Australian based brand, STRÖM, continues to impress with its unique designs and garments. Being less than a year old, STRÖM’s growth in the streetwear and fashion industry has been exponential. Join us as the brand’s creator walks us through his brand’s history, inspirations and future.
So, STRÖM, how did it come to be?
STRÖM started with just one design, almost 7 months ago. I had been doing a lot of drawing in Illustrator, inspired by the works of Peter Saville. A friend of mine recommended putting this design on a t-shirt, so I did. This really sparked the idea of starting a brand, and ever after that I put most of my free time into developing more designs, and a brand image.
How did your interest in designing and streetwear come about?
I have been very interested in fashion for years, especially streetwear. This interest really just developed from a will to dress better. Ages ago I started browsing Reddit /r/streetwear and this really helped me develop a personal style. From this point on I keep changing up my style, influenced looking at archival Raf, Rick, Jun Takahashi, and labels such as Cav Empt.
My passion for designing has always been with me. I couldn’t quite put a finger on it, but architecture, interior design and graphic design have always been an interest. For as long as I can remember I have been sketching and drawing, and making designs in Photoshop.
STRÖM, a unique name but where does it come from or what is it’s meaning?
When I first planned the launch of the brand, I was trying to think of a name and I remembered that someone had once said “Strom would be a great name for a really minimalist clothing store”. My family name is actually Ström, which comes from my Swedish and Norwegian heritage. The word Ström roughly translates from Swedish to mean a current or flow, such as an electrical current or a fast stream of water. It sort of symbolises energy and movement, which is very much a prominent theme in my brand.
What is the main motivation behind your brand?
The motivation behind my brand was, and still is, to be a creative outlet and to fill the void I saw in the fashion market. My designs are primarily for my own consumption, to be something that I will enjoy wearing. Everything STRÖM makes is in a way a statement: to say something about the designer, and the person who wears the design. I want to create something unique and special, a piece of my own art in the form of wearable clothing.
Your brand takes a holistic process to every part of the design process, if you could just explain some components of that process that makes it so comprehensive?
While we haven’t yet ventured into cut and sew, which would truly be a holistic process, every piece we sell is tested time and time again. The blank garments we use are carefully selected and tested before I arrive at a decision to choose one. We have tested around 30 different models of t-shirt, and around 10 different printing processes before I was satisfied that we were delivering a really premium, long lasting product.
The actual graphics on the pieces are yet another piece in the holistic process. Every image or graphic element utilised was entirely created by me and is carefully chosen to bring about a certain feeling which matches the garment. The title of the product will sometimes reflect this.
On your site, you explain your inspiration comes from the artistic expression of Swedish and Japanese designers, architects and artists, although where did this inspiration come about?
Swedish architecture and design are one of my largest sources of inspiration. It is generally clean and minimal but not lacking in individuality or function. I really believe that a space must be beautiful to be fully functional, and this philosophy is shown in my clothing. Wearing beautiful clothing that you truly enjoy wearing gives you great confidence and pleasure.
Japanese architecture and design has a different vibe to its Swedish counterpart, and yet shares the theme of minimalism and function. Japanese design is well known to be extremely functional and to the point, and this inspires my creative process. A Japanese store; Muji is well known for this. Their philosophy is to produce no name high-quality goods that are beautiful and functional. The clean aesthetic of their products helps me design, as I do most of my work at a Muji desk.
Are there any other forms or sources of inspiration you and your brand feed off?
Movies, music and games are a source of inspiration to me. THX 1138 is a visually beautiful film, which is ahead of its time in many respects. The promotional posters from it helped inspire me to create collection four of my brand. The music of Ivan Ave, a Norwegian rapper, is often playing while I design. His music has a wonderful and unique sound which really inspires me to create. LSD Dream Emulator is a game which has also inspired many of my collection two designs, as it has a chaotic visual aesthetic and soundtrack which resonated in many of the collection two pieces.
If you had to choose one piece, that you’re most proud of or that represents your brand the best, which one would it be?
My favourite pieces from my brand are constantly changing but if I had to pick one, it would be my most recent piece; the ‘Wavelength’ tee. This is the flagship piece from my most recent collection and is currently the one I like the most. The piece I am probably most proud of would be the ‘Lost and Found’ cap, as it is my best seller and a fantastically comfortable hat. It is also the first piece that I saw someone wearing in real life. A few months ago I was in Burwood, Sydney and I saw a complete stranger wearing it.
Do you see yourself as your own mentor to your brand or are there other creators or brands that you look up to?
In some ways, I do see myself as my own mentor, as STRÖM is intended to be a personal creative outlet. Everything I make is really for me to enjoy primarily. Brands and designers that I have mentioned above are other sources of artistic inspiration but do not really ‘mentor’ me. My girlfriend and a couple of my closest friends are my other main mentors, as they are really really artistic and always put forward great ideas.
Can you see yourself continuing to pursue the streetwear scene in the future?
Without a doubt. While my personal fashion style isn’t necessarily ‘streetwear’, the streetwear scene and its associated culture has been and still is my biggest inspiration and the main audience of the brand.
Any collaborations, new releases or other plans for the future?
I am currently working on my fifth collection, in which I will be collaborating with an emerging label called ‘White Noise’. I am working on releasing cut and sew pieces too, including a jacket and denim. I plan to expand my brand as much as I can, ideally, I wish for it to be stocked in many stores (I currently am working with one Sydney store to stock my brand in the future).
Overall, STRÖM’s aesthetic, whilst established, only continues to develop with each piece they release. As indicated by their founder, STRÖM carry large plans for the future, making them an exciting prospect in the streetwear industry.
If you’re interested in purchasing any STRÖM clothing, check out their store here.
Images courtesy of STRÖM’s site.