Yes, we’re living in the love of the Common People clothing brand, the brainchild of dad, designer and hard worker, Mr Kestin Hare.
He is flying south to London Collections: Men, to present ‘The Bird Watchers’ collection for SS15.
“The theme for the SS15 collection comes from a book I came across whilst on my last trip to Skye called: “The Birds of the West Indies” by James Bond. In our family house in Waternish we have a shared bookshelf full of old books and music. I was looking through the collection of books on my last holiday and one caught my attention, as it would any Bond fan. I thought that this was a bit unusual and was not the James Bond that I knew… After doing some digging it turned out that Ian Fleming had spent time living in Jamaica and as a keen bird watcher was familiar with Bond’s book. He chose the author’s name for the central character in his series of iconic spy novels, which started with Casino Royale in 1953.”
This collection maintains a clean aesthetic with versatile lightweight garments and minimal detailing. The modern cuts and technical fabrics are contrasted with a nostalgic 1950’s colour pallette. Cool base tones of navy ranging through to steel, with subtle tones of khaki and sand and bright accents of teal, coral and canary yellow make up the SS15 colour palette. Hand-drawn repeat bird prints are present throughout the collection in shirtings and linings of garments.
Could you tell us how the theme ties in with your own childhood memories in Skye?
“I have always spent time up on the Isle of Skye, both as a child on summer holidays, and now on holiday’s with my own children. It’s a really inspirational place. It inspired the theme of our current Spring Summer ’14 collection “Summer Rambling Tales”, which was based on field trips and Scottish walks. I think when you are away from the distractions of running a business, with no reception on your phone, or internet access; you have the peace and time to think. It allows your imagination to run away with you, in a creative way.”
Your story is extraordinary, from printing T-shirts at Uni, to selling selling your garments across Japan. Could you share some thoughts on your time on the famous Kings Road in Chelsea?
“It was my first ‘real job’ working in fashion and during the placement year of my four-year degree I won a competition to work for the high street retailer Reiss, which was based on Kings Road, in Chelsea. At the time, I was I aware of the fashion history of Kings Road: Mary Quant and Vivian Westwood had both started out by having shops there. You could feel it in the air, the excitement, the beautiful people, the wealth, and the style! This was a far cry from the old mining town of Tranent, which was where I was brought up.
“My time at Reiss was invaluable and I found that if I worked hard and really tried to learn from the people around me, they responded to me well. There were other students on placement at the same time, but I was the only one that David Reiss saw at 7 o’clock in the evening still working in the studio, and there in the morning before he got in. I think he must have thought I didn’t have a home to go to! Surviving on £120 a week in London, it was probably better to be at the studio in Chelsea. When I finished the year placement David said he was really impressed and helped me by sponsoring my final year show providing me with all my fabrics and trims. After graduating from Northumbria University with a first class honours, David offered me a job to go back and work for him.”
What message do you have for aspiring independent designers?
“I cannot stress enough the importance of hard work! If you are studying at college or university it is imperative for you to find industry placement to gain experience, whether this is included as part of your course of if you have to find an industry placement in your summer holidays. This is where you will really learn how to apply your skills to the fashion industry. Learn about fabrics, and how they behave – the more you know about your materials, the better. Having good hand drawing ability is always a great starting block for any designer, but for industry being able to use Photoshop and being able to illustrate your designs on Adobe Illustrator is key!”
LC:M provides an excellent platform for British brand Common People to exhibit alongside other global menswear brands and to meet influential buyers and industry leaders…
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