We sit down with purveyors of fine Scandinavian menswear, A Day’s March, to talk working in a trio, your dad’s old fishing sweater and what the future holds
It’s surprisingly difficult to get a ‘basic’ piece of clothing right. Those shirts, jumpers and jackets that are versatile, long-lasting and will become your new staples – the building blocks of your wardrobe, if you like.
A good basic is anything but; it’s cut to precision to give an exceptional fit, made from high-quality fabrics that will last for years, and is devoid of any embellishment or trend-led details that will instantly date the piece as soon as the season is over.
There are a lot of brands that try to create such collections, but few that succeed. One of those rare brands that get it right is A Day’s March, the Swedish label founded by Marcus Gårdö, Pelle Lundquist and Stefan Pagreus in 2014. In their own words, the trio’s aim is to “perfect the essentials” through an obsessive attention to detail and equal focus on style and substance, and in just a few years they’ve built up a loyal following that swears by those wool overshirts, thick cords and clean trainers that have become signatures of A Day’s March.
We sat down with the founders to talk through their inspiration, Scandinavian design and what sets their label apart.
Three of you started A Day’s March. How did that come about?
Pelle Lundquist: We are all long-time friends. Marcus always had an eye for interesting business ideas and pitched a direct-to-consumer shirt concept to me and Stefan in 2012. At the time, there weren’t any brands around who offered quality products at a lower price. Stefan and I turned Marcus’s idea into a concept that included a lot more than shirts, more like a one-stop shop for essentials. We all found a lot of energy in this concept and from there we started digging.
Are there any challenges that come with working as a three? And any highlights?
Marcus Gårdö: I think it’s more common that a start-up has two people running the business. When you’re three, there will be more ideas, more discussions, more arguments and more laughs. The upside is that you will always have one person in opposition. You discuss more and cover more perspectives. The downside is that it’s more time-consuming.
What were you doing before you started A Day’s March?
Stefan Pagreus: Pelle and I met at an advertising agency where we worked together for a few years. We both became tired with the job at around the same time, so I left to study psychology and Pelle went to work with interior and design. Then Marcus came to us with the idea for A Day’s March.
MG: I have a background in economics. Like Pelle and Stefan I have no formal experience from fashion retail — apart from A Day’s March I run a book publishing firm. But I think that an outside perspective has been a good thing for us.
Scandinavian design has come to the fore over the past few years – fashion, interiors, way of life. Why do you think the rest of the world has embraced it so fully? And where do you think it will go from here?
SP: Scandinavian design tradition is very much rooted in functionality, which is likely a part of our appeal. The world is such a complex place nowadays, I think people find comfort in the simple things.
PL: Two basic pillars in Scandinavian design are respect for nature and materials. I believe the attraction of those values will only grow stronger together with a strong global interest in sustainability, durability and simplicity.
How does A Day’s March differ from other Scandinavian brands?
PL: I believe that the common ground we share with Scandinavian brands is a love for materials, simple solutions etc. One thing that separates us is that we take a lot of inspiration from American and Italian menswear which is perhaps not that common in Scandinavian design.
MG: Another thing that sets us apart is that we’re a producer-to-consumer brand which means that we only sell in our own stores and online. That’s how we can offer great garments for a relatively low price.
Where do you find inspiration for the brand?
SP: Inspiration comes from everywhere. I guess the common theme is that everything has a long-lasting quality to it. It may be a book or a film or a record or a painting. We also pick up ideas and details from our own wardrobes, the old stuff that you – for different reasons – never stop wearing. That favourite ‘90s Helmut piece or those tennis shorts or your dad’s old fishing sweater. We talk a lot about what it is that make those clothes special and how to create garments that last longer, both quality and style wise.
If you were to pick three items from the SS18 collection to have in your personal wardrobe, what would they be and why?
PL: Our new, slightly bigger, denim model that we’ll launch in March, a garment dyed oxford shirt and a navy overshirt. These are all garments that are very much A Day’s March – great fits and high quality, easy to style and very versatile. I’m particularly happy that this spring we’ll start to produce all our garment dyed oxford shirts, our most popular product, in organic cotton.
SP: Our cord overshirt will be available in more colours and is such a great garment! Our sneakers in white calf leather are another spring essential that I really love. And then we’re doing a very special and personal collab that will result in a small capsule collection this spring, I’m really looking forward to that.
What’s been your biggest highlight since starting A Day’s March?
PL: For me it’s every time you see a person who’s well dressed and interested in clothing wearing our stuff. It makes all this work become so real-life.
SP: Another really gratifying thing is all our repeat customers, which we have had a lot of since day one. When people come back again and again you know you’re doing something right.
What’s next for the brand?
MG: Next is my biggest A Day’s March highlight: we’re opening in London this spring. I love London and it’s a big thing for us. It’s like watching your kid grow up and move abroad. We’re a bit nervous, but mostly proud.
Images courtesy of A Day’s March
Words by Angharad Jones