1970s design inspires David Thulstrup’s retail vision for J.Lindeberg
In the past year, Swedish clothing brand J.Lindeberg has been undergoing an evolution. Leading this new direction, that bridges sports and fashion products in a nod to the brand’s roots, is its recently-appointed creative director Jens Werner, who says that his aim is to redefine the international brand’s rich sports fashion history.
With this renewed focus, Werner decided it was also high time to overhaul the brand’s retail outlets too, and so enlisted Danish designer David Thulstrup. Together, they set out to create a clear and distinctive design concept to be implemented across J.Lindeberg’s retail stores and in-shop concessions, starting with the flagship in Stockholm.
Photography: Irina Boersma
Having worked under French architect Jean Nouvel in Paris and the American architect Peter Marino in New York City before setting up his own studio in 2009, Copenhagen-based Thulstrup is no stranger to dreaming up interiors for luxury fashion brands – his other most recent store interior was a Copenhagen flagship for fashion designer Mark Kenly Domino Tan.
For J.Lindeberg, Thulstrup’s starting point was to look into the brand’s past. ‘The project took time – more than a year – but I had some clear features in my mind,’ he says. ‘I wanted it to be futuristic but with strong references to the 1970s and techy and warm at the same time. These ideas, along with their logo, called the Bridge, were the starting point of the project.’
A neutral palette of materials such as concrete and platane wood was drawn together to conjure a luxurious yet sporty ambience, while a splash of pale yellow on flocked panels at the rear of the store picks up J.Lindeberg’s signature colour.
‘Because J.Lindeberg is inspired by the 1970s, I referenced that period in colours, textiles and patterns,’ says Thulstrup. ‘So there’s a geometric play of curves and straight lines overlaid with a strong graphic element that is repetitive and rather like some of the patterns in the clothing.’
Polished concrete lines the floor while a concrete effect on the walls contrasts with softer finishes such as the flock-textured walls and the warm-toned platane wood. Curved and straight metal clothing racks are used alongside fibreglass panels to divide the space and guide customers through the collections. Thulstrup describes the result as ‘relaxed luxury’ rather than Scandinavian minimalism.
‘I’m taking references from J. Lindeberg’s DNA and making them current and contemporary,’ he says. ‘But, as I always like to do, there’s something familiar in the materiality or the repetition you can relate to and which, therefore, creates an emotional connection.’
More than just a store for retail operations, the new space located on Stockholm’s Biblioteksgatan, has been conceived by Werner and Thulstrup as a flexible and multi-purpose space that they liken to a gallery that can be used for events and other activities.
‘Nowadays stores, showrooms and shops are the new art-galleries; they need to captivate the customers, make them live an impressive real-life experience, which accomplishes and integrates the on-line shopping,’ concludes Thulstrup. ‘That is what the client needs, and why I always experiment with new solutions.’
Jens Werner agrees: ‘The re-making of the store is in a way the starting point of the new future for J.Lindeberg. The new flagship store is not just a store, it is a multi-purpose space where we can experiment and try new things out and let our customers play an important role.’ §