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Style, innovation & equality

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The new collection this is Sweden, 1994. Photography: John Gille Jamal Columbus

”Our products takes the wearer on a rollercoaster ride of emotions”

Multidisciplinary platform this is Sweden’s new collection’s starting point was how as a child with immigrant background one just wanted to fit in. About being ashamed of your culture and heritage. And how that same thing is the main drive for founder Pablo Londoño Sarria and all the other ”third culture kids” of today.

Pablo Londoño Sarria and his sister Ana came to Sweden from Colombia as refugees in 1991. He studied fashion at Gerrit Rietveld Academi in Amsterdam and at Central Saint Martins in London and have worked in the fashion industry since 2013, for both high end and commercial brands and studios.

— Together with my sister Ana, who also attended Central Saint Martins, we launched this is Sweden in 2014, he says. Ever since we were teenagers we spoke about running a business and working together. this is Sweden is that dream come true, but we wanted to make more than ”pretty clothes for pretty people”, as Ana used to say.

this is Sweden is a multidisciplinary platform driven by an anti-racism agenda. With the siblings’ background as fashion designers, clothing became their main form of expression.

— The narratives are our product. The stories that are created when someone wears our patch with the crossed flags and when a person of colour wears a sweatshirt with ”this is Sweden” printed on it. It creates reactions, looks, smirks, joy and loath. For the wearer a sense of empowerment and belonging. Our products takes the wearer on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

The new collection this is Sweden, 1994. Photography: John Gille Jamal Columbus

The new collection this is Sweden, 1994. Photography: John Gille Jamal Columbus

Last night, the brand presented their new collection this is Sweden, 1994 in our event space in central Stockholm.

— It consists of nine silhouettes, says Londoño Sarria. Its starting point is how as a child with an immigrant background one just wanted to fit in. About being ashamed of your culture and heritage. And how that same thing is the main drive for us ”third culture kids” of today.

How would you describe the situation for young people in Sweden today?

— It’s very hard to answer without generalising, but not everyone shares the same opportunities or are in the same situation.

The new collection this is Sweden, 1994. Photography: John Gille Jamal Columbus

The new collection this is Sweden, 1994. Photography: John Gille Jamal Columbus

The new collection on display last night at our event space in Stockholm. Photography: Jonathan Sparr

The new collection on display last night at our event space in Stockholm. Photography: Jonathan Sparr

The new collection on display last night at our event space in Stockholm. Photography: Jonathan Sparr

The new collection on display last night at our event space in Stockholm. Photography: Jonathan Sparr