Happy Socks managed to turn socks into a key garment to complete a perfect look. In addition to collaborations with Opening Ceremony or Bearbrick, the Swedish brand has released a lookbook signed by Terry Richardson with New York’s Lower East Side as the scenario. We interviewed HappySock’s Sales Director at Bread&Butter: Mikael Söderlindh.
When you see a pair of HappySocks it’s easy to think it’s a great idea. But nobody had had it before. How does one decide socks can also become a trend?
The idea came from Viktor Tell, my partner and HappySock’s art director. We wear socks every day, so we thought it was high time we made some ‘fashion socks’. This was in 2008. In August that year we had already designed and produced the first 100 pairs.
The main feature of HappySocks is the colours, which is not very common in Swedish labels. Are you non-conventional in Stockholm?
It’s not something we planned from the beginning. Viktor does what he likes. His designs have a marked graphic element. He does not think about what is fashionable and what is not. He just draws what comes to his mind without thinking whether it’s characteristically Swedish or not. Yes, we are very Swedish when it comes to thinking, working and doing the packaging. Our logo is very Swedish, for example, in what it’s black and white, very sober and clean.
What can we expect for the next season?
We have been working on new prints and textures. Our socks and knitted in two different directions.
First it was socks, now you’re also launching panties. Will you include more items in your collection like scarves, for instance?
No, we want to focus only on socks. Panties were a natural progression. We want to be the best in what we do. We don’t want to do many things and do them wrong.
One of your strengths is you collaborations with relevant brands such as Bearbrick (Mediacom Toys) and Opening Ceremony. How did all that started?
We just collaborate with people we admire and who also like what we do?
You are now working a project for the American hotel chain The Standard Hotels. What is it about?
They asked us to design eight exclusive pairs of HappySocks for their eight hotels in the States. They place them right next to the minibar as an offer as they do with snacks or drinks. If you go to their eight hotels, you can complete the series. They are not available anywhere else.
Your latest hit is the campaign by Terry Richardson, with cool ‘it’ people wearing HappySocks?
Terry has been wearing HappySocks for a while. When we found out about it, we sent him pairs as a present and we ended up meeting. We proposed him to make a photoshooting and he liked the idea. He was the one who chose the people. He gave him total freedom to do what he wanted with the socks. Sometimes he uses them as a tie, sometimes as a top or a jacket. The result is amazing.
Synthesize your philosophy in one sentence.
We want to make people happy.
Where are you growing faster beside Europe?
We’re selling quite a lot in Japan now.
Your favourite hotspot?
Any of the vintage stores in Stockholms’s Sofo? I also like the Urban Deli.
Not being happy.
You never thought you’d end up?
Good to be happy.