Dale Strime is one of South Africa’s underated creatives maybe this is due to the fact that he likes to keep a low profile even though his style doesn’t . Dale Strime is the Creative Director and Founder of Swede & Crowe, one of South Africa’s most recognizable street wear brands. His drive for quality and detail has made Swede & Crowe a brand that keeps getting bigger and better with each collection. We caught up with Dale for a chat and this is how it went down.
Tell us about your journey into fashion and why fashion?
Dale Strime: It all started in 2003 when I came home from my gap year in London. Inspired by the forward thinking fashion I had seen and fell in love with over there, I started a label called Seven Sisters (named after the under ground station we took every day in London) with my best mate Guy Ailion.
We designed once off Trucker Caps but we closed the label down as we both started our degrees. Fast Forward to 2010, once I had graduated I started trend setting and range building mens accessories lines for the chain store Dunns.
Simultaneously I started Finchley Row Distributors with my other best mate Clive Pozniak, with the idea of importing niche menswear brands into South Africa. The first being a kicka** Australian footwear label called Urge Footwear and later on the Belgian watch label Komono.
During my time at Finchley Row, I had grown frustrated buying off catalogues and not doing any design work, so I had the inspiration to start my own headwear and footwear brand, with the grandiose desire for it all to be locally manufactured.
Why fashion you ask: its simple, you either born with the desire to design or not.
What made you start Swede & Crowe and did you imagine it being this well received?
Dale: I always wanted my own fashion label. it was always a dream of mine and it was a dream I was not willing to give up on. Not in my wildest imagination did I ever expect it to be this well received. Every day I’m humbled by the love and support the brand gets, locally and internationally.
Besides Swede and Crowe what else do you do?
Dale: Im a dreamer, a drummer & a DJ.
What are the struggles do you think we need to overcome as the men’s fashion industry in South Africa?
Dale :I would say the struggle was not supporting local brands and designers, but I have noticed a drastic change in the consumers views on local brands.
I hope this shift to favour local carriers on improving, which will only improve the success of the designs, product offering and brands.
Who and What inspires your personal style?
Dale: My style changes so inconsistently that it is very difficult to answer. Im manic that way. But I would say when looking for inspiration I do favour the late 80s & early 90s fashion, music trends, Sebastian Fougere & Chris Aznar.
When most people talk about fashion the focus is always on Designers or photographers, what role do you think bloggers play?
As you may personally know, Bloggers have become the Rockstars and Voice of Fashion and definitely are the main influencers in trend setting and launching never before heard of Designers and Brands.
Who are your favorite bloggers in the country and why?
Dale:Andrew Berry from we-are-awesome, The Amazing Team at I See A Different You, Siya Beyile from the Threaded Man, Anthea Knows Best, Angie Durant from Miss Lucky Pony, Nelson Mendez from Mixed Apples, Jaryd Kin from Another Day, Dan Nash from Bangers and Nash, and the team at The Legacy Project.
What does the future look like for you and your ventures?
Dale:There is a lot happening. Im doing a swede&CROWE Pop Up Shop with Byron Ryan from Stache store opening from November and running through December 24th. Guy Ailion and I are teaming up again for a Design Collective launching next year and the rest is Top Secret and soon to be revealed.
Thank you Dale for the insight! Don’t forget to pop in at his pop up in Braamfontein!