Spalwart

Paulene L.

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Articles on Spalwart

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Fashion is very personal, almost a journey of self-discovery. Hence, what we choose to adorn ourselves greatly matters, as it doesn’t only show our style, but it becomes a part of who we are. That’s why our choice of brands says a lot about ourselves, and when it comes to sneakers, there’s a definite distinction with those often jumping on bandwagons as they see in pop culture and those who truly know the quality of an artisanal collection. Many might not have heard of the brand Spalwart, but if you know them, you probably have a knack for unique, original, and traditionally made pairs.

From old molds to an entire shoe company

Spalwart is owned and founded by two men from Sweden, Fredrik Johansson and Christoffer Brattin. Brattin, who went to Swedish School of Textiles, has always dreamed of owning a skateboard store, while Johansson already has his record shop in the 90s. The two have met on the same record store, and Johansson was ready to lend a helping hand when Brattin started a company. Soon, the two, plus other partners, have launched together a footwear brand names Rokin, which might not have flourished, but definitely gave way to the success that the two now enjoy.

The turning point of the duo came when Brattin visited an almost abandoned factory in Slovakia where he found old molds that go way back from the 1950s and maybe even farther. It could have been an uneventful trip, but what he found sparked interest in Brattin to try out the process. He then convinced the factory owner to try out the old process, with the use of the molds that haven’t been used for decades. The samples that were produced then did not see the light of day until two years later, when Spalwart was launched.

The Spalwart philosophy

It’s totally understandable if you got a questioning look in your eyes and a thought in your head that goes something like, “What is Spalwart? How come I’ve never heard of it?” The answer to your question is, “It’s how the brand was designed.”

A quick google search would lead you to the brand’s website, yet you wouldn’t see a string of social media accounts promoting the brand. That’s how the Swedish duo wanted their brand to be. Somehow they view online marketing as “forcing the product on people,” and they wanted customers who actually know what are real artisanal sneakers, and not the crowd that is usually swayed by countless ads in different websites. And that’s exactly what they got.

What to love about the brand

So what’s the deal with a brand that makes shoes through old processes with old tools? It’s more than just that. Through the “old system” that the brand follows, they produce sneakers that have antique-looking details, with a chunky silhouette and imperfect construction—the real charm of their pieces. But how are they able to pull this off? Simple. They use the highest quality of materials that are completely modern, resulting to impressive looking shoes with durability that’s on par with the most famous sneakers of today.

Among the best sneakers that ever came out of the brand was the Special, the first ever model of the company that has immediately gained a following from the real-deal hard-core denim lovers. Fans of artisanal shoes get excited about the thought of the excess rubber in the heels of their shoes being cut off by hand—a true retro manner to create shoes.

Creativity isn’t lost during the process, too, with the mix of suede, cotton, and nylon used for the uppers, in contrast to the all-rubber soles. Such impressive qualities are what caught the eye of the Dover Street Market, which was one of the few who first supported the brand by giving them an opportunity to make a special and limited edition model. During the same time, Brattin thought about making the Spalwart’s Marathon Trail style in purely all-black materials, not knowing that later on, it will be reason why Rei Kawakubo herself would be a fan of the brand.

Clothing line

The success of Spalwart in making a name for itself in the most unconventional manner has encouraged its founders to explore more about what the company can do. It led them to the launching of a clothing line, created with the vision of providing an “accessory to the shoes.” In the true Spalwart manner, the clothing collection they have released have been strategic move for the future plans of the brand. The line was kept simple—mostly composed of everyday wear, simple tracksuits and trackpants, jerseys, and jackets. Not stamping a loud and lasting impression to the first release of clothes allows a space for further design tweaking in the future, in case leather shoes make a fashion come back. A genuis move, indeed, nothing less from what we expect from this brand.


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