First of all congratulations on the 30th anniversary of Jack & Jones. You have been with the company since its beginnings. What is the most memorable experience at Jack & Jones during this period for you?
Thank you very much. What I think of as the most memorable of my 30 years at Jack & Jones is actually still the same today. It is getting to work every day and feeling the entrepreneurial spirit, energy and enthusiasm of everybody on the team. That unique feeling of a lot of competent people, who are also great colleagues and friends, working positively towards the same goal at a high pace is without a doubt the greatest thing of working at Jack & Jones–now and then.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
What stand out the most to me is my colleagues and all the people I’ve been so fortunate to meet during the years. Our team here is quite unique and the culture oozes winner mentality. There is a young and fast moving spirit in our company, so it’s a never-ending and exiting journey.
Moreover, to be a part of a privately owned company gives a rare freedom and a feeling of being a part of a bigger family, and that is also something that I highly value in my daily work.
Jack & Jones 30 years anniversary group picture
The first Jack & Jones collection was launched at Fashion Week in Oslo in 1990. Can you still remember the feeling you had at the fair and the feedback from the visitors?
I remember it as it were yesterday: The exiting feeling of actually meeting customers and selling the collection we’ve created. We had no idea how the collection would be received–we were quite amateurs back then compared to now, but we came with a humble attitude and I think that opened many doors for us.
What made Jack & Jones different from other denim brands back then?
Back then there was a tendency for brands or designers to dictate what the customers should buy or what trends were the most important. But we handled it differently. We turned it upside down and instead we asked our customers and consumers what they needed, and we listened to the demands out in the markets. Thereby we quickly adjusted our collections to be market specific, because the needs and demands in for example Spain are different from the needs and demands in Norway. I think we were kind of first movers in listening carefully to our customers.
Jack & Jones storefront
And what distinguishes the brand from other denim brands today?
The answer consists of multiple components. First of all, we are craftsmen. Craftsmen in terms of product, being dedicated to innovation and development of good, honest products–especially jeans. But also, craftsmen in terms of solid business acumen and a no-nonsense attitude. We have a very simple and direct way of thinking and working in our company, and our culture is very flat in its structure. We work as one team and we stand together. We listen to the markets and to our customers and we consider both our customers and our manufacturers as partners. We are quite pragmatic, and we are fast in adapting to markets, demands and trends because we dare to trust our intuition. Furthermore, we have a very strong culture within our company. It’s the people that defines the brand. We consider ourselves as more than a team of employees–we’re a brotherhood, a family. Our organization is flat and informal, and we have fun with each other both inside and outside the company walls. We are friends, but we also work hard–I don’t think you can find a more dedicated team than us.
Jack & Jones headquarters in Brande/Denmark
The development from the first own store in 1990 and 100 more stores within eight years is enormous. How do you explain this success?
I think the recipe on our fast growth journey we’ve had over the years is quite simple. We listen carefully to the consumers and make easily relatable products for an honest and fair price.
What does the retail of the future look like for you? Will there still be stationary stores in 30 years?
We believe in a future with retail, but naturally e-commerce and social selling is an undeniably big part of it.
How important is the online business for Jack & Jones and how has it developed throughout the years? Thirty years ago the phrase “social media” did not even exist. Today it is unimaginable to imagine life without it. How important are social media activities for Jack & Jones?
The last five years our e-commerce platforms have grown tremendously. We see our online business as multiple platforms with our own e-commerce and partners as well. Our social platforms are very important for us. We use it both commercially but also it’s the platforms which allow us to directly connect with our consumers. So we get a lot of valuable insights and knowledge. Moreover we can share messages and communicate with our community in eye-level. I believe that within the next couple of years we will see a huge development in the current platforms and new ones will occur as well.
Jack & Jones collection, image picture
You have already had some collaboration with musicians and athletes. How important are these collaborations for Jack & Jones and which collaborations can we expect in the future?
We have a history of trusting young talents and their ability to strive for success and bring constant progress into the business. We often compare ourselves to athletes and it is no coincidence that we have a history of partnering up with young sports talents. It’s young people who work hard and are passionate about their sport. It’s the same we strive for in our company. The Danish Olympic Team will be wearing Jack & Jones garments during the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.
How does Jack & Jones celebrate its 30th anniversary?
We celebrate our anniversary in multiple ways. First of all, we have decorated our HQ in Brande with pictures, old marketing materials and products from the first collections–so it’s a trip down memory lane.
The entire month of September all our platforms and offline and online channels have been showcasing our 30 years campaign. Moreover, we’ve created a video which celebrates brotherhood. It’s a tribute to all different kinds of brotherhoods out there and it underlines our values as a brand.
Jack & Jones Lab
After 30 years with Jack & Jones. How would you describe your company in three words?
– Winner mentality
– Keep it real
– Young and social spirit
What is the future of denim production?
The future is to find a way to create jeans in an even more sustainable way. We will have to find ways to bring down the impact connected with virgin production in terms of raw materials, dyeing and washing. We are continuously working on finding ways to increase the recyclability and to close the loop of the product lifecycle. For example by changing the denim fabric compositions to be blends of recycled fibers and alternatives to cotton like e.g. fibers made from eucalyptus trees, hemp, coffee beans etc. The key will be to create biodegradable compositions to secure that each product can be recycled and renewed into new amazing products. It is an extremely interesting challenge, which we believe Jack & Jones is capable of tackling thanks to our 30 yearlong know-how and supplier partnerships.
What are the major trend themes in the denim sector for 2021?
A key word is comfort. 2020 changed our behaviors due to the drastic change in the way we work, travel, commute etc. This change has increased the focus to stay comfortable. This will be reflected in a tendency in fits being wider/looser, fabrics being softer/smoother and even more stretchy.
Another major trend theme is authenticity. We see a huge trend in washes being more authentic. Real denim is really coming back, but in a 2021 version which is more comfortable than ever.
The third major trend is of course sustainability. Decreasing our footprint has been our focus for many years and is extremely important more than ever.