Beltology: Bringing Swedish Swagger to the American Man

Back in the summer of 2013, Anna Lundberg and Andrew Heffernan were walking around Gothenburg, Sweden when they noticed something big. Or rather, something relatively small: men’s belts. Unlike back in the their adopted home city of New York, the men of Gothenburg were actually putting effort into the space around their waists, opting for cheerful colors and eye-pleasing patterns rather than the less-than-noticeable black and brown leather men are prone to pick.

Beltology's Anna and Andrew

The Swedish-born Lundberg and Irish-born Heffernan first met while studying at The New School’s Parsons School of Design in New York where Heffernan, a former surgeon and Harvard M.B.A, was pursuing his passion for menswear, and Lundberg was working toward her degree in Fashion and Marketing. After graduating, they both knew that menswear was experiencing an unprecedented evolution,  but it wasn’t until they saw the humble belt elevated from after thought to outfit anchor that they had the “a-ha” moment they’d been waiting for.

“We were following the explosion in men’s fashion and we were fascinated by a lot of the emerging accessory brands,” Lundberg said. “We saw a bunch of different colorful sock brands, sneaker brands, watch brands, tie brands, and so on that were creating new innovative products and concepts around their category.” But not so with the often-overlooked belt. So after their Swedish stroll, they decided to join the likes of Warby Parker and Happy Socks in the mono-product revolution with perhaps the least-considered, but arguably most important (it does keep your pants on, after all) men’s accessory out there.

From Beltology's Barbers and Baristas Lookbook

And so was born Beltology; an online direct-to-consumer brand that Lundberg and Hefferenan hope will disrupt the drab belt industry and bring some much-needed Nordic color and simplicity to the waists of American men. “In Sweden, and in Europe in general, the stretch belt is a much more common belt,” Lundberg says. “It’s not rare to find a guy that has as many different colored belts as he has ties, sunglasses, or other accessories in his closet.”

Knowing that most guys wouldn’t go for anything less than comfortable, Beltology specializes in stretchy belts. Unlike the traditional leather straps with punched holes most men are accustomed to, Beltology’s belts are woven from elasticized waxed cotton, polyester, or rayon and are finished off with a full-grain leather, self-stitched trim and polished nickel buckles. The result is over 40 multi-colored, patterned, and solid-color designs that look sharp, feel great, and, because they lack pre-determined buckle holes, fluctuate as their owner’s bodies naturally fluctuate. According to Heffernan and Lundberg, “The reactions from customers in the U.S. have been incredible! Most men are amazed that the belts stretch and the comfort that comes as a result.”

Beltology

Despite being based in New York, Lundberg and Heffernan still think of Beltology very much as Swedish, even incorporating the Swedish Dala Horse into their branding. Heffernan and Lundberg,”love the Nordic look with the clean aspects and the attention to detail” and incorporate such philosophies into their belt designs. They like to think that Beltology, “delivers a Loro Piana quality belt in reusable packaging for a very reasonable price.” Their designs range from $55-$65, which for some might be a price point to scoff at, but given that places like Harrys of London sell “lustrous” socks for nearly  $50, putting your money where your waist is makes a lot of sense in terms of stylistic visibility and purchase longevity.

Beltology Barber

And seeing as how GQ declared that, “belts are the new tie” in 2013, having steadily focused more of their accessory coverage on them ever since, Beltology might very well be your new Warby Parker for  between the loops. “We want men to start thinking of the belt as an opportunity for expressing themselves,” says Lundberg. “Most men in America today wear the same brown or black leather strap that men have been wearing for generations. It’s time for a change!”

To add some swag to your waistline, check out Beltology’s latest looks on their website or follow them on Instagram.

13 Discussions on
“Beltology: Bringing Swedish Swagger to the American Man”
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