On our way to Agency V
As we sat on the cab driving to the office of Agency V in Stockholm we had no idea of what to expect. An interview with Greta Gram who has drawn many high end fashion people, like Celine Aagaard and fashion journalists attention to her brand. Entering the building close to Stureplan we were already very excited. When the door opened and a friendly face invited us to enter we stepped into a very beautiful office with very fashionable clothes on clothes rails and high ceilings next to the walls. Rike Döpp, one of the owners of Agency V, brought us to a another room, where we met Greta Gram, she wore a black simple dress from her own collection and one of the earrings that were designed for her collection by Sara Robertsson, a Swedish jewelry brand. After initial hellos we quickly realized Greta Gram is a very down-to-earth. Not that we wouldn’t have been expecting that but still it was a nice surprise.
After congratulating her for her second fashion show at the Stockholm fashion week she told us about her inspiration for the collection
Greta Gram: “(I went to) A small village outside of the city on the country side and I got really inspired there. I was traveling around in the area in central america with only a backpack for one and a half month and it was quite a trip, in myself as well. And I didn’t have much stuff with me. So when I met the people there it made so much sense how they lived what one actually needs from your clothes why they dress the way they do.. and it was more like all these questions..I saw their life and it was so simple and pretty… and then I started to investigate in that. Like why do they have raw hem, well because obviously there is no point for them to fix the hem.. So everything made sense and it is a contrast to how I live.
TFF: So when you get inspired do you just grab a pen and start drawing?
GG: Usually I think about it a lot and then I get an image and actually it’s more about how I will transfer that vision. Sometimes I sketch but sometimes I use another technique like dressing or trapping it on myself. So it depends on the theme, what kind of a design process we’re having.
After asking her if she has a personal favorite piece of her collection she showed us the “Flared Poncho Dress” a light blue dress with 2 arcuate gathered drawstrings on the lower edge in the front. She has done something like that in her last collection as well but improved it in her SS17 collection.
The Flare Poncho Dress
TFF: Are you planning on doing this in all of your upcoming collections?
GG: No I do it as long as I like it and when I don’t I stop. I don’t like to play it save just because it is in my comfort zone I appreciate to do something new but I think it’s very important to keep your recognition theme. So I think it is also a personal challenge to not just throw everything out the window and do something new. Like ‘Oh I’m so bored of that’ for me it’s a personal challenge to be patient and continue with your work and always keep working on it. To be serious about my process, because that also shows in your brand there is a value in my brand and the process.
TFF: Yeah that is so true! You sound very experienced so when did you realize that you have a passion for design ?
GG: I don’t really know (laughs). When I was young I was drawing a lot of clothes but I didn’t know how to sew so I asked my grandmother to teach me sewing my drawings but when I came the next time she had already done it, so then it was already finished, but I was such a crafty kid and I was always sitting and drawing stuff. I started studying arts but then I learned how to sew so I was totally hooked by that. But I studied pattern and cutting and sewing and then I started fashion design.
TFF: Oh that’s interesting. So what happened then after university?
GG: I had some internships and before I graduated I was an intern at Viktor & Rolf and then I got a designer position there. So that was my first designer experience and after I graduated I did a small project in leather, because I wanted to know how to work with that and then I went to work with H&M as a designer.
TFF: That sounds great! And when did you know ‘Ok I want my own brand’?
GG: I think I always wanted a brand for myself, but I wanted to collect references at first, because I felt that I need to know more about the different processes in a company. I didn’t know how the whole loop works starting with the idea to finally selling the piece in a shop, so I felt like I needed to get the hang of it.
TFF: wasn’t it a little scary to start your own brand, because obviously there are so many successful designers out there
GG: Yes, but I’m a very optimistic person and I am not worrying a lot and that helps. Of course I can look long term but in my vision I cannot see ‘Oh this is going to be a lot of work for the next 5 years’. I see ‘I’m going to do this collection’ and that helps a lot because you get very engaged and enthusiastic.
TFF: And it’s also a financial challenge right?
GG: Yeah it is!
TFF: So did you have any help for example investors?
GG: No, I did it all by myself. We had a business mentor who gave us tips when we started up but no Investors.
TFF: Wow that is amazing! You must be very proud of yourself. So this is your second collection right?
GG: Actually it’s my third but the first one we presented a Lookbook at the Stockholm Fashion Week and then we had the first show there with my second collection.
TFF: Oh ok nice. So are you already planning your Autumn Winter collection?
GG: Oh yeah I started a little bit.
TFF: So when is the switch? When do you start thinking about your next collection
I think it comes more gradually. So it’s a little like a parallel process but then when I work on the show (for spring summer) I start seriously (with the next collection), so it’s parallel.
TFF: Wow! So good luck for your next collection and we hope to see you soon.