Who started it? Swedish Hasbeens was launched in 2007, in two small retro design, lifestyle concept stores in Stockholm, Sweden. Emy Blixt and Cecilia Wingard Neuman had come to the conclusion that modern shoes lacked the natural craftsmanship and quality of traditional Swedish footwear. The challenge was to produce shoes in organic materials and fashionable designs while using production methods from the 1970s. The idea began on a whim, when Blixt bought 300 colourful clogs from an old shoe factory. The shoes reminded her of beautiful women from her childhood growing up in a small fishing village. Blixt and Neuman took the clogs to Stockholm and gave them to friends, who helped spread the trend. Together with an old clog manufacturer, Blixt then designed a series of clogs called 'Emy', inspired by the originals. Swedish Hasbeens products are now sold in 400 stores in more than 20 countries, including China, Japan and South Korea. This spring, Swedish Hasbeens outlets will open in Lane Crawford, Hong Kong; Seoul; and Shanghai.
Why we love it: the name is interesting; what exactly is a 'hasbeen'? Well, according to the company's site: 'a Hasbeen is tired; tired of being branded as a categorised target group, tired of being analysed and increasing profits of corporations. A Hasbeen shows their love for creativity, joy and quality in what they wear.' The fun element is key here, and the wooden clogs are surprisingly comfortable and fashion forward. Footwear fetishist Sarah Jessica Parker started a virtual stampede by buyers when she was snapped wearing Swedish Hasbeens. Hasbeens toffels, bags and belts (available online, but not in Hong Kong stores yet) are also based on retro models, handmade using ecologically prepared natural grain leather.
What we'd pick: the open-toe black leather strap clog (above; HK$1,900) or the simple leather clog in blue or brown (left; also HK$1,900).
Where can you get it? Swedish Hasbeens is available at Kapok, 5 Saint Francis Yard, Wan Chai, tel: 2549 9254, or online at www.swedishhasbeens.com.