On Wednesday morning in Stockholm, Johan Lindeberg will walk into the J.Lindeberg offices for the first time as he prepares to return to the brand he founded in 1996.
“It’s going to be very emotional,” he told WWD.
Today, J.Lindeberg will reveal that Lindeberg has been named creative consultant of the fashion and golfwear brand, which is owned by chief executive officer Stefan Engström, as well as Dan Friis, Allan Warburg and Anders Hoch Paulsen.
The former marketing director of Renzo Rosso’s Diesel brand, Lindeberg left Diesel in 1996 to form J.Lindeberg, among the first collections to bring a designer’s sensibilities to golfwear. In 2007, he left to join Justin Timberlake to become creative director at Timberlake’s William Rast brand just as the premium denim market was blossoming.
In 2010, he founded BLK DNM, a denim and sportswear line he exited earlier this year.
“I left J.Lindeberg in 2007 and never thought this would happen,” Lindeberg said. “But the ceo called me in June at my house in Williamsburg and asked me to consider rejoining. And I said, ‘Wow.'”
Lindeberg said he has never felt “nostalgic or bitter” after leaving the brand since he “loves life and developing new things. And it’s never easy to go back. But it just made sense and was a natural.” In addition to his other forays into apparel, Lindeberg has become a photographer, a skill he will use in his new role to “bring a voice” to the J.Lindeberg offering.
He said his first collection will be for fall 2017, which will mark 20 years since the line debuted. “It will be an anniversary collection.” He said he will focus his attention on developing the women’s collection, which has a very small presence. “In BLK DNM, women’s was very important and my biggest challenge will be to develop women’s for J.Lindeberg.”
J.Lindeberg has worldwide volume of around $90 million. It is distributed in more than 950 stores in 35 countries and there are close to 90 J.Lindeberg stores and 35 in-store shops in cities including Munich, Stockholm, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Hong Kong. In addition to its fashion collection , J.Lindeberg also has a golf line as well as a ski line.
The company said Jessy Heuvelink will continue to serve as head of design for the fashion collections.
Lindeberg said at this point, he’s not sure how involved he will be in the design of each of the collections, saying that today will be his first day. But he said he will work closely with Engström on “taking the brand to the next level.”
He said he has signed a two-year contract with the brand and is eager to get started. “I hope this is going to be a good comeback story,” he said.