Fast-paced trend-spotting and a sporting nature go hand in hand for Laurence Joslin, New Era’s brand director for product and marketing, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
A keen surfer and all-round sports enthusiast, Laurence Joslin combines his passion for the sporting world with his role as brand director for product and marketing at heritage sports and headwear brand New Era. He talks about how brand heritage and rapid response designs keep the New Era brand fresh.
How do you describe the brand and what you do to someone who doesn’t know?
We’re the official supplier of headwear [baseball caps and knitted hats] for Major League Baseball, the NFL and NBA, as well as other sports teams such as Manchester United. We’re almost 100 years old, and we have our feet in many areas of sports and culture – fashion, music and celebrity. As brand director, I curate every single product that we develop and then market it to the consumers across regions.
What do you love most about your job?
It has to be the variety, which is an easy answer, I know. The most important thing for me is how close we are for the market – we have a quick operation that reacts to trends. If we see something tomorrow, we can act on that really fast to create a product. That’s the most satisfying thing.
What do you dislike the most about your job?
The most frustrating thing is when we have identified a trend and started working on something, then seeing other products on the market using that trend before we can get ours out there. But that does motivate us to act faster.
How important is the heritage of the brand to the business?
The heritage of the brand is fundamental, and it is why we’re so successful. New Era is the most authentic brand in the market and always has been. Day to day, we have a heritage line that we bring to market every two seasons, but we play back to heritage while we can in other designs.
What is your favourite logo of the sports teams New Era has worked with?
The heritage New Era logos are great, and I love the classic baseball and football team logos. Ultimately though, it has to be the first US sport that I saw. I was in the US for three months when I was 18 and that’s when I saw my first NFL game in Chicago, where the Chicago Bears were playing. That has to be my favourite – I’ve held on to them ever since.
So, do you follow US sports at all?
I’m a big sports fan in general whether it’s European football or cricket or surfing, which I’m very keen on.
Who do you admire most in the fashion industry and why?
Sir Paul Smith. He’s been around for so long and he’s so influential, but he’s also incredibly authentic and so close to the industry. His work ethic is unbelievable. Also Christopher Bailey from Burberry. He’s been such a huge influence – not just for Burberry, but generally on the fashion world. That brand is continuously challenging the status quo.
Tell us something about you not many people know
I used to meet lots of athletes for my job and I once interviewed Rafael Nadal. I showed him an app we were launching at the time on my iPod, we got chatting and he liked the music I had on there and he asked if he could keep my iPod. So I’ll put down Rafa’s success to my music playlist.
Favourite clothing brand?
Edwin jeans and Dr Martens
Favourite places to shop?
Citadium in Paris. It’s full of sports and fashion. In the UK, Size? and Cos
Last fashion purchase?
I recently bought far too much from Saturday Apparel, both in New York and from their online store
I’ve just got back from a California road trip. Las Vegas, Los Angeles, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco and then surfing in Huntington Beach
Last film you watched?
In the cinema – The Martian. On the plane back from holiday – Eddie the Eagle
I was on the graduate scheme at Shell, but I very quickly realised I wasn’t an oil man
Easy – I’d be a professional surfer