Shirt brand Schnayderman’s is proof positive that it sometimes pays to stick to what one knows best. This four-year-old Swedish label produces some of the best men’s casual shirts out there and has not diluted its expertise in making them by adding other items to its superb collection. Sold directly online and in better specialty boutiques throughout the world including Steven Alan and Opening Ceremony, its button-up models are basic in the best sense of the word and are generally in the $250 to $200 range (though much of the current collection is now 30% off at the brand’s online store). Boasting quality fabrics and superior fits, Schnayderman’s shirts are made to be long-lasting and timeless wardrobe staples. Company co-founder and CEO, Joel Urwitz, recently gave The Manual the story behind this need-to-know Scandinavian brand….
What is the history and background of the brand?
Schnayderman’s was founded by myself and another shirt nerd friend in 2012. Our goal was and still is to create the most progressive casual shirt brand in history. We started off from a small weekend store in Stockholm and today we have about 70 retailers selling our shirts on 12 different markets as well as our own online store and a brick-and-mortar store in Stockholm.
So how are you achieving the goal of being “the most progressive casual shirt brand in history”?
The founding team is sprung out of different industries and has a diverse set of interests and experiences. This has led to a variety of collaborations with artists and photographers as well as nonprofit organizations and tea merchants. The collaborations allow Schnayderman’s to grow, develop and break boundaries between disciplines. The collaborations tell the story of who we are and where we want to go as a team and as a brand. We try to do one collaboration per year. We have currently designed a unique shirt for the French department store Le Bon Marché that will be introduced very shortly.
What are some of your current bestselling styles?
We have about 25 carryover SKUs that really are our bestsellers. They are our staple goods, basic high quality shirts that every man should have in his wardrobe, like a solid white and blue oxford, a lightweight chambray, basic rinse washed denims and one or two crisp poplin shirts. Then we always have some bestsellers from our autumn/winter and spring/summer collections. For example, this past summer season our linens and denim overshirts did really well.
Please talk about the special fabrics you use and the craftsmanship that goes into making the shirts.
Since we more or less only do one product category, compared to a full collection brand that have to develop new garments for every season, we put a lot of effort into sourcing the best fabrics and trimmings and all garments used are of the highest order. Schnayderman’s manufactures close to home and tries to keep the middlemen out. We do our very best to bring our customers a shirt that they can carry for generations to come.
Who is the “typical” guy who wears the brand?
I would say a young professional that likes a more casual look, yet with a shirt. We also have a lot of women buying our shirts. We like to see us as a unisex brand.
How many different styles/models do you offer each season?
For now we more or less only have two styles for our shirts, which all have the same fit, and our overshirt, which has become a big hit for us. It’s perfect as a more casual ”formal jacket.”
Where does the name come from?
Schnayderman’s means “tailor-man” in Yiddish. It’s the language of me and my co-founding partner’s forefathers that came to Sweden in early 20th century, also working in the “shmatte” business (Yiddish for ”clothing industry”). The name is a tribute to our families’ history; the rest of the brand has a more contemporary approach.
How has being Swedish affected the brand’s aesthetics?
Sweden has a rich history in the creative industry, whether in music, interior design or clothing. So it feels very natural for Schnayderman’s to benefit from this heritage of innovation, minimalism and novelty. I believe this is something our customers can attest to. Many of them, for instance, greatly appreciate our unique approach to prints, fabrics, fit and overall simplicity.
Do you plan to open more standalone stores in the future? If so, where will they be?
For the near moment I think we want to develop our own online store before opening up more standalone stores, but within a one to two year period I hope we can start planning for that. Preferably where we have the biggest following, which in the U.S. is, without maybe so much of a surprise, New York and Los Angeles.