Eton of Sweden: What Makes This Luxury Shirt Maker the Best of Breed
Eton of Sweden is internationally known for its innovative and classic designs, exclusive colors, and full range of coordinating accessories. Eton of Sweden was founded as a made-to-measure shirt company in 1928 by Annie and David Pettersson and is still headquartered in Ganghester, the same small village in Sweden since its founding. So what is it that makes Eton of Sweden one of the premier luxury shirt makers in the world and one that has endured for nearly a century?
To learn more about what sets this luxury shirt maker the best of breed, , Eton's Director of Sales for North America.
Wilkinson explains that Eton is one of the only apparel brands that has completely vertically integrated the process. With its mill partners, Eton of Sweden buys the raw materials---Pima and Egyptian cotton---which comprises 100% of its collection. Eton buys high quality Pima cotton directly from a consortium of farmers in Peru. "Eton of Sweden only uses Pima and Egyptian cotton because it is the finest, long staple cotton that can be used to make shirts," says Wilkinson.
The cotton is then weaved in Northern Italy and France before being transported to Switzerland for a lengthy, proprietary (and patented) and high-tech 35-step finishing process that produces a smooth, crisp and wrinkle-free result. "The finishing is the critical part of what makes our shirts so special," he adds. "Our shirts tend to last longer and keep their color better than others, too."
Other shirt makers use a highly caustic process by using either formaldehyde or ammonia, both of which are bad for the environment. Not Eton, which uses an organic wash instead (which is later recycled). Eton's finishing process takes much longer---three to four weeks, compared to three to four days---to finish the cotton by using this ecologically-friendly process, but it is representative of Eton's standards and commitment to being green.
The company is also known for paying attention to seemingly small details, from the buttons it uses to the coordinated lining found inside its ties. Eton of Sweden's buttons are unique and a patented invention created by its former creative director, Jan Borghardt. The buttons have a concave face with two holes rather than a flat front with the standard four holes---making it much easier to button and unbutton with one hand. Eton shirts have button holes that are made with 125 stitches, far more than the shirts produced by other shirt makers. Eton's shirt collars are top-fused to keep their stiff shape better than other shirts. And the company makes the whitest, crispest white shirts of any shirt maker, too.
The company introduces new products eleven times a year. Under the creative direction of Sebastian Dollinger, the company releases as many as 70 exclusive designs per season, with each design offered in several different color ways. In total, Eton offers 550 to 600 different shirts each season as well as coordinated accessories from cuff links to ties and pocket squares. In total, Eton manufactures nearly 800,000 shirts annually and distributes them to 42 countries.
In 2010, Eton of Sweden opened its first freestanding store in North America. Located at 625 Madison Avenue and East 58th, the flagship store is a Mecca for anyone in search of the finest quality shirts, ties and men's accessories. The boutique is used to showcase the entire product line of men's shirts, neckwear, cuff links and other fine men's accessories. The store features Eton's Red Ribbon collection (its classic dress shirts), Black Ribbon collection (formal wear) and a new Green Ribbon sport shirt line. Eton's new hand-made Diamond Collection will launch this spring.
Shirts range in price from $235 to $295 while a bespoke shirt is priced at $320. Ties, which are made in England and Italy, retail for $125 while its cuff links, which are also made in England, retail for $125. All collections are available in classic, contemporary and slim cuts at the New York boutique as well as at fine department stores and specialty stores across the country. Currently, the company only offers shirts for men, but hopefully, it will one day add a women's line and perhaps one for boys, as well.
For more information, call Eton's Manhattan flagship location directly at (212) 758-3866.
Gallery: Eton of Sweden Opens in Manhattan