We had a chat with super inspring entrepreneur and founder or our favourite underwear brand Closely, Tove Langseth.
When and why did you found Closely?
In 2018 I decided to leave my job as CEO at DDB, an advertising agency in Stockholm. I had been there for ten amazing years, first as an art director, then creative director and finally the last two years as CEO. But efter those years, I had a crave for something new and exciting, for deep water. I also had a dream to build something for real and put love into a brand from scratch, from product to communication and everything in between. Sometimes you get what you wish for. I started working on an underwear project together with Filip Nilsson, a talented Swedish creative director and nowadays the second half and cofounder of Closely.
To make a long story short we deep dived into the world of underwear and quickly realized this was quite an old fashioned place. Big brands with a dusty view on the female body were dominating the business and sustainability was lagging behind. There was an obvious space for a progressive and energetic brand with focus on function, quality, inclusivity and sustainability, all embraced by a modern expression with different bodies and ages as a corner stone - both in range and choice of models. And with e-commerce as the initial channel. It all ended up with the two us founding Closely with Lindex as our major investor. Then the journey started for real: developing the world’s most comfortable underwear and sportswear.
Tell us about the importance of amazing underwear?
I might be biased but for me it´s everything. Underwear is what you have closest to your body for hours every day. Nothing can possibly be more annoying than uncomfortable underwear, digging or cutting in at the wrong places. But on the contrary, amazing ones will make you feel comfy and self confident, and maybe even sensual on the days you’re looking for that vibe. So never mind if it´s Tuesday morning at work, Wednesday lunch at the gym or Friday night in bed with someone you fancy, the underwear should always be comfy and trustable, like a best friend. At Closely we call it a sense of freedom.
You're a busy CEO and an ambitious long distance cyclist on your free time - explain what your wardrobe looks like?
I love sports but always hated the feeling of becoming someone else when doing sports, which is easily happened when wearing lycra. Suddenly you look like someone that is 100 % functional which is not my cup of tea. The clothes, even when doing sports, should be comfy but also cool. So basically I try to bring stuff I love into sports; for example I’m constantly hunting jewelry that you can bike and do gym workouts in and don´t need to ever take off. And I love huge sunglasses, on and off bike. Besides that I would say my wardrobe consists of lots of leather (not to recommend on the bike), boots and blazers that I imagine Keith Richards could have owned. My ultimate style is always a bit messy and never too matchy. Maybe because I seem to be unable to look proper.
A lot! I think shoes often define a person’s style, they are the essence of a look. Shoes that stand out in some way have always made me happy. For quite a while now I’ve had a thing for pointed boots, and I can´t stop looking for the ultimate ones. Bags are fun too. I’m drawn to black soft leather bags that have a kind of nonchalant look, preferably with lots of pockets for lipstick and all other essential things in life. Probably fun to match your bag with your look but I’m too lazy to empty my hand bag in the morning, so I end up using the same bag until it´s dead. Then I empty it for a new one. Of course in black soft leather.