September 10 2015
Since 2002, Stefan Söderberg and Ann Ringstrand have been creating garments with the cool sophistication of their native Stockholm. Hope’s designs remain focused: a limited palette and clean silhouettes allow innovative features and small details to shine. We spoke with the co-founder and creative director, Ann Ringstrand, about the history and ethos of the brand.
How did you meet and form the partnership that would eventually lead to Hope?
Stefan and I were friends and colleagues from our previous positions at H&M. We always shared the same experience from our trips to fashion cities around the world. We found a style and a design that we felt were missing on the Scandinavian market and from a Swedish perspective. We found a lot of fashion for men that we thought would look good on women and so we created Hope and the Hope style to launch it to the market.
What experiences and attributes do each of you bring to the balance of the relationship? Are there benefits or challenges to working in tandem?
For the first ten years we did everything in the company from sales, PR, production and design. The dialogue often resulted in a third and better version than any of our own.
Is there a single overarching ethos or aesthetic behind Hope?
Yes definitely, our passion lays within designing for your everyday life and to support your personality whoever you are. We put a lot of care into the material and the details to enlighten the products without disturbing the function of you being YOU.
Do you consider Hope to be particularly Swedish, or more global?
Both. We create for diversity and that is a challenge for the entire world today. We are braver than what is typically Swedish. This means that we are both consistent and keep our style rather than chasing trends.
What were your starting points when designing the AW collections?
We always start with a material, detail and silhouette focus. Then we put our season in a context that interpret our time and reflects on the society that we live in. I think that fashion has no meaning in itself other than being a reflection of the time from where it originates.
Are there specific details in the garments that you are particularly proud or excited about?
I love the Goodman Coat, it’s a style that has been with us since the beginning and it is truly an iconic Hope style. The wax ages naturally and individually and makes every piece unique. The 3-in-1 functionality makes the coat such a great and versatile product.
Are there any designers that are particularly inspiring to you at the moment?
I spend a lot of time in New York at the moment. Both interior designer Lindsey Adelman and ceramic artist Maria Moyer that I happily share studio with are big sources of inspiration for me.