How Our Legacy Became the Biggest Little Fashion Brand in the World

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The creative director is asleep on the couch. His vintage Margiela boots are on the floor beside him. It’s not yet noon but it’s already been a big day for Cristopher Nying. And an even bigger week. This whole year, in fact, and the couple preceding it, have been quite big for Nying and his partners at Our Legacy.

It’s November in Stockholm. The sun sets around 3 p.m. and the clouds hang low and dense, like a thick layer of wool. The nights are long. Last night especially. It started with a party at the Our Legacy Work Shop store—one of two boutiques the company operates in Stockholm—to celebrate the brand’s latest blockbuster collaboration, with Emporio Armani. Nying and his partners, Jockum Hallin, with whom he cofounded Our Legacy in 2005, and Richardos Klarén, who joined the business a couple years later, hosted a very cool soiree of what I can only assume are the most stylish people in all of Sweden. A crew of young chefs passed around veal tartare and glasses of natural wine while friends, relatives, and fans got a first look at the goods. After that, a family dinner at Bord, a favorite Stockholm restaurant, which served mountains of wood-fired langoustines from the Baltic Sea and cold pilsner by the glass. Finally, a group congregated at an underground karaoke bar. When I tapped out for the night, Nying had just finished one of the most riveting performances I have ever seen—“Give It Away,” by the Chili Peppers, performed entirely as a freestyle.

Nying may be snoozing now, but he and Hallin and Klarén were up early this morning for a photo shoot with a Swedish newspaper. When they returned, they began the final stages of running through the next men’s collection with the design team. “It’s a very important, very critical moment,” Nying will tell me later. Hallin, who heads up Our Legacy’s collaborations, has just dropped the first online teaser for the Armani collection and is trying to keep up with his endlessly buzzing phone. Today’s release is already producing the most social media engagement the brand has ever seen. But it’s not unexpected: These days, an Our Legacy collab is as hot as anything a streetwear or sneaker brand can cook up. In a few days, Hallin will be off to London, then Tokyo, to launch the collection with Dover Street Market, which is carrying it exclusively.

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Nying drapes fabric on a colleague.

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While Nying sleeps, the Our Legacy studio, a converted parking garage where about 30 full-time employees work, is awake with a kind of ebullient chaos. In the few days I got to spend observing the operation, it was obvious that this is not your stereotypical oppressed and overworked fashion concern. The vibes are strong. Business is booming. The brand is thriving, both in terms of sales and cultural impact. For a company that’s been in business for nearly 20 years, the future is suddenly blindingly bright.

After surviving the trend cycles and economic uncertainties that sank so many menswear labels, Our Legacy has somehow turned the past two years into the busiest and most profitable of its history. According to the brand, its business has tripled in size since 2020—and is projected to reach $40 million in the first half of 2024. Since expanding into womenswear in 2018, Our Legacy now produces four primary collections each year—two for men, two for women. In addition, Our Legacy has a thriving Work Shop program, captained by Hallin, which produces off-schedule special collections—capsules made using deadstock fabrics, and collaborations with brands like Stüssy, Denim Tears, and Satisfy Running—that have reliably become mega-hype events. Our Legacy has permanent stores in Stockholm, London, and Berlin, plus a few outposts in Korea, and over 250 stockists globally.

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