Story Of Guild
The perfect equilibrium of ease and elegance.
We are an atelier and design house specialized in sartorial streetwear. Pairing effortless style with traditional crafts, our ambition has always been excellence together with ethical change – the new kind of apparel made of natural materials in harmonious ways for flaneurs and sybarites of all kinds. Innovative design, certified fabrics, and skilled craft above mass-production are just a few of the keywords that reflect the core values of GUILD.
Inspired by ancient Hanseatic Guilds
Brought to life by two lovers Sten Karik and Joan Hint in 2012, the concept was inspired by our heritage – the ancient Hanseatic guilds – that were dedicated to cultural connectedness, timeless beauty, and savvy crafts. Being a bridge between different cultures and eras, we – as a modern guild – are also known for merging art with crafts whilst creating sustainable and high-quality apparel, wondrous hats, and ethical denim products.
Ready-to-Wear for both Ladies & Gentlemen
Integrating forgotten nobleness with contemporary street style, we are specialized in ready-to-wear for both ladies and gentlemen. It all started with denim – exactly ten years ago. At the beginning of the ’00s, it was almost impossible to find sustainably made denim. We found the master jeans-maker who used to be the “main guy” in the 1990s. He taught us all we needed to know – from creating the right pattern to the smallest secrets of the mysterious, indigo blue world of denim. We created all of our first batches in his garage. It was a peaceful and beautiful time but as with all fledglings, to grow, there comes a time when one must leave the safety of the nest.
Reval Denim Guild
We then gave it a try with some local clothing factories. Here and there we stayed a little longer but at the time we had no idea that the lessons we learned would change the course of our lives forever. There were always delays, sometimes up to 6 months which – especially in the clothing industry – might be fatal for small businesses. The quality suffered, the seamstresses came and went, and with such short periods of practice, none could master the detailed approach we were looking for. We witnessed anxiety and unhealthy, dusty working environments. We were not even close to our dream when we once started! And this is when we realized – how we’d like to work and create is not so different from our ancestors who joined under guilds with an oath to give their best in everything they do. Instead of quantity, the quality was honored. This is how Reval Denim Guild – our denim line with a concept, was born. And this is when we realized it was also time for the birth of our atelier.
The Birth of Guildhaus
We managed to find the suitable rooms, special machinery and few mad companions willing to make the change. After our first production house – a Medieval tower in the heart of old town Tallinn – was sold, we found even more perfect space in Sitsi, Kopli – an old cotton weaving and garment manufacturing area in the seaside of Tallinn. We filled the whole space with air-cleaning plants and one of the rooms was turned into a Wintergarten, a place of leisure and pleasure where tailors could take a break whenever they needed.
We grew fast from making just jeans to making whole collections full of wondrous coats, robes, suits, and dresses. By the end of the year, we had our hat maker and a line of chapeaus of highest quality raw materials – and the international hat trend hadn’t even started yet! Crafting both avant-garde and classic hats made on new and antique hat blocks, the hats are all made in the middle of the Northern wilderness by an exceptional lady with more than three decades of experience.
The Opening of Flagship Store
For the first seven years, we had a tiny yet wondrous studio store on the noble hill of Toompea. In 2018 we opened a flagship store right in the heart of old town Tallinn. Stepping like into another realm, the abundant store has a one-of-a-kind atmosphere and surreal glamour. Furbished in the style of a modern guild, it is called by most of the visitors as “the most beautiful store they have ever visited”.
Built with using only natural materials, every detail was designed by ourselves and formed by local blacksmiths and carpenters. The floors are covered with antique woolen carpets and the walls are decorated with dried palm leaves and precious paintings by the masters of 17th and 18th centuries. The idea was to create harmonious, healing space as what we create – creates us.
From Vogue to Post-Malone
GUILD store has been visited by some of the most influential fashion journalists of our time – from Vogue Italia, Elle, Marie Claire, Vanity Fair, Glamour, NakedbutSafe, and D la Repubblica magazines just to name a few. In 2016 Vogue Paris named one of our straw hats as TOP-10 Summer Hats and in 2020 Vogue Italy even named us as TOP-10 Sustainable Brands to keep an eye on. The store has also attracted many celebrities such as Kati Nescher, Bam Margera, Carmen Kass and Post Malone.
Recognition of Creativity
We have also been recognized for our photography and brand graphics. In 2014, 2015, and 2020 our images were called out as the best in Golden Egg awards. In 2015 we were also nominated for the Silver Needle – an award given for most memorable contributions to Estonian fashion design. The award is celebrating exceptional enterprises, bright ideas, and remarkable achievements, and as we did not see these values reflecting on Tallinn Fashion Week itself we – for the first time in Estonian fashion history – rejected the award. Eventually, this led to reforming Tallinn Fashion Week for the sake of all.
Collaboration with Absolut
In 2016 we were proposed by Absolut for collaboration, making us the first Estonian designers to join the line of artists like Andy Warhol and Woodkid. Before the marketing campaign had even launched, all bottles were sold out – just in three days!
Perhaps, by now you have come to understand that we are not just apparel makers but also storytellers and reminders how things could be done, once again. Herewith we give you a little overview of what we’ve done so far to be more sustainable, more ethical, and more kind to this precious planet of ours.
Challenging the fashion industry
WE REPAIR OUR HATS & CLOTHES
NOTHING GOES OUT TO NATURE
WE USE NO FUR