GSL began with just one brand in its portfolio: Fred Perry. There were, of course, plenty of natural connections between Magnus Gustafsson and the legendary tennis brand, but there were no obvious reasons to expect success. Nevertheless, development of Fred Perry in Sweden far exceeded everyone’s expectations, and sales growth figures for Sweden were significantly higher than on the European market. One might wonder why that is. Obviously there is no simple answer. It might be about luck, or timing, or personal chemistry. Or it might be, as Fred Perry himself might have said, about harder work and more sweat than everyone else.
Fred Perry was the first British brand that managed to combine sport and fashion, and as a result create some of the most iconic garments and accessories we have seen over the past few decades. Take, for example, the sweatband, Fred Perry polo shirt, track jacket and the bowling bag.
It all began with a working class lad and tennis player, Fred Perry, who wasn’t allowed to accept his gold medal in front of the spectators when he won Wimbledon, because he wasn’t from the ‘right background’. Perry began his clothing line at the end of the 1940s, together with footballer, Tibby Wegner. Their tennis wear quickly gained popularity among players in Britain, and in 1952 they launched what was to become Fred Perry’s most famous garment: a slim-fitting, pique cotton polo shirt embroidered with the same laurel wreath symbol that was on Perry’s Wimbledon medal.
Fred Perry then demonstrated that he was a good businessman, by handing out polo shirts to the most successful players and reporters during tournaments. Perry gained enormous exposure for his products and when he managed to convince the players to sell the products in their home countries, he obtained his first distributors, and as a result an international business. As Fred Perry was considered to be the world’s best dressed sportsman, he even managed to get his politician and actor friends to use his products. Or as Perry preferred to describe his marketing methods, “I’d like to describe my style of marketing as a combination of friendship and bullshit”.
In the 1960s, the mods brought the Fred Perry polo shirt on to the streets, and to the people. These well-dressed young adults needed a shirt that you could ‘dance in all night long and still look good in on the way home’. Since then Fred Perry’s love affair with the British subcultures has continued. After the mods came the skinheads, suedeheads, soul boys, rude boys, two tone and even a short-lived subculture known as Perry Boys. When Britpop conquered the world in the 1990s, it was no surprise to see bands like Blur and Oasis wearing the brand.
Today the laurel wreath is recognisable everywhere, and Fred Perry has retailers in more than 50 countries around the world. The Fred Perry polo shirt is still manufactured to the same high standard and is synonymous with Britpop.
Although the Jim Rickey Crew is now known as the architects of one of the most vibrant brands in sportswear fashion, their beginnings were much more humble. Its members originally began working together as sales reps for other brands in the sneaker industry. Eventually, their friendship expanded and grew into their own sneaker project – Jim Rickey Handmade Sneakers (founded in 2006).
Today, under the direction of the two original founders, Henrik Standerth and Patrik Lakso Svensk, their brand is well established as a pioneer in sportswear fashion with creative collaboration between downtown artists and musicians.
The Jim Rickey mission is to continue at the forefront of the sport & high-end fashion footwear industry, involved in all stages of design, development, international distribution and retail.
Jim Rickey products never compromise on quality. They only use highly functional and durable materials to create beautifully finished products with an eye for detail. For example, you’ll find that the seams are as perfect as the top-quality finish. To ensure this high level of quality in the final item, producers submit at least five prototypes throughout various stages of creation – from the first prototype to the pre-production trial sample that precedes largescale production.
Jim Rickey products are made by a number of carefully selected producers in Europe and Asia. Quality and delivery reliability are just some of the important criteria the producers must meet, in addition to stringent environmental and responsible labour practises. Jim Rickey seeks and maintains long-term relationships with its producers – many of which go back numerous years with the company. The producers are located primarily in Asia, making it easier for suppliers to organize materials for production, optimize shipping and delivery, and reduce the impact on the
The Hudson brand was established in London and has become a favourite among many shoe connoisseurs. Quality design and attention to detail are the cornerstones of their philosophy. They are not afraid to experiment with new techniques and are always pushing the boundaries. Hudson cannot be imitated because the attention to detail makes them so unique. Hudson has grown over the past decade by sticking to their roots and ensuring that they are a footwear brand for the style-conscious, innovative and meticulous.
When the company began in 1990, the goal was to fill a gap in the shoe industry with affordable, innovative and high quality footwear. Impossible combination? Not for Hudson!
The brand began production in an Italian shoe factory that understood the art of making shoes. By working in Italy, Hudson has been able to make the most of the excess of leather and benefit from the genuine shoemaking knowledge available in the country. To this day, there is still a major focus on quality and a number of the models are handmade. The design team travel the globe and visit the factories regularly, in order to keep up to date with the latest material and construction trends. In 2004, Hudson launched their new H London brand, as the ‘cheeky younger brother’ to the ‘upstanding gentleman’ Hudson. This cool younger brother arrived at exactly the right time with their vintage, film and music inspired leather shoes, which were so popular, H London also started up a ladies range in 2008.
H London has fast become a celebrity favourite, with the likes of Sienna Miller, Agyness Deyn, Robbie Williams and Russell Brand photographed in their H London shoes going about their daily business. At the head office in Shoreditch London, they are up to date with the latest trends when it comes to fashion, film and music. This creative company does everything surrounding the brand from designing the shoes to styling the marketing images and blogging about the brand on their website.
Human Scales was co-founded in 2007 by Mikko Kämäräinen and Peter Ferber. Originally designed as an exclusive denim collection for NK in Stockholm, the concept behind the brand stems from their background as retailers in Sweden.
Having worked with famous as well as unknown and up-and-coming brands, they have proficiently acquired the know-how and inspiration to create something that reaches out and speaks powerfully and directly to their audience. The designs are timeless and the company strives to highlight the details in each garment, as well as putting a lot of focus on fit and high quality fabrics. The brand’s core products are tailored blazers and shirting in addition to leather jackets and shoes.
Human Scales work with some of the world’s leading fabric mills in Japan, Italy and Portugal and all items are handmade in Europe.
Human Scales is a brand with a lot of feeling, which can be seen from the unique look in their stores, at trade fairs, in showrooms and in their marketing material. Human Scales is located in over 80 stores in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, England, Ireland, Germany and Spain.
Eastpak is an American worldwide lifestyle brand founded in Boston, USA. Eastpak specialise in the design, development, manufacture and worldwide marketing and distribution of a range of products including bags, backpacks, travel gear and accessories. The company began as Eastern Canvas Products USA, Inc. in 1952, producing bags and packs for the US military before focusing on the consumer market under the brand name Eastpak in 1976. It is now part of the VF Corporation brand portfolio.
The quality from the early military products lives on today. Their 30-year warranty gives people the freedom to explore the world as never before as Eastpak continues to reinvent the concept of urban mobility.
So regardless of whether you love their flashy prints or prefer the more clean and stylish luggage – Eastpak is undoubtedly the brand for you!
Asfvlt Sneakers are a Parisian sneaker brand designed in France. At the intersection of performance and street chic, Asfvlt combine the passion of perfect craftsmanship, attention to detail and advanced construction techniques.
Blending both function and fashion, Asfvlt Sneakers strive for the pursuit of excellence and are committed to using the finest materials and high end finishes.
Whether you’re hitting the track or running through the city for drinks with friends, Asfvlt sneakers are constructed to merge performance with Parisian chic.
All ‘Super Mesh’ and ‘Super Tech’ products come with a red pigskin insole for uncompromising comfort. Designed to fit like a second skin, the lightweight Asfvlt sneakers are crafted using innovative technology with its Phylon outsole or TPU shoes with fully taped seams finish.
HEAD is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of premium sports equipment and apparel. The company’s key products have attained leading market positions based on sales and reputation and have gained high visibility through their use by many of today’s top athletes like Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.
Their roots can be traced back to 1950, when Howard Head, inventor of the first metal ski, established the company. The operation is currently split into five divisions: Winter Sports, Racquet Sports, Diving, Sportswear and Licensing. At GSL, we work with the product we know about: Racquet Sports.
HEAD’s products are known for being at the cutting edge of development. The tennis and padel products which we work with at GSL is no exception.
GSL AB has been the Swedish distributor for HEAD since 2010. The man behind this is Magnus “Gusten” Gustafsson, a former Top 10 player on the ATP Tour and Davis Cup winner for Sweden both in 1994 and 1998. Magnus works hard to make HEAD the top brand in tennis and padel.
HEAD supports three interesting projects in Sweden. The first one called Små lirare started as program to make kids from 9-10 years old come together and play tennis, soccer and other sports to keep them passionate about all sports for life. The second project is EuroElite for the juniors that have commited more to tennis. EuroElite have camps and makes international trips to tournaments all over the world. The third and biggest project is Good To Great Tennis academy, run by among others Magnus Norman, Nicklas Kulti and Mikael Tillström – this is the place to be if you want to make it as a professional tennis player. .
Wrangler is the everyday performance denim brand. Since the dawn of their company, their inspiration and guide has been real life experience; they believe that clothing and footwear should be designed to fit the needs of the people wearing it.
This has been true since Wrangler was launched in 1947 in Greensboro, North Carolina, on a platform of innovation and an idea to create the best-possible jean, jacket and shirt for cowboys. They added special features designed to add functionality to jeans and these still remain vital today for all of their products, but adapted to modern looks and needs.
Wrangler’s ground breaking innovative platform, Denim Performance, started with their understanding of what is needed from products in the 21st Century; this started with jeans that keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, and stay dry. The Wrangler footwear collection has Denim Performance at its core and provides people with comfortable shoes without compromising on style.
Wrangler footwear offers a wide range of styles; whether it is warm leather boots in winter or colourful canvas shoes in summer, Wrangler has something to suit you.