Every so often, a brand comes along (especially in the menswear space) that mixes functionality, utility, impeccable tailoring, and a design ethos in a way that seems to resonate with….men. The result is something a little bit sporty, a little bit fitted, and ever so sexy. Since its launch in 2011, Ron Dorff has done just that by exhibiting a mix of Swedish sensibility and French sexiness coming from its founders, Claus Lindorff and Jérôme Touron. Before launching his own label, Lindorff spent time working for both Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton, where he learned that above all, one should never forget the brand’s origin – a thought that is evident in every stitch of Ron Dorff’s creations. Here, Lindorff takes us through his innate philosophy and why Ron Dorff is here to stay.
In 2011, you launched Ron Dorff, mainly because you had difficulties finding classic, well-cut sportswear for men. Your first collection was a tightly edited one – taking inspiration from the '70s and early '80s. From launching your first collection until now, what have you learned about building a brand?
Having spent 15 years in luxury and fashion advertising has obviously helped a lot. Most important is realizing the importance of consistency and always respecting the brand DNA in everything you do. Once you’ve lost it, it is difficult to get back on track. Another important ingredient is to be honest and make sure there is a true meaning to whatever you do with the brand.
The Ron Dorff DNA is a very precise one – what do you feel is the DNA of the brand?
Ron Dorff stands for a sportswear upgrade offering everything a man needs before, during, and after sport, combining Swedish functionality with French style. Nothing more, nothing less.
In a cluttered space, you’ve managed to stand out. What do you think sets you apart from other brands?
Simplicity, functionality, and consistency, spiced with some good old sexiness.
Who, in your mind, is the epitome of the Ron Dorff guy?
Steve McQueen. To me he is the incarnation of timeless, sporty, masculine elegance.
As the brand continues to evolve, where do you see it going? Where do you want to take it?
The US has over the last year become our biggest online market, ahead of France (our home market), the UK, and Germany. We have seen a lot of traction lately from the States and notably from New York and Los Angeles, and this is why we have decided to open our sixth flagship store (after Paris, London and Berlin) in New York in February of next year. A second US store will follow a couple of months later in Los Angeles.
Besides clothing, you’ve dipped into experiences, grooming products, and collaborations. What other product categories do you want to explore?
We’re launching our first fragrance next year together with the US company Edge Beauty. It will be followed quickly by a hydro care line and a female fragrance under the Ron Dorff His for Her label. Based on our Skin Discipline body care line, we are also working on a hotel series which will launch at Jackie O’s new luxury hotel opening next year in Mykonos.
There’s something about your slogans that are catchy – but very appropriate. How do you come up with these?
We always try to come up with a slogan or word that can be interpreted in several different ways and with a hint of humor here and there. We also try to make them clever, for example using palindromes or anagrams. You would never see a slogan like ‘Fuck Yoga’ on a Ron Dorff sweatshirt!
If I were to look inside your closet, what would I find?
Five suits, one smoking jacket, a line of white shirts, navy and black Ron Dorff t-shirts, and dusty pink and khaki Ron Dorff Y-fronts. And on the floor, tons of sneakers.