CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF JACK & JONES
From a fashion show in Norway to BESTSELLER’s largest brand in the space of three decades, JACK & JONES’ story is one worth telling. To mark JACK & JONES 30th anniversary, a number of colleagues have shared their personal Denim Brotherhood journey.
On Friday, JACK & JONES hosted the brand’s 30th birthday party at their head office in Brande. JACK & JONES HQ was transformed into a physical trip down memory lane featuring highlights from throughout the brand’s history.
JACK & JONES began in 1990. A small group of guys from BESTSELLER with a passion for denim launched their first collection at Oslo Fashion Week. No one could have predicted the subsequent ripple effect.
Anders Gam, Brand Director at JACK & JONES, has been involved since day one.
“I was just 24 years old when I was given the task to help build up JACK & JONES,” Anders says.
“I came from another textile company, but I had never experienced such pace and entrepreneurial spirit that was present at BESTSELLER. We were only a handful of people back then, so we all rolled up our sleeves wherever it was needed, and that was every day!”
The people make the place
Rapid growth followed. After opening the first JACK & JONES store in Trondheim, Norway, in 1990, JACK & JONES reached 100 stores within eight years. That number has now surpassed 900 retail stores and thousands of wholesale customers and partners around the world. Every year more than 6 million pairs of JACK & JONES jeans are sold worldwide.
Ciaran Kelly is a key driver of those sales. Ciaran is JACK & JONES International Sales Manager for Jeans and has been a ‘Brother of Denim’ for 18 years. He first joined JACK & JONES while studying in his homeland of Ireland when he got a job at a JACK & JONES store in Dublin and he hasn’t looked back.
“It’s the people that make the place and that’s the best part of JACK & JONES,” Ciaran says.
“The drive to innovate and develop is in our DNA and it never stops. You don’t have dull days here. Every day, we challenge each other to be better at what we do. And we have a lot of fun doing it.”
Passionate about denim
That fundamental passion for denim, which was the inspiration to start JACK & JONES, continues to resonate.
Nicolai Ulrik Thorup is JACK & JONES’ Brand Buying Manager for Jeans and he feels privileged to be able to combine his work with his passion.
“I’ve been with JACK & JONES for 18 years. Fairly quickly, I started working with denim and instantly fell in love with the material. The way it has a life of its own, how it ages on you and takes on new traits,” Nicolai says.
“I get to follow the process of a collection from strategy to execution, which is super inspiring. It’s all about making the right sales strategy and price structure to stand as strong towards our customers as possible.”
But JACK & JONES’ story is not only defined by those who have been involved for many years. New chapters are being written all the time by fresh faces eager to make their mark. Like BESTSELLER in general, JACK & JONES has always been interested in giving young talents space to grow.
Cynthia Raissa Mbembel is one of JACK & JONES’ denim dealers in Italy. She started with JACK & JONES almost three years ago, although she has only been in her current position for 12 months.
“It’s been one hell of a ride,” Cynthia says.
“As denim dealers, we get to know all the secrets to a perfect pair of jeans, learn how to deal with different personalities by working and sharing topics with them. And as a bonus, we travel and experience unique things. It’s the perfect job, if you ask me.”
It is this energetic attitude that keeps JACK & JONES going, according to Anders Gam.
“Even after 30 years, it feels like we’re just at the beginning of our journey. There are still possibilities out there and so many things to do even better. We’re always on the lookout for new opportunities. We’re curious and never afraid of walking that extra mile to see what’s around the next corner,” he says.
“Maybe now after the first 30 years, we will still find new initiatives? Let’s hope so, because we’re very hungry and full of energy for adventures.”