Rue de Tokyo Copenhagen, Denmark
David Andersson Sahlin started Rue de Tokyo in 2016 as a Scandinavian luxury brand. He wanted to create everyday items made of the worlds finest fabrics, with a design inspiration from France and Japan.
— I was living in Paris working for an Italian luxury brand when I became friends with a Japanese fabric developer called Yui Shomen. We developed a lot of textiles together and explored the streets of Paris. The name Rue de Tokyo comes from our friendship.
— I wanted to do something different. The first year I did all work on my own. I learned, I failed. But the feedback from the market was good. People really liked the name and the quality. The first collection AW17 was only t-shirts made from Japanese jersey. The new AW19 collection offers full range collections for both men and women: t-shirts, loungewear, knitwear, outerwear, and more.
What is the greatest obstacle you’ve had to overcome to create your brand?
— The greatest obstacle was to dare and go for it. To leave a well-paid future as production director for big brands and instead start to challenge my creative sides. To create my own company, I definitely needed courage.
You moved to Copenhagen to start the brand there. Why?
— First of all, I had many, many of my friends living in the city, many people that I know or got to know when I lived in Paris. I found myself being very calm and getting a creative stimulation in the city. Another reason is that the Danes are very easygoing. They are open‑minded and very collaborative. Not focusing too much on the problems, but rather trying to find solutions.
What are the values you wanted to bring into the brand?
— Rue de Tokyo is about quality. Not only quality of garments, but it’s a quality of life. I want to make products that you are happy with today, but also happy with in five years. I want people to use the products, like the product, and live the products. Many of my customers are in architecture or interior design, people working with their bodies in different locations.
You also started doing some homeware and selling in design shops?
— Yes. I wanted to develop Rue de Tokyo into a lifestyle brand. For the second season, I launched organic bathrobes. I did organic towels, together with the jersey collection.
Is it challenging to work with luxury in Scandinavia?
— You could say that, by the fact that the Scandinavian customers are, since a long time, used to being able to find good products for a low price.
What’s in store for the future?
— Rue de Tokyo is not only a brand, it’s a street. It’s a street that you can fill with the inspiration of many different things. It can be a bakery. It can be a gallery. It can be a store for home-wear. But it will always have its base in the collections that we have created so far.