Sweden’s Leading Denim Expert Is Sick of Your Printed Shirts

Tiger of Sweden is best known for its painfully contemporary slim-fitting suits. But since 2008, the Scandinavian brand has also had its own denim line — think of it as an equally tidy and trim cousin to their more famous, more formal wear.

The man in charge of the jeans is Fredrik Folkesson, who paid his dues, and became a denim demigod, buying and selling dungarees for different brands before turning to design. Folkesson’s aesthetic is clear: skinny fits, lots of black, dressy denim with a distinctly rock ’n’ roll edge. “If you look at Sweden, we’re really particular about our denim, and we weren’t really accepted as a denim brand at first,” Folkesson says.

But doubters were won over by the label’s vintage styles, cleverly made with technologically advanced stretch denim. It was a revelation when they first hit the scene. Eight years later, Folkesson is just starting to hit his groove, with denim-only pop-up shops and a new Ramones-inspired straight-leg addition to the lineup. It’s a serious play for denim domination. Someone should tell Japan to watch its back.


The Hero Survey: Fredrik Folkesson

What should every man have in his wardrobe?

A pair of black jeans.

What is your most treasured piece of clothing?

A denim jacket with black leather patches inspired from old band patches, which we made a few seasons ago.

What’s one trend you’re tired of?

Printed shirts. I think a look should be settled. For some reason I have this stupid thing that I think some people are expressing themselves a little bit too much with their clothes. People should start to express themselves through themselves.

Where do you turn when you aren’t inspired?

Music is and always will be my major inspiration. Music is so powerful that if you close your eyes you can almost feel tastes and smells from certain periods in life. That can put me in a new mood.

What designer do you most admire?

Probably Hedi Slimane. I admire his tendency of making his own look, which he has done at both Dior Homme and Saint Laurent. I don’t think Saint Laurent has been this hot in many, many years.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

A rock star. Wouldn’t you?

What era do you think men dressed the best in? Worst?

It’s difficult to choose, but probably the ’20s or the ’60s for the best. No doubt the ’80s were the worst.

Who, living or dead, would you most like to dress?

Pete Doherty.

How would you define your personal style?

Deluxe rock ’n’ roll.

What’s the next big trend in menswear?

I hope that we will see a wider pant silhouette — slightly looser so that you don’t get the cuff and the knee feeling, you get more of a straight leg.

Lighting round! Pick one:

Single- or double-breasted?


Bow tie or necktie?

Regular tie.

Pleated or flat?

No pleats.

Chinos or jeans?


Sneakers or Oxfords?