ORLANDO, Fla. – When Johan Lindeberg created the popular J. Lindeberg line of golf apparel and belts in 1996, his use of bright colors, slimmer cuts, and big, brash logoed-belts brought element of high fashion to golfwear that sparked an evolution to a game used to conservative dress.
“It was a space ship when it came out,” Lindeberg said. “Everyone was laughing but now even Phil Mickelson wears a slimmer shirt, fitted at the shoulders. That was my style.”
But the Swede hasn’t been associated with his namesake J. Lindeberg brand since 2007. This, he says, is barely known even by those inside the golf business, but isn’t that uncommon in the fashion space. He ticked off other fashion designers where the brand’s namesake no long played a role in current designs including Helmut Lang, Jill Sanders and Yves Saint Laurent. In the golf space, it is comparable to Roger Cleveland or Guerin Rife no longer being affiliated with brands carrying their names.
Lindeberg has re-entered the golf space not as an owner and designer, but rather as a brand ambassador for British apparel company, Wolsey, maker of modern, sophisticated high-performance sportswear with a “less-is-more” aesthetic. In his role, Lindeberg is helping shape the direction of the golf collection. The brand is re-entering the golf space this year, but its roots in the sport run deep. During its heyday in golf, Tony Jacklin, Peter Alliss and David Feherty all wore the Wolsey brand. The company is trying to recapture a bit of its past by using English golfers Robert Rock, Tom Lewis and James Heath as its new wave of brand ambassadors in professional golf.
Lindeberg’s involvement makes sense given that Wolsey’s owner is also a partner in Lindeberg’s three-year-old fashion line called BLK DNM. What is Lindeberg’s vision for Wolsey? It’s time for a more chic, sophisticated look in golf, he said.
“It’s time for golf fashion to change again,” Lindeberg said.