The most celebrated t-shirts in town have come out of Nonnabúð for years. Even a casual visitor will notice mobs of young people, and many older people trying to be young, in black shirts with skulls. Jón Sæmundur is consistently in danger of making t-shirts that are so popular that they become too popular.
“The ideas are always changing. He’s always got a new line-up. I’d look to see him getting away from the traditional Dead idea,” Elsa, store clerk and sometime Singapore Sling back-up singer, told us on our recent visit.
The shirts on display included a range of artists and writers, including of course Laxness, given a respectable silver on black rock treatment, and the illustrious local illustrator Flóki. These shirts, which cull the best and most romantic of local history, are priced at about 3900 ISK.
Of course, the skull thing still appeals to the masses. While we were in the shop, a couple stopped by to see if the black skull jacket looked good, and we imagine people will be checking out the same jacket for years.
Nonnabúð, Laugavegur 20b, 101 Reykjavík. Phone: 551-6811.
On a sunny day, you can find the shirt store Indriði by the line of women getting help at the desk. Which at first glance may be curious: all the shirts in the shop are men’s shirts, designed by Indriði himself.
At Nonnabúð, we heard the Cramps and the Raveonettes. When we come in to Indriði, we hear James Last, the German composer who liked to lighten up pop.
My friend describes Indriði, sitting at his design counter, as the easiest-going, goofy shop-owner he’s ever met.
Every shirt in Indriði is priced the same: 8900 ISK. Every shirt is classical with subtle style touches and custom fabric, all designed by Indriði. And every shirt is a limited item—only 30 of each design are made and sold.
Maybe it’s the casual demeanour of the shop, or maybe it’s the fact that every shirt in the store looks like it’s someone’s favourite, the one they wear to every family photo, but the 8900 seems reasonable. And, indeed, a shirt I had my eye on was gone on a second visit.
Indriði explained his clientele: “It really doesn’t matter the income. It’s the type. If you like small and personal, then you end up here.”
Indriði, Skólavörðustígur 10,
101 Reykjavík. Phone: 551-2805.