Elin Mohlander is the woman behind the recently launched clothing brand Residus set to change the fashion industry. A showroom to introduce the feminine and functional dress collection is set in one of the modern Strand Gatherings meeting rooms at the NEWLY RENOVATED Radisson Blu Strand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden.
“There is a reason I want to show my collection here today,” Mohlander explains. “Strand is transforming into a cool, design-driven lifestyle hotel which is a good environment to be seen in with fashion. I want my brand to express how the dresses will last over time.”
The new meeting room concept Strand Gatherings welcomes guests for both business meetings as well as splendid evening events with a great view of the waterways of Stockholm. Everyone, including visionary entrepreneurs like Mohlander, is welcomed there to do well - and have a little fun while doing it.
Providing elevating business synergies
Mohlander explains how uplifting similarities can be found between the Strand and the Residus brand. First, both take a stand on environmental issues. Residus works with the vision for circular fashion and sustainability. The fresh fashion brand has a strong will to make a change in the fashion industry by using only leftover fabrics. For Strand, it is a given standard to not only reduce waste but also actively contribute to a greener planet.
Second, Mohlander is excited about the hotel’s transformation that will polish the once iconic values and premises. The renovation is done together with the award-winning architectural firm Wingårdhs. Their focus has been to bring the unique details of the historic building to light again.
Coincidentally, this ethos goes hand-in-hand with Residus: their core product is the every-woman embracing wrap dress design. It was once the “it-piece” in every woman’s closet and is now gaining back its foothold. Here, Residus seeks to create a wardrobe’s standard piece with details and design on point.
Connecting a sophisticated fashion brand and an iconic hotel
“After Diane Von Furstenberg invented the wrap dress design in the 70’s, everyone at Studio 54 either already wore it or wanted to be seen in it. As everything in fashion goes in cycles, we now have the possibility to do the dress our way, the cool way, into a modern but classic piece that works for every occasion and with every body type”, Mohlander envisions.
That is, Residus is set to make something essential and exciting out of a product that has been there for a long time, as with the Radisson Blu Strand Hotel. Both of these journeys are based on real needs and experiences. Unfortunately also, both journeys are painfully extensive.
“Launching a fashion brand is a long journey. It takes time to work with design and production set up. We demand the same environmentally and socially stand-taking values from all companies and people working with us.” Mohlander says.
Showing the collection pieces in the Strand hotel showroom is only one step of the journey. “We are having a busy summer ahead of us, focusing solely on the Residus web shop and brand launch!” she laughs.
Inspired by women of every kind
“My business began around a kitchen table, inviting friends to present their favorite dresses in life. In addition to asking women, what do you like in a dress, I often get out of my apartment to people watch and get inspired by different outfit choices.” Mohlander stories. Hotel lobbies and street cafes are especially good places for this activity.
“I have always been a curious doer who loves to innovate and be creative. In order for me to do 100% the way I am thinking, I decided to start my own company.” Mohlander explains. Founding Residus was greatly influenced by her previous work experience in the fashion industry.
Working with different Scandinavian brands such as Filippa K she learned the importance of both sustainability and empowering women. Mohlander goes back with the Strand hotel’s General Manager Eva Kalling-Hansson in the “I Am Woman” –project by the UN Women and J.Lindeberg collaboration.
A journey of vision and passion
Experimenting with fashion and fabrics started years ago with Mohlander’s mother’s sewing machine and old pillowcases. Her hunger to see the world shows in her frequent travels, times lived abroad and education in tourism and business management.
At one point she decided to take a leap of pursuing a career in fashion, although not having studied the subject. As she found out, having learned intercultural communication, business English and law came quite handy working in international fashion companies.
In fashion she found her passion and is now recommending others to find theirs too. “If you feel passion in your work, you can go as far as you want. That means you are committed and automatically do a great job. As long as life is inspiring and fun, you do something good.” Mohlander states.
Empowering women and femininity
Residus brand is not only taking a stand in environmental issues but also sets to empower women. They make dresses for strong women of any kind so that they can feel powerful in their femininity.
As Coco Chanel once showed, a woman does not need to dress in a certain way in order to be respected, which is something that the Residus brand and Mohlander stand for. However, a power-woman is not a label but at the end of the day, every woman is one: everyone has her own expression and story on being strong.
Part of building the Residus brand was creating content with their Power Women Wednesday concept, a series of interviews from strong women. “It was amazing to see how many amazing women there are in this world, and how we can empower, help and reach out to each other. The world needs more love.” Mohlander smiles.