The story about how we developed our first three productsThe story of Astrid Wild began a year ago while planning a hiking trip to the Islands of Lofoten in Northern Norway. While scooping for women's outdoor gear to bring on the trip, we couldn’t stop wondering why outdoor wear was generally uninspiring with so few styles to choose from. We were missing a true design focus, clothing made for a woman’s body with simple, thoughtful details. Our core belief is that products with great design are loved and used for many years, making it more sustainable in the long run.
Co-founder Maria on top on Mannen, wearing her favorite pair of yoga pants (since she didn't find any outdoor pants she liked). Luckily it was dry weather.
Crowdsourcing customer insights
As we were new to the industry, we gathered a talented product team with a total of more than 100 years of product design experience, all outdoor lovers (we’ll present them further down). But to really find if there was a need for a new outdoor brand, we started with surveying just about every woman we could find about the subject, and it ended up being 400 of us, sharing the same thoughts about what was missing in the outdoor clothing scene.
We became obsessed with The Pants
Early on, we discovered that a pair of pants was the most wanted piece, and problematic for women to find, as women’s lower bodies are all built in their own beautiful way. A common wish among the women we talked to was a high waist and a durable, yet stretchy and comfortable fit. No one wants to walk around wearing only a pair of pants, and hence we paired them up with a short sleeve top and a warm wool fleece, creating our first clothing line, the Wild Icons.
Simplistic designA simplistic design with a feminine cut that would embrace our female bodies, was on top of our list. Scandinavians to the bone, we’re born with a devotion to details, simplicity and love for aesthetics. We wanted our garments to have a premium and durable feel, that would encourage us to feel both sassy and comfy while adventuring. Creating clothes that will last and be loved for years was our agenda, with high quality fabrics for conscious women across the world. For us, it was essential to be able to use all three garments together, in all the three outdoor scenarios: Recreation, city life and adventures.
This is our design sketch based on your suggestions - Emmy our designer suggested we also do a pair of pink pants, we didn’t dare this time but maybe next time we should?
Pants that would fit a woman's body like a glove
Not everything has to be super tight and cry out for attention. We were seeking to create pants that would accentuate and highlight the female proportions, instead of working against them. A fit that would honour the beauty of our shapes.
Garments for the common outdoor agenda
In most outdoorsy occasions, we don’t need a Swiss army knife to pull out from the sleeve of our jacket. Neither multiple pockets and zips throughout our pants. The extreme adventurer might benefit from a product fully armed with features, but we wanted something more simple.
We take colors seriouslyA neutral and tonal color scheme was of paramount importance. (Have a look at how the buttons matches the zipper etc. And say goodbye to neon pink zippers!) We also invited our Instagram followers to help us choose colors - do you remember?
Use of materialsWe only want to work with high-quality and functional fabrics that are ethically produced, we decided to source our fabrics from Europe (Italy and Sweden), and we picked wool blend instead of 100% polyester. This spring, we visited the renowned fabric manufacturer FOV in Borås, the factory that produces the fabric for our pants, and it’s incredible to see that Sweden’s fashion mecka is still going strong. We chose between different variations of materials that would be durable, stretchy, water repellent and still feel comfortable. The wool blend used for the tops comes from the Italian fabric producer Pontetorto, and the yarn used in the wool fleece comes from Prato, the European center of recycled wool, where old wool garments are sorted by color and used to create recycled wool yarn.
Curiosa: The fabrics from our pants, are also used in the trim of our fleece jackets - not only for tonality / matching reasons, but also for not letting leftover fabric go to waste or have to produce new pieces just for the fleece. We want to work as efficient as possible with our resources.
Made in EuropeWe chose to go across the Baltic sea (only) for the manufacturing. We picked Lithuania, known for its high quality manufacturing and closeness to our home turf. This means the products won’t have to be shipped all across the world, and we know they have good working standards for the employees. We are incredibly happy with the passion these ladies and men have put into crafting and sewing the Astrid Wild pieces. If you're curious to read more about our thoughts on sustainability, we devoted a whole page about it, go check it out.
Wearing our first three pieces
Our first products arrived to Stockholm one crispy day of September, and were just so happy that our communal baby (ironically) was delivered more or less nine months after we, Maria and Jemina, first met.
These are our first three pieces, where it all starts. The Astrid Avant-Garde Outdoor Pants, the Minna Wool Fleece Jacket, and the Aleksandra Merino Wool Top. This is only the beginning, our ambition is to produce more clothing that works in the forest, in mountains, at sea, all sorts of Nordic climate, snowy weather, rain, you name it. Stay up to date on future product development by following our Instagram and why not sign-up for our newsletter :)
Lastly, let’s not forget...
The team that made this possible
Cina Haas - Founder and CEO of Svensk Mönsterform, also the pattern maker and woman behind the great fit of our pants. We mean it wouldn’t even exist without her craftsmanship. A true wiz when it comes to creating the technical elements of design (the best in the game according to us).
Peter Lindblom - The only man in the team, which is why he’s so important. Increasing diversity is about understanding perspectives and why the outdoor scene is looking like it does. Peter is the man behind the legendary outdoor products worn around the globe by Fjällräven, Tretorn and Peak Performance.
“Astrid Wild has a very human and gentle approach to the outdoors, it's not about conquering, it’s about experience and being apart of something bigger and that I think reflects in their design and communication. I would wear their fleece jacket any day of the week!”
Emma Shanley - Senior fashion and design devotee, working her way from organizing underground Baum & Pferdgarten shows in London back in the 90's, to running the latest Stockholm Fashion Week. She’s often found in the archipelago of Småland, sailing with a map in one hand and her daughter Iris on the other.
"Finally a brand for women like me, who loves great design and is obsessed with great fit. I'm impressed with the attention that's been put into tailoring and construction of each garment to fit a woman's body. Now I have a pant that stands bad weather, wear and tear, is super comfy, and I can feel like myself when wearing it."
Tina Mirkovic - Knows all the manufacturers in the world like her own pocket. In her free time she and her son goes surfing, downhill biking and mushroom hunting in the forests outside Gävle. Our dream is to one day get to join her!
”Working with Astrid Wild has been amazing in so many ways, first of all the hearts and the souls of the people behind the brand, Maria and Jemina. Developing these three products has been so much fun. Going into the outdoor life and creating fashion, that was new for me and I’m really proud of the outcome. I can picture myself wearing Astrid Wild’s clothing in various scenarios, when I’m outside in my lovely garden, planting seeds for the coming season or picking mushrooms in the fall, but also when I’m in the city just for the comfort and the fashion level of it"
Emma Johansson - Astrid Wild’s right hand when it comes to marketing and the visual presentation of our brand and clothing. An outdoor enthusiast who worked as a Visual Merchandiser for three years before we found her. She’s also sharing our love for nature, skiing and surfing.
“I fell in love the minute I saw Astrid Wild’s early stage Instagram in April this year. Everything about it just felt so right. Their brand concept, clothing and believes in sisterhood and adventures. I just had to reach out to them. And luckily, they let me onboard. The clothes are truly amazing and the fit, wow.”