Oscar Jacobson, with its rich heritage in fashion tailoring, starts way back in 1622, when Sweden’s King Gustaf II Adolf, issued an ultimatum to the pedlars trading in and around the district of Sjuhäradsbygden in the south-west of the country. The ultimatum stated “If you do not establish a town for your trading activities so that we can levy taxes on the goods, thus ensuring that the state receives a share of the income, then you will no longer be able to sell your goods at all”. To this, the pedlars yielded to Gustaf II’s demand, and established the town of Boeråås, the pedlars’ town by the ridges. The city of Borås was then founded and became the centre for trade, particularly in textile trade, for hundreds of years.
259 years later, in 1881, Johan Oscar Jacobson was born, the third child of Hilda Sofia and Anders Jacobson. Oscar’s father ran a sort of travelling salesman business for many years in partnership with his brother, under the name “A&W Jacobson”, and sold coat fabrics, silk material and other textiles.
Throughout Oscar’s childhood, he had the opportunity to witness and learn about running a business and being an entrepreneur, and after much thought, in 1903, Oscar began making functional garments for workers in and around Borås, and established Oscar Jacobson. The business was registered in Borås Handelsregister alongside Oscar’s aunt’s husband, Johan Anders Söderberg, and manufactured and sold “sewn articles” which included overalls, work trousers and basic shirts.
By 1906, sales totalled 160,000 kronor, a very impressive sum when a dozen shirts cost 11.50 kronor! That same year, Johan Anders retired and his place was taken by Oscar’s brother Carl.
In 1908, the Jacobson brothers launched the then revolutionary idea of selling ready-to-wear men’s clothing in set sizes. This was a completely new concept, since until then all clothes were always made to the customers measurements, and meant that a suit was less expensive. This revolutionary move proved to be a success for the brothers, and in 1917, Oscar collected his first US-made car, a black Ford Model T, and had their own premises with some 20 seamstresses.
In the 1920s, the production process changed. Each seamstress changed from making a whole suit, to specialising in her particular area, and this resulted in a considerable improvement in quality and fit. Business flourished during the decades that followed, except in the 1940s, when World War II cast its shadow over Sweden.
By 1949, the next major shift came when Oscar Jacobson took a boat over to the US to gain some inspiration and took notes like a possessed man. One of the many novelties he encountered was the first nylon shirt (which fortunately, was no great success), and from the 1950s onwards, Oscar Jacobson demonstrated considerable craftmanship manifested in tailoring and sewing, but also within fashion. In 1958, Oscar’s son Anders Jacobson took over the company. Anders had a strong interest in clothes and was quick to introduce foreign influences and began working with more exclusive materials such as lambswool and cashmere.
During the 1960s, the focus was on a slimmer silhouette according to British fashion, and this formed the basis of an effective partnership with the UK market.
Oscar knew that quality in work, fabrics, cut and fit, always pays off.
Presently, Oscar Jacobson continues to be a leader in fashion, and with style running deep in our DNA at Oscar Jacobson, our golf collection has been developed alongside our award-winning men’s fashion range, adopting the same design philosophy based on Scandinavian simplicity and combined with the inspiration of Italian tailoring and British textile tradition.
We know that golfers are looking for stylish apparel that works beyond the golf course. That is why we have combined our expertise in fashion tailoring with our knowledge of technical golf apparel to deliver a greater number of products than ever before, that offers great versatility and performs equally on the fairways as they look at home on the high street.