A-Z is a new sportswear brand that embraces the idea that success isn’t about the shoes or shirt you wear, it’s about the sweat you’re willing to shed. And their founder knows better than most the truth of that statement.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic may have played for some of the biggest, most glamorous clubs in the world – think Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Inter Milan (and there are those persistent rumours about Manchester United) – but he didn’t get to lift football’s great trophies by coasting.
Zlatan’s journey has been all about graft, and while the Swedish striker is known for being a showman, his brand has a strong emphasis on minimalism – because that’s how he grew up.
His wasn’t a childhood spent thumping goals into the top of a taut net on a perfectly manicured pitch, wearing the best boots money could buy. Instead, he did his dribbling, passing and shooting on the hard court near his mum’s apartment.
But who needs top-of-the-line gear when you’ve got a tough-as-teak attitude?
“This mindset has taken me on a journey beyond anyone’s expectations. It has brought me to where I am today,” said Ibrahimovic.
That’s the philosophy behind A-Z. It’s not about the gear you wear, it’s about the mindset you carry when you train – because while you’ll lift the trophy on gameday, you really win the match in the months and years you spend on the training paddock before a whistle is blown.
“A-Z sportswear is made for training, all kinds of training. And you don’t need a lot of gear to train to train hard. All you really need is one t-shirt, one pair of shorts, one pair of shoes. And then it’s up to you,” added Ibrahimovic.
As for the nuts and bolts behind A-Z, it’s a joint venture between Ibrahimovic and Petter Varner, head of the Norwegian clothing giant Varner. The two have been working on the idea for the past year, with the aim of doing great things to make the world a little bit better. As such, all garments are being created factories that meet rigorous standards.
At this stage A-Z are offering men’s and unisex children’s clothes, with a women’s line “in progress”.
The brand has launched in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, France, England, Austria, Spain and Italy, with all orders to be processed at this stage through their website.
Photos: Daniel Blom/Acne Photography