With jackets made out of recycled leather, Deadwood has a unique view on vintage clothing. Get acquainted with a brand without fear of breaking fashion boarders and listen to their favourite tunes from their Forumist mixtape.
Five years ago two jeans salesmen, Carl Ollson and Felix von Bahder, left the denim store Solo to start a vintage shop of their own. They chose to call it Deadwood and their mutual admiration for old and loved garments started an interest for reused fabric. After closing the store, located in southern Stockholm, in 2012 Carl and Felix decided to focus on designing leather jackets made out of already used, and already loved, leather. Thanks to an old colleague at Solo (Mackan Lindström, now running Lilla Baren at Riche in Stockholm) who expressed an interest for the products, the brand had its first buyer. “At the time,” Felix reminisces “we didn’t even have a show room to display the jackets in, so we borrowed an office space from a friend for the meeting with Solo.” With contacts in a Bangkok factory and orders for jackets coming in from all over the world, Deadwood had gotten a kick start.
Today, three years after the closing of the original Deadwood store, Carl and Felix have opened a new flagship shop, also located in southern Stockholm. The project has grown very popular in the three years of its existence and Carl says that opening a store of their own again was the natural development, seeing as the web shop has been very well visited. With the increasing amount of work coming their way, the fashion duo received reinforcement in the form of Carl’s younger brother, Johan Ollson, who helped with the opening of the flagship store.
Since the inception of Deadwood, the boys have always collaborated freely with others, often outside of the fashion industry. One of their furthest steps from fashion was co-operating with Stockholm Brewing in making the Deadwood Session IPA, a tasteful beer that was appreciated among food critics. Felix explains that they are comfortable with being outsiders and with doing things that are usually unexpected for a fashion brand. One such collaboration is Deadwood’s work with artist James Concannon and his brand Dead Beuys (probably named after influential performance artist Joseph Beuys). During New York Fashion Week this year, Concannon spray painted words like “Morrissey Sucks Ass” and “Never gave a shit” onto a couple of Deadwood’s jackets, at a fashion event followed by an after party featuring several live bands at Bohemian Grove in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Music is close to the Deadwood heart; Carl and Felix have set up festivals under St:Eriksbron, a bridge in central Stockholm City and from an early stage they sponsored musicians with jackets rather than giving them to fashion bloggers for promotion. The boys befriended Scottish band Glasvegas through such a sponsorship and that friendship has given both ways. Singer James Allan, now living in Stockholm with Glasvegas drummer Jonna Löfgren, played a surprise set to the few lucky guests who were present at Deadwood’s house warming party in Gamla Stan (where they share a building with eye wear company Vasuma).
“Musicians and music has always been a great inspiration to us” Carl says when we get into the topic of their mix tape, named “Bruised Knee Youth” after the working title for the next Deadwood collection. The tape starts off with “Graveyard’s Full”, a beautifully macabre song by California’s wonderful pop sensation The Growlers and continues with hits like Mac DeMarco’s “Cooking Up Something Good” and Richard Hell’s “Blank Generation”. Carl explains that the tape is a combination of songs that they have used on store openings, shows and other various Deadwood events, and he says that the mix is “truly Deadwood”. As a brand so deeply linked to music, one can almost see the songs sown into their recycled garments, which makes the trademark of Deadwood something unique and exciting to witness.
Words by Filip Lindström