Can you tell me a bit about the history of Odlo?
It all began in 1946 in Oslo with two sewing machines and Odd Roar Lofterød’s vision to develop better performing functional sportswear for the Nordic sports. Since then Odlo has continued to develop and innovate advanced materials and apparel technologies to allow people to lead an active lifestyle no matter what the weather conditions.
How has the company changed over the years?
With over 70 years of history Odlo has experienced a lot of change and key mile-stones in its life as a brand. In 1986 the company relocated from Norway to Switzerland.
Initially our focus was mainly on Nordic winter sports, but since then we have expanded the brand’s footprint to be a true performance brand, always striving to enable the sport enthusiast to be more active regardless of their sport. Just recently, in 2015, Christophe Bezu (adidas, Esprit) was appointed CEO and a new energy is flowing through the organization with the aim of growing Odlo outside of our historic core areas and to turn Odlo into a true global full-year performance brand.
What do you look at when you develop new products?
The human body is a complex system. To be able to develop and innovate functional sportswear it is critical to understand the workings of the body, to have an in-depth knowledge of textiles and of course to possess a passion for the sport activities that you aim to develop for. As engineers of active layers we bring the mastery to combine these three key elements to ensure that our products always deliver optimized performance with contemporary styling and high attention to detail.
Do you have any new products that you will be bringing to the marketplace?
We just launched our new active cooling innovation, CERAMICOOL, and will follow this up in SS18 with the introduction of CERAMIWOOL and F-DRY. CERAMIWOOL combines an all natural blend of Merino wool and TENCIL fibres with our innovative CERAMICOOL fabric to deliver the coolest woolbased garment yet. And after 12 years of leading the functional sports underwear segment with CUBIC we felt it was time to re-invent ourselves with the introduction of our fastest drying baselayer yet: F-DRY.
What is your key focus?
We want Odlo to become a true full-year sports brand. We are market leaders in winter baselayers and believe that we have a lot to offer also in summer and across more sport activities than just Nordic and Alpine skiing. Our focus will therefore be on strengthening and establishing our running, cycling, and training categories while always ensuring that we stay one step ahead in our core category of functional sports underwear.
What plans does Odlo have for the future?
We want to establish a larger global footprint and break out beyond our historic strong markets of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the French Alps. We are therefore strengthening our partnerships and presence in other key European markets but also in such international markets as USA, Canada, Japan and China.