Laksen Sporting – Interview with Tonny Frandsen
Q – Who are the Laksen team? Where are they based?
A – Laksen Sporting aHQ are located in Hasselager, just outside the second largest city; Aarhus, Denmark.
Q – How did Laksen Sporting start?
A – The name Laksen (Danish for Salmon) maybe gives away the fact that the company started in fishing.
At the very beginning, in 1977, Laksen Sporting had a small in-house production of quality clothing for hunting and fly-fishing, and not least, handmade fly-fishing rods. Everything was designed, manufactured and sold in Denmark.
In 1979-1980 this changed rapidly, as Laksen Sporting was granted the first European license to manufacture clothing with waterproof Gore-Tex technology. Being one of the first brands to offer real waterproof garments to hunters and fly fishers in Europe, Laksen Sporting grew quickly, and the export adventure started.
Garments for hunting and shooting soon became the majority of our business and, by the end of the 90s, our focus was solely on hunting and shooting.
In 1999, we introduced the first lightweight and waterproof-breathable pure wool tweed products, which lead to extensive growth.
Q – What do you enjoy most about working for Laksen?
A – I like that we are a relatively small company and everyone is heard – it means that we can move fast on changes and nothing gets lost along the normal “command chain”. It has the feel of a family business and I see my colleagues more like friends or family.
Q – What’s the secret to Laksen’s success?
A – I don’t think there is one single thing, but I strongly believe that you have to be honest about both your products and yourself.
Q – Who is Laksen suitable for?
A – Anyone looking for quality garments that perform under harsh conditions and look smart.
Q – What are your best-sellers?
A – We don’t have a single product that out-sells all others, but we have amassing growth in our lifestyle collection (shirts, knitwear, moleskin and corduroy trousers) as these can be worn seven days a week.
Q – Tweeds seem to be a big focus for Laksen – why is this?
A – Simply put: We love tweed! We believe that the function, durability and style of tweed shouldn’t be used only when shooting. Our smart jackets and trousers can be worn at almost all occasions.
Q – How does Laksen develop a new product?
A – From getting the idea to a product being available to buy can take anything from 18 to 24 months.
The process is a combination of our feedback from retailers, consumers and our feel for where the world is moving – a lot of it boils down to what we ourselves would use and wear.
We only wish to use the very best, most durable materials, so sourcing these is very important. We never have a target price in mind when developing a product – it is a result of the materials and manufacturing of the finished product.
Q – What is Laksen’s approach to sustainability?
A – We believe it is important to leave as small a footprint as possible when leaving this world. As such we use only the best materials, making products last longer.
I still use a pair of Laksen Sporting gaiters that I bought in 1999 – long before I started working for Laksen Sporting…
Q – What makes Laksen’s membrane better than the competition?
A – Three things really: less weight, less noise and more breathability!
Q – How can people keep up to date with Laksen?
A – For the last couple of years we have produced movies about our world – we have tried to describe what we find important about red stag stalking in the Scottish highlands, the camaraderie on a driven pheasant day and we will release more films shortly.
We also use social media where we try to post interesting and relevant news.
We don’t sell direct to the public as we strongly believe that a specialist retailer is the best way for a customer to find unbiased advice.
Q – What are the future plans for Laksen?
A – We are looking to strengthen our position in the markets where we currently trade – the UK is our biggest market and this has continued to grow for the last number of years.