This is Valdemar Madsen, wearing a fisherman sweater. The location is Sjaellands Odde, Denmark - the year 1930.
We are currently unable to validate that we made this exact piece of knitwear, but are in dialogue with his successors. We can confirm, however, that Søren Nielsen Skyt ( S. N. S. ) manufactured his design ( identical to Valdemar Madsens as far as we know ) well before 1930. S. N. S. began selling knitwear of his own making in 1919 ( year of first licence ), and most likely this included our FISHERMAN sweater ( we know positively that it was part of his repertoire - since the fall of 1923 ). The implication is this: if Valdemar Madsens beautiful sweater is not of our making, then it mimics our unique design traits, the decisive ones being our signature bubbles: with 12 rows of bubbles in a segment, three segments across the chest etc.
We have been religiously honouring this precise design logic in all of our manufacturing in the Skyt family, since S. N. S. passed in 1971, leaving his business to his three sons: Niels, Poul & Holger ( who is still knitting today, photo below ). For 99 years ( 1919 - 2018) we did all our knitting in Denmark. No longer manufacturing all sweaters in Herning, Denmark, forced us to rethink what is at the core of our DNA: and then to realise it’s not only about quality & nationality, but rather an approach: a certain sentiment of pride, of aptitude & dedication, a reverence for traditions past, for our family name - and that it all embodies what we tend to call determination.
This mental attitude has been cultivated into a sense of duty for more than 100 years, spanning three generations - but there is a caveat: this duty has to be realised every passing year, day, hour ... - In this sense we always begin from 001. Our trademark sense of duty represents the deeper truth about our trademark: S. N. S. HERNING. The FISHERMAN sweater started it all for us as a family of knitwear manufacturers - and this sweater may over the years have earned a status as one of the classics of danish design, at least to some - maybe even outside of our family.
We find so much joy in people sharing their stories about this particular sweater. If you judge value from a Darwinian perspective, counting off-spring as criteria of success - this sweater is a force to be reckoned with, also in the current ecosystem of fashion, now ( ).
- Yes, this can sound like humble bragging, and maybe it is. We tend to think that pride is all ok - and while acknowledging the importance of parading some prides for historical reasons: oppression, bigotry, even hate - we also humbly try to remind ourselves not to parade the superficial ( non-core traits, not so important if you take a deep breath in ).
In sum: Let us not devalue ourselves as humans, rather allow ourselves & others to feel proud, to even feel awe when presented with memorabilia from times past - trying to make sense of these, to ultimately make sense of ourselves embedded in the grand story we call human culture? Our family loves the FISHERMAN sweater, in what we think of as our local version, an original in this sense: this is where our story originates, nothing more - and nothing less. Now, you can love a later generation of it - or try to find an older - it is all good, if good for you. In fact, we try not to love only our local truth, but just nurture faith in the existence of truth altogether ( ~sub specie aeternitatis ) - without this, the search is already over. This an ongoing story, no simple happy ending - but do not despair, accept to fail daily - there is still time left to learn, collectively, this is truly human nature, for all.
~ Ceremony & tradition is not just a routine.