It does not matter what the weather is doing: Horses need to be exercised every day. While the horses do not mind if it is raining, riders like to be comfortable. For Lin E Kingsrød, this meant starting with rethinking riding breeches.
“She was a competitive rider herself and knew exactly what was missing from the breeches she was wearing, and how she could improve them,” says CEO Marianne Fossum. “She started off very modestly indeed, using her own home as a warehouse, and joining forces with a Dutch partner who started bringing them to shows and selling the products straight out of the boxes they were delivered in.”
The perseverance and commitment that motivates a competitive rider to keep to the demanding daily routine needed to be successful on the competition circuit held the founder in good stead. Gradually, she and her partners began to see results from their hard work.
Today, the company has 30 employees and turnover of roughly ten million EUR. The company’s products are now distributed to customers worldwide from a warehouse in Denmark.
“We were successful because we kept diversifying our portfolio,” says Mrs. Fossum. “We now offer a full range of equestrian clothing suitable for riding in all weathers, as well as gear for the horses. Kingsland is seen as both a serious outfitter for professional riders and a lifestyle brand for everyone involved in equestrianism.”
Kingsland has achieved this prominent status through the success of certain key pieces that made its name from the beginning. One of these is the Kingsland Bomber Jacket. This all-weather, sporty jacket was one of the first products launched under the Kingsland name and was an immediate hit. It featured what have become the hallmarks of the Kingsland brand: traditional design coupled with outstanding quality and a comfortable fit.
“The Kingsland Bomber Jacket has gone through many iterations since then but can still be found in our Classic Collection,” says Mrs. Fossum. “It created the template for what would make the typical Kingsland product and broke away from what, until then, had been seen as typical equestrian fashion.”
Before Kingsland, horsey types stuck to a fairly rigid uniform of waxed jackets and breeches. Kingsland arrived at just the right time with its practical yet fashionable clothes to spearhead a shift towards a greater emphasis on fashion.
Kingsland produces two big collections each year as well as smaller specialist collections. Kingsland Master is its range of high-quality show jackets, while the Dressage by Charlotte Dujardin collection links Kingsland with one of the stars of the equestrian world.
“We built the brand for riders, and we continue to seek out their feedback and ideas for our designs,” says Mrs. Fossum. “We remain faithful to the origins of our brand and also support animal welfare initiatives.”
Equestrianism is a fairly niche sport, but as ‘athleisure wear’ finds favour among the nonsporty in other areas, there is also scope for Kingsland to escape the paddock and run free to new pastures as a lifestyle brand for horse lovers everywhere.