J. Lindeberg founder Johan Lindeberg has parted ways with the company, where he had held the title of independent creative director since its 2007 buyout by Swedish investment firm Proventus, and he and his wife Marcella are gearing up to launch a new men’s and women’s label.
J. Lindeberg now is designed by Pierangelo D’Agostin, the former head designer and right hand of Jil Sander. He was hired as design director in January, and Lindeberg was cited as creative director in the press release, although he now says he was not involved in the selection process.
Chief executive officer Stefan Engstrom, who along with Proventus owns a controlling stake in the company, confirmed Lindeberg has been gone “since earlier this year.” D’Agostin designed the spring 2010 collections, Engstrom said.
Lindeberg remains a shareholder in the Stockholm-based company, which he founded in 1996. It has annual revenues of about 30 million euros, or $42 million at current exchange.
“It has taken a while to make the decision to leave a brand that has been associated with me as it started out as a extension of my personal interest and lifestyle,” said Lindeberg. “I have not been very involved during the last two years, and I see the 10-year anniversary collection for fall 2007 as my last complete collection for J. Lindeberg.”
After that collection, the designer actively recruited Engstrom and Proventus to buy the company because he was butting heads with the previous owners — other Swedish investors — and said he was afraid of losing control of his name like Roland Mouret and Helmut Lang. One of his grievances was the dismantling of the women’s business designed by his wife. After the buyout, Lindeberg said women’s wear would return for fall 2009. That didn’t happen.
Meanwhile, the couple moved with their daughter to New York and Los Angeles, and launched a design consultancy that came to be called Paris68. Justin Timberlake’s William Rast brand became a high-profile client.
And now they have plans to launch a women’s and men’s designer collection called Paris68 for fall 2010. It will be mostly produced in Italy and will include bespoke pieces for both genders that will be developed in New York.
“Paris68 the brand is going to be our personal workshop where we can express our true luxury aesthetic. The brand is going to be modern and confident,” he said.
Women’s wear, Marcella’s domain, will include “crafty” handmade knitwear, cocktail dresses, gowns, sculpted tailoring and leather jackets. Embellishments, embroidery and patchwork will be key.
Men’s wear will be focused on made-to-measure tailoring. (J. Lindeberg made its name with modern tailoring with a rock ’n’ roll edge.) Tailoring will be complemented by leather jackets and high-end denim.
“There are no conflicts between myself and J. Lindeberg. I only have the greatest respect and relationship with Daniel Sachs, the chairman of J. Lindeberg,” he said. “I have decided to leave as I want to focus on Paris68 and the infinite opportunity this will bring me in the future.”