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Q&A With Sebastian Dollinger, Head of Design at Eton

Sebastian Dollinger

Sebastian Dollinger, Head Designer at Eton, takes some time out of his busy schedule to discuss influences, brand history and future goals with Cruise, ahead of the shirt brand’s Trunk Show at the Glasgow store on the 30th August.

Founded in 1928 in the diminutive village of Gånghester, Sweden, Eton is the story of David and Annie Pettersson who both had a keen eye for high quality, genuine craftsmanship. Having revolutionised the shirting industry, Eton’s shirts and accessories adorn exclusive stores around the world.

Eton is available online and in our Cruise Belfast and Glasgow Premium stores.

Tell us about your AW14 collection.

Our AW14 consists of 120 designs in six different colour ways, so you could say that it’s really up to the buyer of each store how he would like to buy it, but you can easily say there are tons of innovation in classic designs, such as small elegant stripes and fabulous semi plains. We have all our things available in most body fits so that means that you can find your favourite style regardless of fit. As for what goes for collars, we have them all from penny collars, tab, pin and cut-aways.

What were your main influences?

We have been making shirts since 1928 so that means we have more or less have perfected the art of shirt design, so we only tweak small things over time rather than re-hauling the way we make our shirts. What influences our design process is newness in patterns and the subtle changes in details. We love to work with colours, as many as possible, and it’s dyed to our own palette. We believe in individuality rather than dictating to the consumer what he should wear, we love when people can be themselves and we hope that we can provide enough diversity in our range so that we always have something interesting for everyone.

What/who inspires you?

For me and for Valerio Leone, the other designer, we are mostly inspired by the competitiveness of beating ourselves from last season, meaning that we always try to make a new collection without using what we have done before. We have to be extremely clever in how we use ground weaves, and the most difficult thing is not to make an amazing print, it’s to make a new classic shirt.

How has the brand evolved?

A lot of things have happened since I started working for Eton ten years ago as a salesman. I took over design four years ago and it’s gone from being a classical shirt maker to a proper brand; you could say that we have become a total look for the entire range of shirts from classical business shirts to contemporary fashion. Before you could only find us together with the likes of Canali and Zegna, now it’s as likely that you find us sitting next to Dries Van Noten or Vivienne Westwood and that puts a smile on my face.

How important is the staple shirt in today's fashion landscape?

For me the shirt has always been, and always will be, the lynch pin of any wardrobe simply because of its versatility. Like a great actor it can play a cameo role or a leading man, but it's the one thing you always remember from the movie.

Who is the ideal person to be seen wearing your shirts?

Anybody that carries it with a smile.

Why Cruise Fashion?

The only way to really grow for a company like ours is through the best possible grass route movements all across the world, we are not into marketing en masse we believe in sustainable growth and working with the best local actors and that is where Cruise Fashion comes into the picture. For it is by finding the strongest local, independent stores that shares our core values of genuine quality, second to none craftsmanship and a love for menswear that we will grow globally in a credible way through the power of word of mouth.

Take a peek at the sublime tailoring and fine craftsmanship of Eton with with Cruise today.