German-born, self-taught designer with background of fashion and sports design. Striving to fuse functional features and fabrics with fashion aesthetic and detail.
THE WERNER STORY
I had a short career as a caddie, when I was 12, for a family friend in a tournament in Austria. I remember being surrounded by argyle sweaters. I liked the sport, but I wasn’t so inspired by the clothes I saw around it. I focused more on other sports instead, playing volleyball professionally in Germany, and went on to become a designer. I started my design career at Adidas where I was challenged and inspired to merge sport function with fashion.
I hadn’t thought much about that first experience in golf, until recently, I realize now that it has stayed with me. I want to make clothes for golf that are modern and forward in fashion, as well as modern in performance needs with functional detail and innovation. I first worked on golf-specific fashion at Tory Burch’s Sport line in New York. It’s a women’s only line, and our focus was to make women golfers look and feel more feminine, while still providing functionality. I also learned a lot about the market and lifestyle in the US while there.
I joined J.Lindeberg in October 2016, and my focus has been to re-emphasize the DNA of the brand. I worked closely with the founder Johan Lindeberg, especially during the first months, to gain insights and inspiration about the brand, where it came from and why, what it has stood for. The current collection, Spring / Summer 2018 is the first of my new efforts.
You wake up in the morning — what’s the driving passion?
My drive is to create, to inspire, to find new solutions. And with great people around me.
What separates J. Lindeberg from your competition?
That J.Lindeberg launched with both sport and fashion is the core of our unique position. We make credible and functional golf product, but always coming from a fashion perspective. It’s sharp, almost tailored fits; bold and daring color, detail, and the most innovative fabrics.
Describe who the J. Lindeberg customer is.
The JL customer is confident, modern, a bit daring and edgy, an open, youthful spirit, an individual – not a follower.
What has the European influence brought to fashion in golf?
The European slim fit has made a big impact in golf fashion.
The primary focus of your effort in the States will be what areas in order of priority — green grass shops, online sales, brick and mortar locations?
We have potential to grow with all channels, especially now that we are refreshing our approach. In terms of new accounts, our main focus now is to grow with high-end green-grass accounts. For other brick and mortar and e-com channels, most of the efforts is to grow with existing accounts, through more marketing and closer cooperation.
Many companies tout their ability to execute customer service at a very high level. Define the term “customer service” and the approach taken by J. Lindeberg.
Customer Service means being easy to do business with. For business partners and for consumers. A personal approach, a clear identity – from how we do product, the values we portray, how we work and function as a business.
You can change one thing in golf unilaterally — what would it be and why?
I wish it to be more open and easy to get in to, less rules and restrictions.
Biggest mistake men make when making apparel choices is what?
I think men should be more open and playful in their wardrobes. Dare to switch it up from the norm. It’s modern and confident. Color is a great way to do this.
Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from?
The first idea you have is usually the best one. We often overthink and overcomplicate things, when we should listen to our first intuition. My dad gave me this advice and I still carry it with me today.
Short and long term challenges facing J. Lindeberg is what?
The retail landscape is changing rapidly. Brands need to have clear identity, reason for being, and way of storytelling – much more than before. This includes integration of digital marketing and sales with physical stores. We have a clear brand and relevancy today, coming from Sport-Fashion — the challenge is to “own” that, build on that, to get the story out, in product and content, in an increasingly more engaging way.
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