Ron Dorff effortlessly updates iconic menswear silhouettes of the past, including sportswear, loungewear, underwear and swimwear styles. The result: premium pieces with distinctive ties to athletic heritage. Versatility also plays a role – its pieces can be easily worn at home, work or the gym.
Housing award-winning collections, the brand has been named one of the best swimwear brands in the world for men by Vogue and one of the best underwear brands for men by GQ.
With a new collection inspired by the elegance of the Italian Riviera, we spoke to brand founder and CEO, Claus Lindorff about Ron Dorff’s ethos, key concepts behind the new collection, what’s next for the brand, and more.
How would you describe the beauty of the athletic heritage style that the brand prides itself on?
We launched Ron Dorff in 2012 because we found it difficult to find well-designed, top quality sportswear for men without over-sized logos and loud colours. Our goal was to propose to our customers premium pieces with an athletic touch, that would perform perfectly whether worn at home, at work or at the gym. This is the beauty of it – offering a casual yet elegant wardrobe and a comfortable yet classy silhouette.
What aspects of Swedish functionality and French style does the brand incorporate into the new collection?
Our Swedish functionality translates into our collection through a simplicity of purpose across our themes: comfortable, breathable fabrics for the home, quick dry, light-weight elements for the beach, alongside structured, elegant ready to wear, and fit for purpose, hardwearing sportswear and accessories. All this mixed in with a minimalist, undeniably parisian, je ne sais quoi.
Please talk us through how the brand upgrades 'iconic menswear must-haves'.
We re-imagine iconic menswear staples from the past especially from the 60s, 70s, 80s. An important part of this lies in the fabrics we use. We continuously search for new, premium fabrics – whether pure or innovative blends – which make our iconic products even more comfortable to wear. With Ron Dorff you don’t jump higher or run faster but you feel great in them and they never go out of fashion.
‘Discipline is not a dirty word’ – can you speak on how that relates to the new collection?
It is our motto and philosophy; a play on words emphasising the notions of work, excellence and sports discipline. When we design any collection such as the SS23 collection, we always have our motto in mind. In everything we do, we pay a specific attention to details and will never compromise on what is key for us: excellence, quality, comfort, customer satisfaction. We have also set ambitious sustainability and ethical goals for the years ahead. From the people making our products to the fabrics we use, right through to how we minimise transport around the globe and our overall impact on climate.
What are the key pieces that you are most excited about from this collection and why?
This season we are proud to showcase some innovation in materials and fit - we will be presenting a Terry Cloth collection for the first time, which is something we have been working on for a while to get right. Polos, shorts and caps are the basis for our Ron Dorff take on such an iconic Mediterranean summer fabric. We are also so excited to bring our ongoing capsule with Jackie’O in Mykonos to our wholesale partners – which is something they have been asking for several seasons and we know will be a great success.
Talk us through a key design element from the collection that excites you?
I would say stripes in all shapes and forms. Stripes have become a true Ron Dorff graphic code and are part of our brand identity. And of course increased sustainability with the use of the finest Italian recycled polyester four all our swim shorts.
Tell us what inspired you about the Italian Riviera.
This season we decided to take off to the Amalfi Coast, with 4 themes inspired by the iconic Italian Riviera. What we love about the Italian RIviera was first the whole lifestyle it enticed: dolce vita, Italian chic, quiet remote life in villages perched along the coast. The ideal spot of a relaxing summer. Colours of the Italian Riviera were also a strong inspiration that made it so exciting when designing our collection. The mood is light-headed, colours are vibrant, it is like a shot of energy.
What do you think Ron Dorff brings to the swimwear market?
I think we bring style to the market. The swim briefs we have developed are inspired by the style used by the Brazilian Water Polo Team in the late 70s: wider on the side, Italian fabric twice as thick with no excess of fabric and absolutely no risk of them falling off when diving into the pool. I think images of guys in trunks from the 70s and early 80s have made the style iconic – a new generation is now ready to take them on in an updated version.
What are you looking forward to at Pitti?
After 2 years of pandemic and cancelled trade shows we are very excited to be back at Pitti again. We are looking forward to seeing how the audience will respond to our new collection and styles, catch up again with familiar business partners, feel and discover the current trends, see the energy and liveliness of Firenze again.
What's next for the brand?
I believe the challenge for every brand is to succeed in its expansion while staying true to its DNA. So many brands end up getting lost by wanting to do all kinds of things. Our clients want to be able to come back each season and buy a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, a pair of swim shorts without even trying them on. Obviously colours, prints and fabrics change but the overall design is the same and this is how our clients like it.
We also want to focus on international expansion. The US Market is now our top selling market and we have plans for more stores in cities like LA or Miami.
Thanks for your time!