Psychology student, salesman, um…professional poker player, and now emerging menswear talent—it’s been an unusual route into the business for the 36-year-old Finn, Rolf Ekroth.
He first lit up our radar as a 2016 finalist of the prestigious International Festival of Fashion & Photography Hyéres with his future-forward, golf-inspired clothes. March 2017 saw his quick eye for sporty silhouettes and tech fabrics materialize as a unisex capsule rainwear collection for Parisian department store Galeries Lafayette, a partner of Hyéres. Now he debuts a full collection with all the technical, conceptual and socially conscious integrity that he’s fast becoming known for.
Cycling, boxing, baseball and American football were some of the activities that young soldiers shared to help each other through the horrors of WWI—sports and games that had been the pre-war preserve of the elite. Today, rich or poor, we owe our global passion for many sports to those brave men.
Moved by their courageous and humane spirit, Ekroth was inspired to combine early 20th-century sporting silhouettes with military greatcoats and outerwear from the same period. Teaming his signature high-tech materials with traditional woolens, corduroy and jersey, in a gray, khaki and poppy field-red palette, he has created a collection of singular style. Look out for the range of camo patterns, all generated by Ekroth from Google Earth satellite pictures of WWI battlefields. Khaki pants featuring laser-cut tape details peek from under a fabulous foil kilt, set off with an outsize sweater hand-strung with 22,000 crystals that took 200 hours to make. Reminiscent of camouflage netting screens, it reveals more than it conceals, its graduated color inspired by an image of a poppy field—Ekroth’s subtle nod to the poppy as the enduring symbol of WW1.
This is a designer with a full house of talent—a stellar career is most definitely on the cards!