Henrik Lundqvist, the goalie for the NHL’s New York Rangers, has entered into a partnership with Swedish men’s underwear and bodywear brand Bread & Boxers.
This story first appeared in the January 2, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Lundqvist — who has been hailed by Vanity Fair magazine as one of the top five best-dressed men and as one of the most stylish athletes by GQ magazine — will collaborate with the brand’s owners Alexander Palmgren and Henrik Lindahl on a seasonal basis to create capsule collections and special editions. He will also appear as the face of the brand in visual imagery for advertising and marketing campaigns and on select packaging for a series of “Lundqvist’s Favorites.”
Lundqvist said he is pleased “to move into the creative side of fashion, where ideas and personal style come to life.
“I always wanted to be involved in building a brand, but the right opportunity hadn’t presented itself until now. The line is beautiful and comfortable — essential, really — which is what attracted me to Bread & Boxers. I wore the products and loved them. It’s that simple,” said Lundqvist. “The Bread & Boxers collection is both basic and essential, and styled with a clean, Swedish aesthetic, so the pieces are perfect for me whether I’m traveling city-to-city for hockey, or just enjoying my time in New York City. Sport and style are both important aspects of my lifestyle.”
He further noted that he “loves the hand-feel of the fabric, and the tailored fit and classic styling. There’s really not just one factor.…Bread & Boxers is more about all key components creating a perfect piece of bodywear.”
Lundqvist’s favorite items are the boxer brief and two crewneck T-shirts — a fitted style with a bit of elastane, and a relaxed-fit style of 100 percent organic cotton.
“I love that I can wear the Ts with jeans and look finished,” he added.
Regarding the ad campaign, Lundqvist commented, “The campaign was shot in Gothenburg, my hometown, so my feelings for southwest Sweden run deep. The vignettes show a lot of waterfront imagery.…It’s a genuine depiction of the surroundings, and the product is set against a quiet, tranquil background. For this campaign, we wanted to evoke my lifestyle back home.”
It’s no coincidence that Lundqvist, known as “Hank” to his friends, decided to team up with Bread & Boxers.
Lundqvist and Palmgren, the brand’s chief executive officer, are friends from Gothenburg, where they both grew up.
“Knowing Hank for many years, I’ve been fascinated by his ability to move between different worlds yet stay true to his values and heritage,” said Palmgren. “He’s a successful athlete, living a high life in New York, yet he still appreciates the small but pleasurable things in life. Hank represents the essence of Bread & Boxers.”
Creative director Lindahl noted, “Lundqvist always has a positive aura that makes people feel good. Of course, his sense for fashion makes him extra relevant, but to me, his way of enjoying life is even more inspiring.”
The Bread & Boxers brand was created by Palmgren and Lindahl in 2008 after their luggage had been lost, and the only clothing they had was what they were wearing. As a result, the two entrepreneurs envisioned a line of premium bodywear that would be an extension of a hotel minibar — a practical option for light travelers or for emergencies.
The collection includes boxer briefs, T-shirts, tank tops and socks.
In 2012, a licensing pact was signed with United Legwear Co. LLC to be the brand’s distributor and marketer in the U.S. and Canada.
Isaac E. Ash, president and ceo of ULC, said he sees “great growth potential” from the Lundqvist partnership.
“Henrik Lundqvist’s involvement in the brand is a natural, synergistic partnership, given his Swedish heritage and style,” said Ash.