”My dream is to challenge the general conception of male skincare”
After a few years working in finance and management consulting in Stockholm, Henrik Bigelius and his fiancée had a great time as “dinkies”, but felt that something was missing. So, they moved to Beijing.
– China is truly amazing, and I am so grateful for our years there, working for the Swedish trade and invest council as a trade advisor, Bigelius says. But one of the downsides you can’t escape from is the polluted air in the bigger cities, especially during the winter. After about a year of living in Beijing, my skin got really upset as a result of the air pollution, and I started searching for solutions. I came to the conclusion that there were very few skincare products on the market – especially for men! – that could do the job of protecting the skin against bad air, thus generating a big unsatisfied need. Consequently, I did an insane amount of research, resulting in me leaving my job and moving back to Sweden to create something I felt was missing – a well-designed, well scented, all made in Sweden male skincare line that would protect mine, and others’, skin from air pollution.
Enter Bigelius Skincare. Tell us about the product range.
– We have decided to start with the absolute basis. Even though men are generally starting to use more products and add more steps to the daily routine, we have focused on a few intuitive products, including a moisturizing gel cream facial cleanser, two sorts moisturizing, and protecting facial cream – one for normal skin and one for oily skin. Me, and a lot of other men, tend to get shiny around the t-zone in the afternoon, so we have developed a version that reduces shine but still provides a radiant skin. Finally, we also have a revitalizing and hydrating lightweight eye gel that targets signs of aging by energizing the delicate skin around the eyes.
For skincare, it always comes down to ingredients. Which ones have you chosen?
– Of course, I want my products to truly have an impact. We have built our their high-quality ingredients with a good mix of natural antioxidants such as Turmeric Root Extract, Cinnamon Bark, Zingiber Officinale Root and well-renowned chemical components such as Hyaluronic Acid, PCA, Polysaccharide Complex Methyl, Methacrylate Cross polymer, and Tripeptide. The combination of these mixtures provides solid effects and much sought-after characteristics. On a basic level, all products help to cleanse, purify, soften, condition, revitalize, hydrate, prevent from ageing, and reduce wrinkles. On a more advanced level they also protect the skin from pollution, and at the same time evens out the skin tone.
You launch in Asia from the very beginning. Why is that?
– Sweden is our launch market, whereas the focus market ahead is Asia and foremost China, for many reasons. First because of the market size and strong growth rate for male skincare, fuelled by trends and innovations from foremost Japan and South Korea but also from Europe and the US. Second because of the pollution problems that we wish to ease the effects of, I feel I can really make a difference here. It also helps a lot that I have a good network through my former colleagues at Business Sweden and the Swedish Embassy. However, more important is the network of my Chinese business partner who used to work in the beauty and fashion industry for many years before joining me. The products have been thoroughly tried and tested with lots of Chinese men before the launch, in order to really be spot on in scent, texture, and design. The feedback we got was really positive so I feel confident. Sweden and the Nordics stands for innovation, quality, and purity, all themes we have secured in the brand which of course also adds value in a market where scams and frauds are frequently reported.
What are your future plans?
– Short term, continue to build the brand in Scandinavia, so we are looking at different strategic collaborations. We are in negotiations for the first round of VC investments to be able to really take on the Chinese market. As for China, I just got back from Beijing and Shanghai where we have met with potential partners, influencers and others. The response to the final products was overwhelming. The plan is to start large-scale sales at the end of this year. Until then we will use our local network to do different collaborations and sales trials to fine-tune. Long term, my dream is to offer traditional products but also challenge the general conception of male skincare. It is my absolute belief that we have just scratched the surface of instant effect products and I want to create products that today are non-normative. With Bigelius I am building something with the purpose to help men look and feel better. I want to be an enabler for a better version of yourself and it starts with your skin. Product-wise, on top of the four ones already launched, we are in the final testing stage for five more that I think might be considered as a bit odder by western standards but contemporary from a global perspective.
Photography: Niklas Nyman
New NN07 jacket capsule is guaranteed to keep you dry
To extend this fall’s outerwear portfolio, Danish modern casual menswear brand NN07 has geared up in the best possible manner as GORE-TEX is presented as the latest collaborator, presenting three new jackets in a special capsule collection.
– When we started NN07 it was our ambition from the get-go to never compromise our designs in any way, says founder and brand director Victor Lindh. It is that very same mindset that has made us improve ourselves and be self-critical about every product category we embrace. Today we can reveal an official partnership with GORE-TEX®. That’s a proud moment for me.
The GORE-TEX® brand and fabric that the collection is made of, is among the most wanted quality stamps in the world and through the brand motto, ”Guaranteed To Keep You Dry”, GORE-TEX commits to a complete product return or refund if the product does not live up to that promise.
– When the partnership between GORE-TEX® and us got confirmed, we were determined to take our technical outerwear up yet another notch. We are extremely proud to be among the few fashion companies in the Nordics to have reached that exact level, Lindh adds.
The three-layer shell hooded jacket, a nylon shell fabric parka with ripstop lining, and a three-layer nylon shell trenchcoat all come in black and navy colourways with a padding made of premium white goose down and a durably waterproof fabric with water column of >28.000 mm. They hit selected retailers this month.
A Scandinavian tribute to bespoke
Norwegian label These Glory Days is all about affordable luxury with a contemporary feel. This fall is no exception and the two lines – Bespoke and Scandinavia – both offer playful relaxed silhouettes, materials, and colours. The former is inspired by avant-garde novelist, play writer, theatre director, and poet Samuel Beckett, introducing several new fits, straight leg pants, and the pajamas suit. It is all about being free in formalwear, finding your own style. The Scandinavia line offering is inspired by the early 90s streetwear culture, combining with details from utility workwear. The main focus is to add comfort in everything, from soft fluffy knits to washed shirts, and they do recommend you to size up.
H&M revealing coming collaboration partner – and launching new fragrance line
After this summer’s capsule collection with fabric and wallpaper brand GP & J Baker, H&M presents a new unisex collab with Morris & Co, the quintessentially British company founded in 1861 by William Morris, one of the most influential designers of the Arts & Crafts movement.
– The Morris & Co prints are some of the most recognised and loved around the world, says H&M design director Pernilla Wohlfart.
Several of the brand’s most iconic prints are featured in the collection, and if you’re in Stockholm anytime until the beginning of February, make sure not to miss the special William Morris exhibition at the amazing Millesgården museum, included in our Eight places to see in Stockholm guide. (See the coverage at Swedish television here).
Additionally, H&M just launched a new fragrance collection, consisting of 25 different scents and created in collaboration with one of the world’s leading perfume houses, Givaudan. It features a wide range of different scents with high quality and affordable prices (EUR 4.99-24.99).
– We focused a lot on high-quality ingredients, from the single note fragrances to the contemporary blends and the more nuanced perfumes that really highlight the origin of the key ingredient, says world-renowned and award-winning perfumer Olivier Pescheux at Givaudan.
Celebrating 1 year with special wardrobe essentials and a new Tricker’s collab
For the first anniversary, ARKET introduces a campaign celebrating the modern-day market, where the brand will focus on the core wardrobe components that form the foundation of its collections. Each item in the product family is intended to be a perfect version of itself and has earned its place on the shelf.
– Many of these products have been with us from the start and are what we will reference and continue to build on for years to come. The selection of garments is assertive and easy to wear, defined by a functional elegance, and intended to serve as building blocks of a versatile everyday uniform, says creative director Ulrika Bernhardtz.
For men, ARKET have combined elements from sports and casual workwear by showcasing the Cotton GSM range, classic shirting, and tailoring and a new collaboration with English shoemaker Tricker’s. A selection of outerwear from the 2-in-1 Series and a new line of RWS-certified merino knitwear is introduced for both men and women.