There is a lot of talk about equality between women and men, for example the same salary for the same type of job. This is something I agree on strongly. However, it is not very easily achieved but there is a quick solution. If women add some experiences that make them compete easier with men, their work will get paid.
Katja Geiger did this. She moved back to Sweden in 1953. She was ill but had a dream to continue her Katja of Sweden design career. With experience in the US and different countries in Europe, her experience was of a more international status. On top of this, her husband was an American film producer who could not speak Swedish. They decided to move back to the south of Sweden where Katja was born. The cultural differences could not be more challenging.
A year later, Katja started a co-operation with the textile factory MMT in Malmö. The city had a long tradition in textile production since the end of the 19th century and the manufacture was prosperous for the city. MMT could produce the cloths Katja had a desire to design. The co-operation became successful and last until 1975. She had a total control of the whole production process and made 2-3 collections per year.
With her experience and total control, Katja managed to increase her business and made it profitable for herself and MMT. She started with a small commission that increased rapidly. After a few years she earned more than the MMT Director. She even made it to become the highest paid woman in Sweden for a while. And this was in the 50th…
Katja of Sweden biography, Mode och design utan gränser – en biografi, by Katja Geiger and Lars Åhlander
Malmöföretagen – förr och nu, by Rikard Smitt
Sustainability is the new `it´-word in business as well as in fashion. Most companies have their own Sustainability Plan but today the development goes from just talk to actual solution. Even in the fashion industry this is a positive trend that will move business forward.
I read in the Swedish business newspaper, Dagens Industri 8 Dec 2015, about a very small fashion company with a true social commitment. Moyi Moyi with the CEO Jenny Nordlöw combine e-commerce with local production of fashionable bags. The production is in Nigeria using an historical craft work that is forgotten due to the country’s focus in oil production only. The idea came up when she lived in Nigeria and came in contact with the country’s beautiful bags in leather. Today she sells bags on the internet, produced in Nigeria. Nearly 500 bags has been sold in 2015, not only in Sweden but in the States too. Consumers from other countries find her products via Instagram connections.
Katja of Sweden found the African continent interesting, already in 1962. Prints and colours were different and more brave than the western world’s look. In Africa, Katja found something special. She brought the textiles home for production in Sweden.
Jenny Nordlöw manage to find the unique product to be locally produced, a very modern way of doing business.
There is such an inspiration to listen to the Fashion Designer Bea Åkerlund telling about her experience of life in both the US and Sweden. She is not afraid of standing out which is probably also why she can count Madonna as one of her clients. On the Acast.com she is interviewed by Natalia Brzezinski about life, career and how to stand out.
Brzezinski, who is married to the former US Ambassador for Sweden, and Bea Åkerlund discuss the difference of attitudes between the two countries. Sweden has a lot to offer women in equality and child care but it is a much smaller country and the importance of being a nice girl is higher than to be able to stand out.
Bea started as a Fashion Stylist. Due to her personality and strong drive she now calls herself a Fashion Activist as she has been able to take her design to the next level. Influentual artists and clients have probably helped her achieving this. However, she would never been able to get those type of clients without a strong personality. The attitude is not very Swedish and therefore something Swedes should listen and learn from. The link to the podcast is below:http://www.acast.com/standout/nataliameetsbeaakerlund