Black sail booms, steel wires and gray-blue wave photographs hang along the walls, as contrast to the gray concrete floor. The interior of the 200 square foot North Sail store is marine and stylish. Here you’ll find not only sailing clothes, but also marine everyday fashion. The store is North Sail’s first flagship store in Scandinavia and is located on Smålandsgatan 20, a cross-street to the popular shopping street Biblioteksgatan on Östermalm.
It’s no coincidence that the first Scandinavian store was opened here in April 2016:
“Sailing has always been popular in Stockholm, and Biblioteksgatan was lacking this store concept,” says Riikka Kahila, shop manager. In recent years, North Sail’s has expanded the business and recently they opened in Hamburg, Barcelona and New York.
North Sails was founded in 1958 by Lowell North, an American two-time gold medalist in sailing. Lowell opened his first sailing loft at B Street Pier in San Diego, and hung up the blue-white logo outside. Initially, North Sails made sails, and because Lowell only allowed the best sailors and sailmakers to use the North Sails sails and design, the brand stood for quality. Lowell’s success in the sport also contributed to the recognition and growth of the brand. The actual sailmaking is still under the North Sails brand, but not in the store on Smålandsgatan. Instead they focus on the clothing.
North Sails’ first clothing collection was created when Lowell used sailcloth left-overs to sew clothes. The garments was decorated with the famous North Sails logo. The clothing production was moved to Italy in the late 1980s. The Italian design craft turned North Sails Sportwear into one of the world’s leading lifestyle brands.
Initially, the clothes were made for people engaged in sailing. Therefore, North Sails jackets have always been waterproof and have many technical features. Over time, however, the sports brand has grown into a fashion brand and today they also create lifestyle collections with sporty functions. The jacket still has the strongest associations with North Sails. The jacket range includes parkas, down jackets and vests, wind jackets and coats. In addition to outerwear you’ll also find pants, shirts, chic sweaters, sweats, shoes, and accessories in the store. The clothes can also be purchased in the North Sails webshop.
Thanks to the Italian design, the clothing collections have a high quality. At the same time, the American brand gives you a grand, unique and, if you want, more colorful look, far from the Scandinavian minimalism. And even though the sailing seems to be more and more popular, you don’t have to sail yourself in order to shop:
“We welcome everyone who likes outdoor activities like sailing, or just the marine fashion,” says Riikka.