In 1984 I started my journey to Sweden, a conflict in my home country of Iran made a move necessary and at arrival in Sweden the differences were obvious. Imaging switch the metropole of Teheran to the small city of Surahammar in freezing February, a language not to be understood and the culture differences even larger?
I felt that I needed to adapt and the way to adapt is to learn the culture and to learn the culture you’ll need to understand the language. As a curious young guy in my early twenties I didn’t really think of the problems and difficulties, so I moved to Stockholm to work as part-time apprentice and to study Swedish, English and Math to be able to apply for the university.
I had this idea of study economics and in 88 I attended to the University of Gothenburg, moved, went to class, but three weeks later I decided to move back to Stockholm. Luckily I was admitted to University of Stockholm and I was finally able to graduate.
The obvious choice for us who graduated were to work with economics and I was employed at the finance department of a larger company, but after just six months it came clear, this isn’t me. Colleagues walking around in the same dark, stiff suits, doing the same thing day after day.
I had a friend that moved to United Kingdom where he ran a small shop stocking menswear clothing and tailoring. Remember he mentioned the satisfaction of meeting new people everyday, varying work assignments and doing something for himself.
On a day in 94, on my daily walking stroll from work I did pass this women store that just ran out of business, great location in the centre of Stockholm, this happened to be the address where I started Gabucci, Ingmar Bergmansgata 2.
By then I realised that spanning the line of both smart and casual was the way for Gabucci. Many of the companies that I approached in the beginning didn’t accept a new unknown store to stock their brand. So I had to find well made unestablished brands and my eyes were drawn to Italy, especially Naples and Milan with their laidback and playful take on men’s clothing.
When buying in Italy back in the 90’s wasn’t a thing like it is today, you weren’t able to visit the showrooms to browse a handful of brands at the same time. I put a lot of work trying to locate and then visit the small factories and ateliers, something I still enjoy doing today. What better way to confirm the quality than visit the men and women who produce them?
I’m still very proud today to be the first to bring brands like Slowear, Loro Piana, Boglioli, Herno, Cesare Attolini and Finamore to Stockholm.
The first 8 years I worked alone in the store, 6 days a week. The perks of being a one-man band is that you really get to know your business and your customers, I’ve known customers since they bought their first graduation suit, what he wore during his wedding and what he’ll wear on his next board meeting.