A frequently asked question is ‘Can sport and fashion ever coexist?’ Of course, this goes beyond simply donning a suit every now and then on a prized quarterback or football siren for a campaign and calling it a day – the real question is whether there’s room for everyday wearers of the tried-and-true giants. really sportswear deal with it. the ready-to-wear seriousness (and elevated elegance) of fashion? J. Lindeberg has the answers.
With the launch of the brand’s ‘Crossover Campaign’ for Fall/Winter 2022, a new beginning for J.Lindeberg appears as the house that was already known for its unique style of athletic wear and dressing many athletes around the globe re-enters. style game. The mission? Combining two distinct brand codes in a multi-purpose and extremely fit look that will take you from the slopes to the streets with ease. As seen on the runway, shown in central Stockholm to an auditorium packed with fashion-hungry undergarments, a group of models threw their heads into the game with looks that celebrated a contrast of refined tailoring combined with traditional athleticism – think blazers elegant paired with running shorts, leather overcoats with golf pants, biker jackets and ski pants.
It’s where technical jackets, once designed to keep up with the wearer’s mobility and featuring design elements to offer more usability to the wearer, play with the use of fine fabrications such as fine Italian wool and functionality such as pockets removable. And with the industry slowly and surely returning to its savoir-faire roots, J. Lindeberg takes the opportunity to spark a conversation about wearer-based wear and turns the notion of standing in a row on its head.
With the new collection now available to buy with their ‘See Now, Buy Now’ approach, V caught up with Neil Lewty to talk about the highly hyped Stockholm show before it kicks off.
Magazine V: So where exactly is the show?
Neil Lewty: It’s just around this corner here! We’re in an underground space, like an auditorium, so it’s really hot and a lot of running around, hence the activewear I’m wearing. *laughs*
V: When did you start putting everything together?
NL: We’ve been working on this concept for a while and have planned exactly what we’re going to do and where we’re going to do it. It snowballed in the last four days, and we really buckled down and worked [out] casting models, all those devices. We have not produced anything specifically for [the show]. All of these outfits are available for purchase [now], so everything you see is fully available. I think it’s really cool to do that and show people that this is actually what we’re doing. It’s not a fiction, it’s not smoke and mirrors, this is exactly our look – the combination of fashion and sport is what gives it a kind of uniqueness.
V: Completely. I like this approach because, with regular showtimes, you’re basically pitching a year in advance. Customers have to wait months for everything to be produced and it takes a long time to get everything out. Everyone seems so hyped for the excitement surrounding the show that I can feel the city buzzing.
NL: We are releasing the campaign, the stores will have the whole new collection and it feels great. Making a show that is “see now, buy now” is the new way to do things in my opinion.
V: I agree. Why would you want to see seasonal pieces that aren’t tailored to what’s going on now, you know?
NL: That’s the thing – we’re always a month ahead here in Stockholm. So it starts to cool down [early] it’s September and you’re starting to think about those winter jackets.
V: This collection is a great collection because it is the amalgamation of sportswear and ready-to-wear in one. Why was now the perfect time to bring these categories together for a cohesive story?
NL: This is my first winter collection for J. Lindeberg. So when I came to the brand, everyone was designing differently [categories] and I really wanted to open it up and design the whole collection as a unit. So I sat down with the design team who are fantastic people, and so, so talented. I said, ‘OK, let’s just do one concept, which will cross golf, skiing, racquetball and fashion. And then we’ll work on color palettes, patterns and prints that all match.’ The same color stories that you’re getting in skiing are also happening in fashion, because my ultimate goal was to cross all these looks because now, with the way we dress, we don’t specifically go out and buy things for golf.
V: This is fair.
NL: The idea of being able to mix and match what we have in a collection, bring it together from a color perspective and put it into our designs and our print stories is really appealing [itself to me]. This collection is like his culmination. You’ll see at the show, these looks are completely crossing fashion and sports, and basically, that’s what the brand is – the connection between fashion and sports. We are a brand of contrast. We’re going to New York and Stockholm at the same time, which is kind of mental.
V: I like that you touched on not separating the two, because everyone, in some form of fashion, is regularly dressed in sportswear with their day and evening clothes.
NL: I just think it’s a bit difficult to go to a brand and buy that total [sport] look. You can go buy some leggings or whatever, and then get a great blazer. But then you think ‘I want to go to the office in those leggings’. There are some small brands that are pushing that kind of aesthetic as well.
V: But what’s in between?
NL: Exactly. I think we want to present functional fashion from a new perspective. The colors and the prints and the way we are building these collections together is exciting.
V: How many total views will the collection bring?
NL: We have made 40 views. It makes me smile when I think about it. We’re breaking out of our lockdown and the euphoria of being able to go out and do things and get dressed again is gaining more importance. It’s really nice to be able to have a sports brand, where we have these sporty colors and energy, and then combine that with fashion tailoring. That connection, that tension is really exciting to me.
V: It’s almost a reflection of where we are in life right now, which is interesting because everyone was stuck in loungewear and sportswear, just being at home. And now, I don’t think anyone is willing to sacrifice their comfort anymore. Out of all the looks, which is your personal favorite from the collection that stuck out to you?
NL: What’s really cool is that we made these ski jackets and they tell a story because of the pattern on them. We have changed the logo [pattern] so there’s a lot of movement in it. When we looked at his design work, we’re like ‘okay, how do things work in the body when you hit a golf ball or you’re skiing?’ So we’ve applied this kind of movement to the model which is really interesting because it gives us such energy. The ski jacket is designed so that you can lock all the functionality into it. So you can wear it in the city like a regular jacket. It has the feel, the warmth, the technique, but you can take that jacket and hit the slopes in it.
Kevin Ponce it’s VS ‘ Digital and beauty editor.
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Credits: All images courtesy of J. Lindeberg