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Two men at the helm of the iconic Scandinavian tailoring brand are talking brand expansion, new campaign language and an upcoming shop-in-shop at Selfridges in London.
Oscar Jacobson has done a lot to change the perception of the brand in the last decade, establishing the century-old label into a Swedish go-to brand for premium tailoring with a modern look. While the focus has been on the Nordic market, new owners and management are now ready to take the brand global. Last year saw the introduction of two new operatives at the helm of the brand. First, David Thunmarker joined as the brand’s CEO, after having left the same spot at fellow tailoring brand, Tiger of Sweden.
— I fell in love with the Oscar Jacobson brand with its 115 years of heritage, strong commitment to product quality and relentless focus on exceptional fits regardless of product, says David Thunmarker.
— I have a passion for menswear and the role style plays in our lives of today and tomorrow. It is an honour to be part of the evolution of the Oscar Jacobson brand being the modern voice of classic elegance and influencing men in their lives. It’s all about passion, just as all great gigs I have attended so far in life, he continues, with a clear nod to Tiger of Sweden, a company he managed to double the turnover for during his eight years as CEO.
After David, Gustaf Törling joined as Chief Brand Officer, moving back to Sweden after a few years in New York, where he had worked for both boutique agencies and global conglomerates. ”I believe that my Americanized way of thinking mixed with my Swedish heritage gives me an edge that works well here.” Part of the Oscar Jacobson evolution is a new campaign language, premiering with the SS19 story, which Gustaf is responsible for.
— My aim is to create a world for Oscar Jacobson, his universe, says Gustaf.
— In today’s fast-paced world I want to slow down and allow ourselves and our consumers to stop and experience, to actually feel something. It’s been important in my creative work for Oscar Jacobson whether it’s a new retail experience, our digital presence or a classic campaign, to think about the brand in a new way and to ask myself; Who is Oscar Jacobson? How do we tell our story, and maybe even more importantly — how do we create a new one?
Tell us about the campaign!
— One of my favourite photographers, Sean Thomas, flew in to Stockholm to shoot it with us. Robert Rydberg is our stylist, which I’m also very happy about. I love his energy, his eye and his way of working with men. I’m also extremely excited about our model, Luke Elliot. Luke is a suave rockstar from NYC, a young Nick Cave who loves our product and will be our first real ambassador. He personalises the new world of Oscar Jacobson with his sense of style, his skill in his craft and ooze of cool. He doesn’t give a shit, but he does... you know? To me, he is the perfect OJ ambassador.
The campaign clearly has another feel compared to your former lookbook style shoots.
— I wanted it to have a cinematic aspect. We created a story about a man and his woman, arriving to their great estate to open it for the season. It was important to create a feeling of mystery, almost like a trailer for a great movie I’d love to see. I want to move away from the typical lookbook campaign that everyone seems to be doing and instead invite you to peek into our world, to create something I care about.
What are your long term goals with the brand, Gustaf?
— The Oscar Jacobson experience should be one of inspiration and of desire, a brand that fulfills what you want as a man. That’s it.
Like many brands, Oscar Jacobson is balancing wholesale, e-commerce and its own retail outlets. Talking about the subject, CEO David Thunmarker says:
— The only important ”platform” is our end consumer and how he or she wants to explore, experience and purchase Oscar Jacobson. We are following our end consumers needs, that is our only compass to follow, regardless of retail landscape. Today, that means meeting and serving the conscious modern man both in physical and digital environments depending on occasion, needs and time.
Both David and Gustaf are particularly excited about the brand’s next step, a shop-in-shop at Selfridges London.
— The space is designed by us and Andreas Bozarth Fornell, says Gustaf. I’m so happy to be working with Andreas and to create the OJ world not only in our communication but also in our physical space, creating the 360 experience that I believe is needed to build a brand that’s in it for the long run. OJ is a brand that deserves a spot on the world stage, and I’m really excited about the opportunity to put us there!
What are we seeing for developments in the AW19 collection?
— The collection is an incredible mix of suiting, knitted pieces, and patterns, says Gustaf. It really is the perfect wardrobe for a man that is suave, eclectic, confident but still casually relaxed. Honestly, I love it... Already stole a bunch of pieces for my own wardrobe. Don’t tell.
Oscarjacobson.comTiger of Sweden