Follestad & Co. was founded in Christiania in 1923 by Enoch Follestad. The idea behind the establishment was selling men’s clothing in all sizes. No matter how big or small you are, you shall have finished garment that fits. Follestad store Akersgata 28 is driven in the same way today.
Follestad group run by father and son Bengt and William Follestad. When the youngest William Follestad joined the company in 2000, Follestad renewed with several shops that focused on the young and fashion conscious customer base. William brought fresh ideas to the company, and the sales went better then ever.
How would you define your personal sense of style?
– Wow, difficult question, as I always dress according to the mood I am in, although I do love the classic Italian look. In other words, I feel my best when being at Pitti Uomo and when I can take the preppy “Scanitalian” style all the way.
Do you have any favorite designers? If so, who and why?
– I really don´t actually. I kind of lost interest in the high end “designer brands” like Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Gucci etc, whereas I much more appreciate the classic preppy look with a modern fit and twist. I think for instance that Morris Stockholm is doing a great job with their collections. It is really what I would call a well designed “Scanitalian” brand – a look that will always get you photographed by the blog squad at Pitti.
Where do you do most of your shopping, and where do you get your inspiration?
– To be honest, I rarely shop in other places than our own shops. However, Italy is definitely the most inspiring country for me, always getting me in the right mood for living and enjoying life. Walking along Via della Spiga in Milan on a Saturday, watching all the people who dress up just to take a stroll, is fantastically inspiring, and it definitely gets me in a good shopping mood.
What do you do when you want to give yourself a treat?
– Tennis, skiing and golf when it comes to sports. Traveling and experiencing other cultures, food, and wine is definitely up there as well. I am a man who appreciates luxury, but at the same time, just sitting around a fire by a lake while fishing with a good friend is amazing. You could say, I am a person who likes the big contrasts in life.
Who’s got the best sense of style in your opinion?
– It is a cliché to mention Lino, however there is a reason for him being as famous in the fashion blog world as he is. I think he´s a cool cat. Janne, the founder of Morris Stockholm is also a really well dressed man. I guess these two guys symbolize what I want to look like in 20 years. For me the perfect combo is Hank Moody (Californication) dressed like Lino!
Do you have any all-time favorite pieces in your closet?
– Yes, always. I tend to always fall in love with a few pieces in my closet, and I wear them until they are worn out, mixing them into different outfits. For instance, I have a tie, which I actually bought at Al Bazar from Lino, that I really like. It is a classic striped tie in light blue, off white and apricot, 100% cashmere. It always makes me feel good when I put it on. I also tend to wear one particular pair of shoes, my brown double munks.
Have you done any great bargains lately?
– A pair of orange suede brogues. Got them at Harrod´s in London. They make you feel like a million dollars! I managed to find them at Pitti, so they will actually be in our shops from June.
Do you have any stories about amazing deals you’ve gotten on awesome pieces?
– Well, I found a vintage Luis Vitton weekend bag at a flea market in Puglia, southern Italy, last summer. Paid NOK 1400,- for it. Thought it was a bargain, although my Italian friend yelled at me afterwards for paying way too much. It was the real deal though, so I am happy with it.
Mr. Tommy Hilfiger got a better deal from me in January though, when I bumped into him in the bar at Savoy in Florence. We had a few Gin & Tonics together, and when he complimented me for my jacket, I ended up giving it to him.
Can you give us smart shopping advice?
– If you love shopping, take your time and search for pieces that you really love. As for normal people who don´t know or care, find one good shop and let the people who work there give you advice. I experience way too often that people are afraid of being helped in a shop. If the shop is professional, the people who work there a likely ten times better than the average Joe finding cool outfits for every occasion. At least give them a chance. Also, if you don´t know how to dress, there is a simple Italian rule that will help you to rarely miss: wear only two colors at a time. Do not go for multiple colors in an outfit unless you know what you are doing.
What’s the best thing about your job?
– Definitely the people I work with and meet through work. There are so many characters and a lot of positivity and good spirit. I have made close friendships with a great number of people across the borders of the world, but the closest are those I work with on a daily basis.
Which men’s apparel products do you recommend?
– I believe all men should have the following in their closet:
- A nice navy blue jacket, not a club blazer, could be half lined with patch pockets
- A crisp white shirt
- An oxford shirt, striped or solid light blue (Ralph Lauren etc)
- A pair of Jacob Cohen or PT05 jeans
- At least two pairs of chinos, navy, khaki, and or a colored.
- Nice brown shoes with matching belt
Having these items, you can mix everything up without possibly going wrong, and you will look good for almost any occasion.
If time travelling was an option, when/where would you want to go?
– Being a preppy boy, I think the Gatsby period in the 20´s would fit me just fine. At the same time, I would have loved experiencing the late 1890´s – early 1900´s in London just because of the way they dressed. The 20´s in New York were probably more fun though.
5 things you can’t live without.
– My daughter
– Close friends
– My cashmere tie