In 1928, in the small Swedish village of Gånghester, Annie and David Pettersson began to stitch together what they believed was the perfect men’s shirt. When they began to export to the UK in the ’50s, no one could pronounce their very Swedish-sounding company name —Skjortfabriken — so they took a new name derived from Eton College in England, and Eton of Sweden was born.
Now in the hands of their grandchildren, the Swedish shirt company has maintained it’s classic cool derived from the culture of Scandinavian design. Eton introduces a range of plaids, pinstripes and solids in four new collections per season, for a total of 12 separate collections yearly.
“You can spot our shirts by the button,” said Erik Wilkison, Eton’s director of sales for North America. “It’s recast mother pearl resin, with a contrast, with 180 stitches in the buttonholes.” The Eton buttons are sewn in a concave fashion to easily slide through the holes. The collections are vivid with color. The Fall 2011 collection includes aqua, dark green and dark lavender combined with elements of grey. Many of the shirts have textured details in subtle touches – such as blue camouflage on the inside of the collar.
“Details are something we pay a lot of attention to,” Wilkison said. Eton shirts are made of Pima cotton and are virtually wrinkle resistant. The company’s secret is in attention to finishing— the final process in which shirts are dipped in a chemical concoction. “We finish it in Switzerland, which is more strict in terms of exposure to chemicals. We save millions of gallons of water.” The process also makes the shirt more durable and longer lasting.
The shirts are made in three fits – slim, contemporary and classic, according to collar size. “It’s the ultimate shirt in terms of performance for guys.” Eton Shirts retail from $235 to $295. A bespoke shirt is priced at $320. The collection is available for viewing at the flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City, where cufflinks, pocket squares and neckties are also sold. (Eton)