Swedish start-ups

Hunger Games success suits Swedish company

Hunger Games success suits Swedish company
Donald Sutherland wears Swedish suits in The Hunger Games. Photo: Matt Sayles/TT
A Swedish suit company says its sales have increased fivefold since it revealed it had made some of the costumes featured in the blockbuster Hunger Games movies starring Jennifer Lawrence.
There were just four people working at Suitopia in Stockholm in 2011 when the company recieved an order for several suits to be worn by the character President Snow, played by Hollywood actor Donald Sutherland.
The Swedish start-up was more used to making clothes for weddings or graduations. Business Development Manager Peter Holmgren believes the movie's style team was attracted to the company's colourful range of outfits.
"They never said exactly why they chose us, but I think at that time we were one of only a few companies offering such a range of crazy colours. Our business model is about offering customers whatever they want and many of them send back photos of their weddings and things so we had these wacky pictures on our website," he tells The Local.

Donald Sutherland (left) with some of the Hunger Games cast in Cannes in 2014. Photo: TT
After the initial order, Suitopia was asked to make more and more suits, with a total of 150 ordered by the time the third installment of the Hunger Games series began production.
"It was such an exciting period. None of us had read the books but as we started reading them we also saw them selling well in the shops. Then we started hearing that there were going to be some really big names in in the movie," says Holmgren.
Some of the suits will be featured in the latest installment of the movie franchise, Mockingjay part I, which is released in Sweden this week.
Holmgren describes seeing Suitopia's products on the big screen as "really surreal".
"It is such a big movie production. We never expected to be part of that," he adds.
As the films have enjoyed success at the box office, the company has increased its sales fivefold from just 5000 a year in 2011. It is set for a 20 million SEK turnover in 2014.

Suitopia specializes in coloured suits. Photo: Suitopia
But Holmgren argues that the growing demand for colourful suits is also down to shifting global fashion trends.
"Not just Swedes, but people everywhere are getting more accustomed to wearing whatever they like. People don't feel that they need to conform so much," he says.
"We get emails every week from people saying 'you must think I am crazy but can I have a pink and orange tuxedo?'. They think they are the only ones, but they are definitely not."

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