Exploring the business of fashion in the sports industry with Abacus Sportswear a Swedish technical clothing brand that pioneered high-performance stretch waterproof fabric more than 10 years ago.
The company was founded in 1991 by Sven-Olof Karlsson and Ingrid Lindgren-Wachtmeister, two golf clothing sales agents who identified a gap in the market for stylish and functional golf clothing – the cornerstones of abacus®. The pair’s first full collection was unveiled in 1999, which was created with the help of Chris Mattsson, a sports clothing designer who has become the company’s head designer.
In terms of sportswear is it difficult to find a balance between fashion and sporting practicality? The essence of the abacus® brand is to create stylish and functional golf clothing, therefore we don’t find it difficult to balance fashion and sporting practicality - it comes naturally to us. At Abacus Sportswear, we aim to find the best materials for the different functional purposes golfers require – breathability, stretchability, waterproofness, protection against harmful UV rays, etc. Further we design garments that, given the different fabrics and materials, will always allow for complete freedom of movement on the course and are comfortable to wear off the course.
How did Abacus Sportswear enter the golfing market and become a global leader in fashionable sportswear? Abacus Sportswear first entered the golfing market as an outerwear brand, providing an alternative to the bulky and unflattering rainwear garments that were being sold at the time. Sven-Olof Karlsson and Ingrid Lindgren-Wachtmeister believed that when you have function in your garments, you can still look good – generating the company’s ‘Function, Design and Quality’ ethos. The founders’ rich background in golf clothing provided Abacus Sportswear with the foundations to build on its outerwear success and become an important golfing brand that offered more than just waterproofs. Over the years, abacus® has managed to grow its presence globally thanks to its simple ethos of creating smart functional clothes for active golfers.
What research goes into managing such a unique concept of golfing fashion? Inspiration for the brand’s collections comes from a variety of sources. However, the brand’s focus is purely on golf, always putting the needs of the golfer first. At Abacus Sportswear, we believe that if golfers look and feel their best, they are more likely to perform with confidence and play their best too. Although our clothes can be used both on and off the course, we aim to create garments that provide ‘Freedom of Golf’ – i.e. we think of everything, all the golfers need to do is focus on their game.
What are the sort of individuals that Abacus Sportswear looks for in terms of employees and talent? An abacus® employee is someone who is open-minded, skilled and active, with a passion for their work and golf!
What are the future goals for Abacus Sportswear? Continuing to grow abacus® into an internationally recognised golfing brand – and a leader in the outerwear space – is at the core of our company strategy. We also aim to build our relationships with the industry’s leading players, including The European Tour, The Asian Tour and The Ladies European Tour, as well as the game’s elite amateur golfers and national teams, such as England Golf, Deutscher Golf Verband, Dansk Golf Union and Norges Golfforbund.
About: find out more about Abacus Sportswear: abacussportswear.com. Connect with abacus® on Twitter or on Facebook