|Founded||Sweden, Stockholm (1997)|
|Key people||Johan Lindeberg (founder)|
J.Lindeberg (operating as JL), is a Swedish clothing company marketed as a 21st Century lifestyle brand. Currently, J.Lindeberg is distributed in over 30 countries and available at flagship stores in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Stockholm, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, and Hong Kong.
J.Lindeberg's clothes are popular among golfers, and are worn by PGA stars: Jesper Parnevik, James Heath, Hank Kuehne, José-Filipe Lima, Camilo Villegas, Victor Dubuisson and Richard S. Johnson. In addition, J. Lindeberg sponsors LPGA golfer and model Anna Rawson. The brand also sponsored Swedish professional skier Jon Olsson. Brad Pitt wore black tie, white shirt, shoes and cuff links made by J.Lindeberg to the 63rd Golden Globe Awards in 2006.
Johan Lindeberg founded the J.Lindeberg brand in 1996. Johan who previously had been the marketing director of Diesel resigned from his duties at the Italian denim brand, fatigued from constantly restraining his own visions, and decided that he wanted to create something of his own. Whilst traveling through Europe on his motorcycle he visualized a fashion brand that reflected his personal and creative values as just as much as his own identity. A brand that Johan himself would love to wear, a brand he couldn’t find anywhere else.
Johan launched his brand during the summer of 1996 in Stockholm and New York simultaneously. The brand was named J.Lindeberg after Johan’s own signature together with a number of investors the company was born, Johan himself committing all his financial resources in the start up. Two parallel offices where assembled, one in Stockholm’s port district and one on 57th street Manhattan in New York, as the brand would be international from the start. With himself as Creative Director Johan assembled a small team of designers headed by Roland Hjort who was recruited from the Swedish apparel brand H&M.
21st Century Lifestyle
The first design concept was called 21st Century Lifestyle and the collection was showcased in New York during the Fashion Week Fall Winter 1997 Season, featuring men’s fashion and golf clothing. Johan has always expressed a profound interest in active sports and the idea of transforming elements and ideas from the high fashion industry into sportswear. Since he had a past in one of the worlds largest denim manufactures it would have been obvious for him to build his brand around denim products, but Johan didn’t want J.Lindeberg to be labeled a denim brand. Therefore he initially did no denim and instead he presented a 60's rock 'n' roll inspired look.
The collections themselves and especially the golf collection was unique and caught serious attention. To further develop the golf concept Johan turned to his old friend and successful PGA-tour golfer Jesper Parnevik. Regarded as one of the most notorious mavericks in golf fashion, Jespers character suited J.Lindeberg’s creative concept perfectly and also added a professional value to the collections. One of Jesper's more notorious appearances dressed with J.Lindeberg was when he won the Byron Nelson Classic championship in Texas wearing a pair of pink chinos.
J.Lindeberg steadily gained momentum and became critically acclaimed by key figures in the fashion industry and early adopters on the streets. The first official award came in 1999 when Swedish Elle presented J.Lindeberg with the "Designer of the Year" award. The following year (2000) J.Lindeberg received the prestigious "Guldknappen" (golden button) award as "Most Innovative Designer." Later in 2000 J.Lindeberg opened its first flagship store in central Stockholm, with a unique interior concept that breathed heavily in symbiosis with the collections. Several more concept stores would follow shortly in major metropolis such as, New York, Tokyo, Yokohama and Los Angeles.
By 2002 J.Lindebergs annual turnover had reached 219 million SEK, selling at 500 stores worldwide. Now Johan decided to feature his collections for the first time as a part of official New York Fashion Week Schedule in Bryant Park. At this point J.Lindeberg took a serious step onto the international high-end fashion scene and became the first Scandinavian brand to be featured in several international heavyweight fashion editorials. With the brands international recognition several Hollywood and music celebrities got their eyes on J.Lindeberg and Johan’s creations became a familiar sight on red carpets and premieres. For instance, J.Lindeberg has been worn on several official occasions by Bono from U2, Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake, Ashton Kutcher, The Killers, and Jane's Addiction, among others.
In mid-2002 Johan Lindeberg and his wife Marcella, whom he met at Diesel, permanently relocated to London to set up a base for J.Lindebergs international marketing operations and a UK showroom with the purpose of expanding the brand in one of largest fashion markets in Europe. Short thereafter the first women's collection was revealed under the supervision of Marcella. Johan also announced that J.Lindeberg would for the first time present a full denim concept for both men and women.
With both genders featured in the different ranges J.Lindeberg was ready to take a step into fashion industries center stage, the Milano Moda Uomo Fashion week. After a highly celebrated show, work began on reconstructing J.Lindeberg's worldwide stores to also carry the women's collection.
Simultaneously as work began on the women's collection Johan revealed his new complement to the J.Lindeberg, the J.Lindeberg Future Sports. This concept fused futuristic attitudes and elements with bursting retrospective design visions of the future, such as the Lamborghini race cars of the early 90's. Apart from a full men's and women's collection J.Lindeberg Future Sports also carried a completely new store concept and the first store opened in central Stockholm. The season after its initiation The Future Sports Concept produced the first J.Lindeberg ski Collection that was showcased together with the Fall/Winter 05 season in Milan. The face of J.Lindeberg Ski became the renowned Swedish free skier Jon Olsson who among many was regarded as one of the best skiers in the world.
The J.Lindeberg Ski collection was exhibited at ISPO-fair in Germany where it won the "Newcomer Of The Year" award. More concept collections would appear the following years, including, swimwear, sunglasses and shoes.
In 2007, the same year as J.Lindeberg celebrated its 10th anniversary, cracks began to appear in the internal structure of the brand. The decreasing profitability of the company had begun to put heavy pressure on the relationship between Johan Lindeberg and J.Lindebergs major shareholders. The issues were resolved when the capital investment firm Proventus became the new principal owner of J.Lindeberg together with Stefan Engström, who also became the company’s new CEO. Before committing to J.Lindeberg, Stefan had been one of the co-founders of Swedish sports apparel brand Peak Performance, which had grown to become one of Sweden’s largest fashion exports.
In the wake of the restructure Johan Lindeberg himself expressed a wish to become more creatively sovereign, weary his increasing administrative assignments Johan wanted to focus on the creative concept of the brand and the inspiration of the collections. He therefore once again adapted the role of Creative Director and relocated together with Marcella back to New York, where it all started.
Since the its partial re-incarnation the company has advanced in several areas, including the reintroduction of the J.Lindeberg Ski Collection headed by Fredrik Dahl who previously was the design director at "The North Face". J.Lindebergs own retail concepts where remade by the renowned French/Swedish architect Albert Francois Lenoard. The first of the new store concepts to open was the Flagship Store on in central Stockholm.
The most recent complement to the J.Lindeberg team became the appointment of Pierangelo D'Agostin as Design Director with the responsibility of all concepts. With a history as design director at Jil Sander and his own Japanese luxury brand hLam, Pierangelos experiences of craftsmanship and a distinct feeling of modern design will be key elements in the coming collections. The first collections featuring Pierangelos design will be the Spring/Summer 2010 main collection.
- (Swedish) "Brad Pitt klär sig svenskt". www.aftonbladet.se. Retrieved 2007-01-18.