From The Straits Times    |

What can you wear to work and in the weekends? Little Black Book is a column where we dish out the cool and cult brands that champion versatility and effortless dressing.

The low-down

You may recognise the name (and face) of Elin Kling as one of the pioneers in fashion blogging, alongside Chiara Ferragni, Susie Bubble, Rumi Neely, and Aimee Song. Renowned for her understated Scandinavian style, Elin made a significant mark in the blogging world when she unveiled her personal fashion blog in 2007. Within just two days of its launch, she became Sweden’s most- followed fashion blogger. Subsequently, in 2011, she extended her influence by launching her own editorial fashion magazine Styleby in Sweden.

In 2014, Elin transitioned from blogging and magazine editing to designing womenswear. She and her husband Karl Lindman launched Toteme in New York City in 2014, later relocating it to their native Sweden in 2017. Since then, Toteme has experienced remarkable growth, boasting 13 standalone stores (including two flagship stores, one in New York and another in Stockholm), and securing 200 stockists across 25 countries, ranging from Net-a-porter to Saks, Nordstrom to Bergdorf Goodman.

Work it

The brand’s ethos – encapsulated in the statement “Toteme is a style universe with a singular aesthetic” – is, according to Elin, a design signature largely inspired by her personal style. This includes foundational staples, ranging from tailored separates to everyday denims, as well as statement classics like a cashmere camel coat or an alpaca knit sweatshirt. Toteme has been successful in creating and curating a collection of trademark pieces that customers can invest in repeatedly. The concept centres around creating uniforms for various occasions. What’s unique about the brand is its dedication to perfecting silhouettes and colourways, focusing on quality fabrications such as shearling, cashmere and nappa leather, rather than offering each style in multiple hues.

Keep this brand on your radar

Having found success in ready-to-wear, the brand expanded into creating shoes in 2019, with a new design dropping only once a month. According to Karl, is it so the team can “focus on each style”. It’s a strategy that works: When Toteme launched its current bestseller The Wide Shaft Boot, the site crashed within minutes of launching, and the design sold out within the first day. Another of its bestsellers, the Toteme T-lock shoulder bag priced from $1,400, made of soft leather with a curved flat and an understated T-shaped clasp, has achieved cult status. When the Toteme launched in 2022, it was quickly embraced by the fashion cognoscenti on Instagram and Tiktok, so much so that a renowned fashion website touted it as “the bag of 2023”.

Toteme ships worldwide via toteme-studio.com .