MEET THE COLLECTOR #12 Douglas Luhanko

Today the 12th episode of the topic Meet the CollectorMeet the Collector is about passionate people with a focus on collecting. With this topic I will give you an insight in their special collection. Collectors will tell their story behind their treasures, show their most rare and unique items and tell you all about the collecting thrill. I’m very proud to show you the 12th collector: Douglas Luhanko in the topic: Meet the Collector. 

Douglas Luhanko is the owner of Second Sunrise store and also the brand Blue Highway Clothing. Next to that he’s also the author of the book ”En hand bok om Indigo”, a book about indigo dyeing. Thanks for sharing your story Douglas Enjoy.

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Douglas Luhanko

Douglas Luhanko (Second Sunrise) longjohn

  • Name: Douglas Luhanko
  • Living in village & country: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Age: 31 years
  • Instagram ID: @secondsunrise_sthlm
  • Number of Instagram followers: 14.500
  • Website: https://secondsunrise.se
  • Daily work: Founder and owner of the store Second Sunrise, the brand Blue Highway Clothing and author of the book ”En hand bok om Indigo”, a book about indigo dyeing, that will be released in English in June 2018. I do all of these things together with my beloved partner Kerstin Neumüller.

What’s your favorite brand:

I like all brands that are focusing on long lasting garments and that have managed to create an aesthetic expression that is consistent in all the garments they make. For me it’s always been about the expression ”form follows function” said by the American architect Louis Sullivan back in 1896. The idea is that the function has to be the main reason for the way a garment looks, and that the form will follow. If I am to mention just one brand, I would say Tender made by the British designer William Kroll. In my opinion Tender makes a terrific work when combining the functionality of vintage work wear with contemporary set of mind. They combine traditional, well made fabrics, organic dyes and a big piece of craft and love behind their products and I think that all of these parameters comes through in a great way when you look at the Tender garments.

What’s your favorite denim brand:

I have to say that Ooe Yofukuten in my opinion makes the most well made and honest jeans on the market today, and their sense for the detail is the best there is.

I would also like to mention Blue Highway Clothing. That’s the brand that me, my brother and a friend started in 2006 and it’s always been about making small scale denim productions, creating garments just the way we like them. All of this is made on our seven sewing machines that we have in the back of the store Second Sunrise.

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Willcox & Gibbs Chainstitch Sewing Machine from 1915 – 1916.

The pictures below shows a Blue Highway Clothing reconstruction of a pair of jeans owned by our friend Viktor Fredbäck (read the story of collector Viktor here). The jeans are dated to 1874 and was found by our friend Michael Allen Harris and later they ended up in Viktors collection. We used a deadstock vintage fabric to get as close to the original pair as possible.

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douglas luhanko longjohn secondsunrise

douglas luhanko longjohn secondsunrise

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Blue Highway Clothing reconstruction of a pair of 1874 jeans owned by our friend Viktor Fredbäck.

What’s your favorite footwear brand:

That would be White’s semi dress boots. The classic design combined with the crafts that goes behind building the boots makes them my favorite pair and I always feel well dressed when walking in my White’s boots.

How long are you collecting:

I started collecting sea shells when I was jus a small child and ever since I have been collecting different things through the years, but my interest for collecting clothing started in 2006 for me.

Levi’s 557 xx “Road Runners” Vest from 1962 to 1966.

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douglas luhanko secondsunrise longjohn

Levi’s 557 xx “Road Runners” Vest from 1962 to 1966.

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Japanese Noragi Late 19th century to early 20th century.

How many items are there in your collection:

I don’t keep count but I would say that there is about a hundred garments.

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Vintage Swedish leather apron, ”Stjimpa” from Late 19th century to early 20th century. Commonly worn as an everyday garment in pre-industrial rural Sweden.

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Deadstock Levi’s Type 3, 70505 0217 Big E jacket.

How or why did you became a collector:

I always believed that in order to fully understand a subject you have to start to understanding it’s history. So for me it’s always been about digging deeper in the history in order to make something today, based on the knowledge and the inspiration I find in the past. Thats also the reason for me to visit Michael Allen Harris back in 2009 and to join him on his hunt for the history of workwear in the banded mines of Nevada and California.

What’s the best thrill about collecting?

When you find something that challenges you and what you value.

What is your favorite item en why:

At the moment I would say that it’s this Kantha Indian Silk Quilt. When I got it the seller said ”This is the kind of quilt that makes you happy”. And it still makes me happy just to look at it. I like the idea of something that looks great hanging on the wall but that also can be used as a bed spread, keeping ’em warm. Looking at the work that was put in all the stitches of this quilt sure makes me happy! It reminds me of the fact that there was a time before the expression ”Time is money”.

Douglas Luhanko (Second Sunrise) longjohn

Douglas with Kantha Indian Silk Quilt.

What’s your best bargain in your collection: (picture no 3)

It’s probably these 1950s Levi’s 503z. I found them on a Swedish auction site and the price was fair. They also came with the story that their previous owner got them as a gift when he was a toddler and that they had been hidden away in storage ever since.

Douglas Luhanko (Second Sunrise) longjohn

Vintage 1950s Levi’s 503z jeans.

Which item was the hardest to get and/or the most valuable one:

I usually just buy things that I want to keep as a reference garment or for inspirational purposes and I was quite thrilled to find this Swedish Army Shearling Survival Coat a few weeks ago. This jacket is quite rare and I think there is a lot of interesting details to be found in the construction of the coat. I believe that it’s interesting to dig for inspiration in your own country when the American workwear and military garments has been in the spotlight for such a long time now!

I also have a pair of Swedish workwear trousers from the 30’s that we hope to make a reproduction of soon. When that happens I will let you know! I have only seen the specific construction once and they feature a lot of interesting details that makes them exciting in my opinion. Sadly I don’t have a good picture of them at the moment.

Douglas Luhanko (Second Sunrise) longjohn

Douglas wearing the Swedish Army Shearling Survival Coat.

Which item would you add to your collection:

If I stumbled on a French indigo linen smock I would consider getting it because I believe it tells an interesting story of workwear and the history of indigo garments. Other than that, I will know it when I see it!

Where do you get your daily inspiration from?

I would say from all the kind people that I meet in our store. I was never one to keep up with the latest news, denim or other, but thankfully I meet people every day who tell me interesting things. Sometimes I hear of a new great brand and sometimes I learn about how to renovate old boats. I never know who is going to visit the store when the day begins, and for me this is the best part of being a store owner. Inspiration is not always found where you expect it to be!

What’s your favorite inspiration quote:

”To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself” by Soren Kierkegaard.

Extra highlight from my collection:

The “Rodeo Club” shirt was delivered with a back story letting me know the history of the garment and it goes like this, according to Mike (the previous owner of the shirt):

“I bought this shirt about 8 years ago in Drummond, Oklahoma from a man named Don Perry. He was an active/working cowboy during the late 30’s – 60’s. He owned rodeo stock bulls, broncs etc… He held Buck Out’s at a small arena near his home during this time. His group of friends and fellow cowboys had a club called “The Rodeo Club”. Anyway this piece is the last from my collection of Don’s stuff. He passed away in 2002.”

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Vintage 1940s Levi’s De Luxe Shirt “Rodeo Club”.

Read also the previous episodes of Meet the Collector;

Jerry van Vorstenbos: Eposide #1

Michael van Hal: Episode #2

Antonio di Battista: Episode #3

Ronald Vijsma: Episode #4

Eric Maggiori: Episode #5

Ruedi Karrer: Episode #6

Viktor Fredbäck: Episode #7

Dave Edwards: Episode #8

Mohsin Sajid: Episode #9

Brit Eaton: Episode #10

Kay Knipschild: Episode #11

Are you also a collector or do you know an interesting collector, please send an email to: wouter@long-john.nl

Written by Wouter
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine I'm working as a freelance marketing specialist for brands and retail. Specialized in denim.