Have your goal and vision for the company changed along the way?
(MB) - The company was not started with a 10 year master plan. It was kind of an experiment, in the beginning, just a hobby. We started out with accessories, ties, scarves and socks - and have gradually developed a full clothing collection, so the product mix have changed quite dramatically. However, I think that our products now are just as close to the original vision of a Nordic, modern menswear brand, perhaps even closer, than the first collection.
What has been the biggest challenge regarding building a brand?
(MB) - I think a great challenge is to maintain the balance of patience and impatience. To always be eager and have the energy to take the company forward, while still expecting results not to come immediately.
(KB) - It is easy to underestimate how long time it actually takes to build a customer base, particularly with no outside funding to spend on advertising. We are a company built brick by brick, not with hot air and ad money.
Tell us your biggest milestone during these 10 years.
(MB) - I think the most important and fulfilling part has been to add new members to the team. First out was Jacob, who worked with us from 2014 to 2019, then came creative director Andreas in 2016, which has taken the brand great leaps forward stylistically. Yoda, who now handles our fulfillment and customer service, started in the beginning of 2019, while Fabian, our new marketing manager just joined us this fall. Not to forget our former intern Filip, who still is part of the team on a freelance basis.
(KB) - I think how we now reach an international audience is quite amazing. During the early days, orders mainly came from from Northern Europe. Last year we received orders from over 75 countries. It is also special to see how many of our customers from the early days that are still with us.
(MB) - With regards to products it is fulfilling to see the development from ties and scarves to a full collection. The creation of our trouser program has been a great journey and I am also immensely proud of our knitwear, shirts, outerwear and tailoring. That we now are able to present a full look, our view of modern menswear, is an achievement we are very proud of.
Would you consider Berg & Berg as a luxury brand?
(MB) - We are not interested in a luxury lifestyle per se. Berg & Berg has always been about the products, and yes in some way, great quality items could be described as a luxury. However, it is not a term I would use to describe the way I feel about the brand. I am not particularly interested in luxury hotels, yachts or cocktails. Berg & Berg is not about projecting status, our belonging to a particular social class. It is rather about a mindset, a way of looking at style and an approach of how to run a modern clothing business.
(KB) - We certainly have higher prices than high street chains. But from the start we have strived to always provide great value for money. We work relentlessly with product development, use specialist manufacturers, buy fabrics from the most respected mills, don’t skimp on buttons, zippers and other details and always make sure our products are made in conditions we can be proud of. All of this comes at a cost, but it is certainly worth it. I know our many returning customers feel the same way.