Words Martin Mitchell
The new creative director of Swedish clothing company J. Lindeberg, Jens Werner, has sky-high ambitions — not least for the brand’s first show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, taking place tomorrow.
With tomorrow’s J. Lindeberg show at Copenhagen Fashion Week, the Swedish brand is going the same way as a number of other Scandinavian brands, who have chosen Copenhagen this season rather than the fashion weeks of their own capitals.
In December, J. Lindeberg announced that they had tapped Jens Werner, formerly with adidas, as its new creative director. Now he is ready to pursue his ambitions for its fashion week with him at the reins — a show in which they have chosen to change switch from their usual scenery to a Danish one. To Jens Werner, this decision has a lot to do with Copenhagen’s approach to fashion, which he describes as unique.
“The energy seems more youthful, more creative, and diverse. It is a more challenging and urban feel than where J. Lindeberg has chosen to show previously,” he explains, emphasizing that the show is only the first of many steps the brand is taking in a long-term plan to manifest and strengthen its position in international markets.
Streamlining and focus on existing strengths
As the first person to hold the title of creative director with the already well-established Swedish label, Jens Werner’s greatest task is to streamline production in the Scandinavian sport universe that it is known for. In particular, it’s about being clear in its expression, he explains.
“My role is first and foremost to communicate the brand in a clear way, as we have so many different products in both our fashion and sports collections,” he says, pointing out the importance of boosting commercial products and, in his words, “being creative in the way they are presented, rather than making the clothing over-complicated.”
“Commercial can also be cool in today’s fashion.”
For a brand as expansive in its offerings as J. Lindeberg, it is important to maintain competitiveness within all the product categories it is known for. In some countries, the brand is known for golf-wear, in other places for skiing clothes, and of course as a menswear brand in its core markets. For this reason, it is vital to have all the different kinds of products engage together in the telling of the J. Lindeberg story, he explains.
“We need to make more people understand what J. Lindeberg stands for.”
A new reality
One thing you cannot escape in the fashion industry is the constant need to keep up with its rapid pace of development. For Werner, it is above all its progressiveness that defines J. Lindeberg as a brand.
“Johna Lindeberg was often ahead of his time, seeing the idea of future sportswear in the early 00s,” he says.
In these years, the brand is focusing on optimizing its online presence as a way to maintain momentum, keeping abreast of consumer trends. Compared to years past, however, J. Lindeberg is not as intent on pushing out new products in quick succession, but rather taking a step back, being authentic and true to its own background.
“Consumers are more engaged than ever before, but only in the brands that are precise in their communication, which are honest and innovative, and which dare to take risks,” he says, adding:
“Sometimes it’s also simply about saying no to some things.”
Sustainability is not a marketing project
For this reason, the brand’s collections will be smaller, more effective, and easier to sell. In addition, J. Lindeberg has an ambition to live up to what they call their responsibility towards consumers. Customers will get more information about intiatives for sustainability and CSR.
For as Werner points out, it is the duty of every brand to increase transparency in all levels of production, from the introduction of plant-based leather to the choice of using organic cotton for denim. But in particular, he highlights the brand’s “Track My Down” initiative, where consumers can follow every stage of J. Lindeberg down-feather products, from factory to store, via QR codes in the items.
“Sustainability is not simply a marketing project, but an integral part of companies today. It is our responsibility to be aware, and to challenge ourselves and our peers every day,” the creative director explains.
“Every step taken in the right direction means something.”
J.Lindeberg’s show during Copenhagen Fashion Week takes place today, January 31, at 11:00.