Since the Jens Werner has taken over as CD at renowned Swedish brand J.Lindeberg, the brand has seen an exciting development. Odalisque Magazine had a chance to chat with Werner after the J.Lindeberg show in Copenhagen.
With street style influence at the forefront of fashion right now, it seems to be the perfect time to introduce this movement to a classic luxury fashion and sportswear brand, is this a turning point for the brand?
I think it’s a new direction for us but it’s also a bit of the DNA of the brand. J.Lindeberg has always been sports fashion, even though our expression has varied a bit over the years. Over the past years we have often been more classic fashion - a Scandinavian brand - but now I believe we are going back a bit to our roots, what it used to be back in 1996 when Johan Lindeberg founded it. The movement in fashion towards a new area where it’s a bit back to where it was in the 90s, slightly bigger silhouettes, a kind of worn out and more personal and characteristic look. The younger generation grew up with their parents wearing these silhouettes that were groundbreaking in the early 2000s. But today everyone who grew up with that look wants to challenge the look and wear exactly the opposite. Of course, it makes sense as a brand to evolve, and we will keep our ID of graphics and colorful elements and sharp silhouettes in terms of tailoring. Also how the pieces fit but also adding a layer on top to more exact silhouettes and pieces that are unique and have a worn feeling before you even wear it once. The street style influence is overall of course reflected in the sneakers and the silhouettes and the casting for the AW 2019 show, but we aim for a more business casual look as well; for a modern, younger person.
With your continued accomplishments with the J.Lindeberg legacy, what do you think is the common thread of the brand at the moment?
It’s clearly the message that we send across all the concepts; ski, golf, and fashion, with a color palette that is ours, very bright and sporty, which we also infuse into the fashion line. I believe this makes us stand out compared to other Scandinavian brands. Also, the branding itself, the logos that we now have added back into our fashion line, which we actually were moving away from a little over the last few years.
How has the J.Lindeberg audience received the brands’ newfangled look since The Bridge collection?
The continuation of the show from last time to this collection is showing that the audience is understanding more and more what the direction is. Obviously, when you make a change in the brand, the first one or two collections that you put out there is always like a big question mark, is this something that we will continue with or is it a one-timer. So, I think the audience can clearly see now that the collection infuses sports fashion and a more modern clear look than we ever did before.
What sort of production precautions does J.Lindeberg participate in regards to sustainability?
We look into the strategy that we made up two years ago where we have now evaluated the supplier base that we have. We source our suppliers carefully and it is very important to us that all our suppliers follow our Code of Conduct. We also work continuously with how we produce our garments and how we can use more sustainable fabrics in our collections as well as re-use fabrics in the collections and by that reduce the waste of fabrics, samples, and garments.
Our aim also is to make designs that are long-lasting and pieces our customers will love and use for a long time.
Could you give our readers an example of a goal you have for the future of J.Lindeberg?
My goal for the future is to make J.Lindeberg a really modern, interesting and unique brand again, that people worldwide recognize for its colorful and graphic design and for the unique expression of styling. Something traditional clashing with something very technical. I think that in our DNA there has always been a mix of something functional and technical and maybe like in a shiny polyester fabric but in the look it kind of balance it with cozy worn out knitwear and nature fibers in cotton twill or wool blends.
I also hope that we reach a younger audience that has the lifestyle that we portray in our ski, golf and fashion garments and who understands each of our concepts individually but is also interested in the brand because of its uniqueness in blending those worlds together while offering a full lifestyle product assortment.
For whom do you design?
I think as an inspiration I always have someone who works in a creative office, most likely in a bigger city, who expresses their own personality and who like individually design and styles it in an interesting way. Maybe they blend in some vintage pieces or favorite pieces with a newer design.
It can also be other creatives; photographers, hairdressers, make-up artist, people in an architect office, interior designers, designers in general, marketing and PR offices. People that are experts and passionate in their area and have an interest in fashion. Since of course, we have ski and golf we have a business causal part of the collection and reputation which we also keep on doing like more suit and shirts, and the kind of tailored coats that speaks more to a business guy, but of course still with our own unique touch for the fabric that we use.
What key strategies have you applied to keep the DNA of your brand so strong throughout the years?
From the beginning, J.Lindeberg has always been a sport and fashion brand, so in the DNA you have a lot of different elements to play with. All from technical fabrics to slim silhouettes, too obvious sports references with colors and logos. I think today we really know what and who we are and our success in the sports world really shows that we are a strong brand that we want to build further internationally at the same time I believe we are also a credible fashion brand. The strategy overall is to unite all our concepts in one joint brand expression so you can be even more recognizable for a certain brand DNA.
Could you tell us a little about this collection’s key looks?
Fall/winter 19 was inspired by explaining the brand, giving a history lesson to the new audience that we speak to and show them what the brand used to be and will be.In the beginning, there was a big portion of layered looks, which represented my journey as CD of the brand. I started to go through the archive and the past of the brand and find the expression that I see for the brand going forward.
We took a lot of archive pieces in terms of tailoring, coats, hoodies and denim's especially where we know we used to have a clear positioning and integrated them into the collection. Then also giving an outlook to the more futuristic part and a new take of our outerwear as a luxury segment.
The knitwear, which is also for me the most personal part in the collection, where every piece has a certain story, and a certain shape and character that we carefully chose. The sleeves length and body fit. It all should tell a story of something that you never would leave behind.
The key pieces for the collection are found in the layered looks at the beginning of the show where we used knitwear on top of heavy down jackets inspired by 50’s and 60’s ski looks with padded sweaters and carrot shaped trousers. The silhouette in the end which is very sleek and clean, tight fitted and futuristic, was a tailored overall which is very unique, and we worked a long time to get the right fit and right shape. That blends a bit into the theme of space and outer space and also moving into a new and unknown space with the brand and starting something new.