JC: Tell me what the label has been up to these days?
JL: We’re doing so many things, and finally I think we now have everything together. For eight years, I’ve been trying to create a brand to represent a modern lifestyle. Today we have a main line, we have a future sportswear line, and this season we launched jewelry and shoes.
JC: I saw a lot of very strong shoes in the collection, is this completely new?
JL: Yes, this is the first season.
JC: And jewelry, tell me a bit about that.
JL: Essentially, we have men’s accessories; this chain on my jeans, for example. Some basic things for men to accessorize with. There are bracelets and necklaces.
JC: You’ve done sportswear very strategically over the years — and I know the golf collection very well myself. Is its distribution high?
JL: In the future sportswear collection we have skiing and golf. I would say that J. Lindeberg is dominating modern golf style. People sometimes ask, “How can you do all this, golf, skiing…?” and I say, “All of that, it’s me.” I love golf, I love skiing, and I love to dress well doing whatever I’m doing.
JC: So you are actively involved in these sports, it’s not just for brand extension?
JL: My involvement with these sports is pure.
JC: Tell me about the business strategy behind the exposure of the brand, I’ve noticed that there’s been greater advertising placement over the last couple years, for example.
JL: Yes, in the last two seasons we’ve increased our advertising. We’ve worked with Tony Ward for the last couple of seasons. We have more than 15 stores worldwide: Stockholm, Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong… We’re opening in Dallas, in Denver, we’re rolling out stores across the world.
JC: I was recently in Stockholm and I saw that you’re a national treasure there. Every other person has J.L. on some article of clothing, is this something you wish to achieve in other parts of the world?
JL: This is what I want and we’re always developing new things so it won’t get old. I think if you ask people in Stockholm they will say that J.L. is still very much the coolest brand.
JC: Who is the J.L. customer?
JL: A modern person (as in a state of mind), no specific age, progressive and intellectually conscious.
JC: Is the women’s collection as successful as the men’s?
JL: In Scandinavia, yes; in other regions, not yet. To really get the women’s line going in the US, for example, we need a shop.
JC: Any plans for that, an announcement to make?
JL: Yes, actually, we’re opening a women’s store in New York this fall.
JC: The collection was much more louche this season?
JL: I do 1700 pieces a year so we still have those silhouettes that you’re probably more familiar with. And yes, this season is more louche, but still in line with the strong details that we’re known for. The jeans for example still hang on the hips extremely well. We are known for fit; not specifically for tight fit, although maybe in the beginning…
JC: I’d say more for tailoring.
JL: Yes, and that’s still there.
JC: There are loads of jeans…
JL: When I started I wanted to go as far away from Diesel as possible. I was there for six years as you know. So that’s why I didn’t want to start out with jeans. Jeans have, however, appeared as a natural part of the collection but for spring, I launched a separate exclusive jeans collection called Alphabetic denim.
JC: Are all the lines manufactured in Italy?
JL: The jeans, yes, the whole collection, no. I produced in the Far East, Estonia, all over. We’re not cheap, but we’re not sickly expensive either. We try to make things that make sense and that are attainable. You go into Nike and you don’t see where things are manufactured, I want people to trust the symbol of J. Lindeberg, trust the bridge as we refer to our logo.
JC: I like the bridge, that’s hot…J. Lindeberg, is it a Swedish brand or one that defies regional association?
JL: It’s fully international. My design partners are in Stockholm. I live in London. My daughter was born in New York. I started in New York and Stockholm at the same time. But let’s say there are a lot of values from modern Stockholm.
Photos: Johan Lindeberg
J. Lindeberg campaigns
Looks from a/w ’05-’06