of course, it's also important to have that like long living perspective, when it comes to the design, you gotta think like beyond trends. So I would say that the, the style that we do is pretty, pretty straightforward and uncomplicated and, like wearable. Another thing is that we're really trying our best to lessen our impact on the environment. So we we mainly produce in Europe, in in Portugal, with the local fabrics and materials and a substantial part of the garments that we do are made in organic cotton materials like 10 sell, and stuff. But I also think that that our design philosophy is important in that regard, there's a lot of focus on on production when it when it comes to sustainability and, and fashion if you have a very like trend focused approach to design, and you're going to end up creating garments that have a very short lifespan. And that's very unsustainable. So I think that's, that's a really important part. And third I, we are a direct to consumer companies we only sell in in our own stores and online and our own online store. That's also how we keep our prices relatively moderate. I would say, you mentioned there that you don't really have to cater for trends. And you don't really have to think about what's coming up in the latest fashions. Is it kind of does it cross over from seasons? I mean, do you even incorporate seasons? We work with with the width styles for a longer time, I would say I mean, we we can change colours, or we could change details and stuff like that. But our the philosophy is to create something that will have a longer life. In the long run. There are trends of course, but it's about but I mean there are there are certain trends that that will live for a longer time. And I mean, the least eco friendly shirt is the one you have to replace every other month. So so I mean a new putting more of an emphasis on this is it I mean sustainable? clothing has kind of been the buzzword for the last five years but I'm guessing this was your ethos right from the start? Yeah, yeah, it was. Why was it important to you? So early on when it really is only just been on the lips of certain brands and say the last couple of years. From the company's perspective, I think there's there is clearly a demand for a more thoughtful approach to consumption. I guess it's like a self preservation thing for forever any modern company, then it's also personal because all we have started the brand have have kids and You don't want to screw up the planet. I mean, I'm also very nature loving person. I actually spent this weekend outdoors in the woods. That's also, for me personally, an important part of that. And I was gonna ask you if somebody is now looking to not replace their wardrobe entirely, but they're trying to upgrade their Look, what are the key pieces in a man's wardrobe? Do you think that every man needs maybe just like the staple pieces where you go, you can't go wrong with this x, y and Zed? We do. We do several different models of overshoots, which I think is a really great garment in that it's it's so versatile. Over shirts have been a really big thing for us. And I guess it's because many people don't like to wear a suit anymore, but but they still want to look proper. I would also say that you have to, you can't really go wrong with with good quality knitwear. There we do a lot of great knitwear in lambswool, and Merino, and cashmere. And on some personal days, March favourites that I use a lot are, would be our utility shirt, which is which is based on the classic American lg 107, fatigue shirt, and our marching sneaker in calf leather. And we also do a habit t which is a T shirt that is a bit thick and sturdy. And that I think is really, really great. We do our best to create those garments that you want to use over and over again and get a lot of inspiration from classic workwear in sportswear and military apparel. And that is garments that are originally created with function in mind. And I think that's why they never lose the relevance. I'm interested to know how do we best educate consumers about the importance of recycling and sustainability? does it differ somehow in say, the Scandinavian countries and it does over here? I'm not so sure that it's that it's really about education. And I think that I think that most people are now no big threat to humanity. I mean, you can't open the paper without reading about the looming climate crisis, you know, like, knowing and doing is often two different things. And I often meet this in my work as a therapist, actually, when I work with people with different problems, they it's very often that they they know what they need to do. I mean, most people know that it's, it's not healthy to to be three bags of crisps every night or to like staring your phone like we talked for, unless it's just the dogs and the cats. Yeah, no, for like, for like many hours, but but still they do. It's so I think, I don't think it's, it's more about, like motivating people, I think. And one way to motivate people is to present them with an attractive alternative. And and I think that we as a company, I hope that we can be such an alternative. And tell me about the company now. So how many people are working for a day's March? How big is it now? I think we're about 20 people now working in the office. So from the start was just, well, just the three of us. And are you looking? I mean, if I guess we might as well just talk about COVID. I mean, it's kind of knocking everyone sideways at the minute, how's it affecting you guys? It has clearly affected us. But I think perhaps in less than them for many than for many else. Others because in the beginning of the epidemic, our stores took a big hit. But then the the online part of the business really grew significant country. And and I think up to May we had, it was a bit shaky. Right. But But after that it's been actually going really well. And I think now we're in a pretty good place actually. Fantastic. Well, Sweden had a very different approach to COVID. Right. I mean, there was no lockdown within the country. Did that, you know, did that help? aid or hinder was? Or did you notice any difference at all? Of course, that helped. I think we have as we said we have six stores and four of them are in Sweden and when when we didn't have a lockdown, so so the stores were clearly less, less effective. And then we don't use resellers. I mean, we were we sell directly to consumers. Right. So I think a lot of other brands that use resellers, I mean, big part of the world has been closed down. And and we haven't really had that but the business in in London and Copenhagen has been has kind of been more affected. But it's it's we've seen positive signs there as well. So I think good, good news. Well, I like positive news and good place. Yeah. Tell me about the women's wear. So that just literally launched a couple of days ago. We're talking about it off mic but how long was it That process in the making, how long did it take to get that off the ground? And yeah, we had a we actually, we had a launch event just today for it. It was really great. And then this morning, actually, it went live on our online. Today's match.com. It's been a really speedy process. Actually, we have a creative director for the for the women's line, which is she also happens to be the mother of my children. Yeah, very convenient. So so she started to work in, in May, actually. And from there, she has, with her team created like a complete first collection. So it's been like a record speed. Wonderful. Well, so I mean, she must be seeing what you're doing. You must be taking your conversation conversations, your work home with you, and she's helping you out. And now she's thinking, Well, look, I can do this, I kind of know the ins and outs of the business just by, you know, being around the environment and being being involved with it from day one. So yeah, so yeah, this is this is this must be quite an adventure for both of you to start this. Yeah, yeah. It has been, but she's like the proper designer of the family, so to speak. She has been as a designer for 20 years, working in different companies. And yeah, we feel really safe hands. There's, she's been like doing, like her interpretation of the brand. I mean, it's still the same is still the same idea to to create, like, clothes that have a long life perspective on on clothes, create clothes for getting you through the day, but it's but from, from a woman's perspective, awesome. Well, listen, I recommend everyone check them out. Because you know, we're coming up to Christmas, and we need to buy presents for the missus. And vice versa, the women can be there as well and take a look on on the guys side. And I was gonna ask you also, Stephen, about the online side. So you're saying that your ecommerce site has kind of risen in terms of whether retail might be slacking, perhaps, you know, in these times that you've seen a bounce on the on the e commerce side? Do you engage with like social media influencers? content creators? How do you create awareness for your brand online. And since we don't use any resellers, we we also sell our stuff in our own stores and online. So we need social media to to reach out and to get people to get in contact with a brand. So social media is important Instagram, we use the most regarding influences. I mean, we have worked with people that we like and that likes us and done like small collaborations, but like, influences in the more classical sense. We don't use that very much. Actually, it hasn't really worked for us we have. So we do a bit of paid marketing, using Facebook and Instagram and sponsoring podcasts has also been a very good thing for us actually. Is there one that you prefer over the other personally? Well, as I told you, I've been a bit of a parental leave for a few months and I have actually tried to like get off my phone. So personally, right now I'm I'm trying to avoid it actually, I think we must all be looking at our phones and devices a lot more right now. Right? It's what else are you really gonna do? I mean, it's everyone's kind of glued to their screens. I imagine you might be advising some of your clients. So now Don't let me put words in your mouth there Stephen but you know, people are feeling slightly anxious about their place in the world right now. I imagine social media and that complete bombardment of content and images and social media etc. I wonder how much of that is hindering versus helping? Well yeah, you're you're totally right there's there's a lot of people struggling with like social media addiction actually standing and staring six hours straight into your iPhone. I think I'm in that camp. You're in that camp. Well, sorry for you now know what actually there's been different different studying studies that that says different stuff about that. Some people say that is that is pretty damaging. And I don't think it's so bad, actually. But I I mean, on a personal level, I can really feel that I get drawn into it and just get stuck and I need to get my head out. Enjoy the world from your mouth to my girlfriend's is She's literally not left the house in Sunday, and she's about to leave. So I mean, this is like, four days that she's been inside. Mainly the weather though. It's pretty rubbish here in the UK. Yeah. But I do believe there must be some kind of healthy balance when it comes to social media. If I was going to offer any advice, I would say just focus it more on your pets. Because there's a greater community. I mean, we've got a dog and a cat here. Okay? There's a great community around pets, because I don't think there's an agenda. You're not posting, or the animals certainly aren't posting pictures of themselves. you're posting pictures of your puppy or your cat or whatever it is. And people can see that and they're thinking, well, they're not advertising anything. They're not trying to get attention. Or, you know, I mean, I think there's so much there's a little bit more innocence going on with a photo of a cat or a dog than someone perhaps, you know, trying to tell you something or boast about their life or what they were, I agree, and maybe put your phone down for a while and just play with your dog. Stephen. Perhaps Tell me a little bit about the future now four days much. Can you see far down the line? The next three months? Maybe the next year? What are the plans? What we we just launched the women's line for the brands. So that's going to be a big focus going forward. Of course, we have an interesting collaboration with with a Swedish artist, this this spring that I'm really looking forward to, which is the project that I'm working on both London know who is the most famous Swedish, Dolph London? No, it's it's a it's a it's a Swedish painter. So it's that kind of an artist. So that's kind of a really cool part from that. I was just gonna keep on marching and hopefully, more people to discover this March and what we're trying to do. Stephen, thanks so much for jumping on. Oh, thank you. Thank you so much for for having me on. How about that. Thank you, Stefan. Make sure you're supporting the good guys and head over to a days march.com and treat yourself your loved one. In the meantime, thanks for tuning in. If you like what you're hearing, do leave a review. It does help our egos and until next time