PORT Magazine‘s online editor, David Hellqvist, recently had the chance to sit down with British designers, Charlie Casely-Hayford (of father-and-son design duo, Casely-Hayford) and Harris Elliot (H by Harris) to discuss their unique collaborations with the UK’s “unofficial quilt masters”, Lavenham. Both Casely-Hayford and Elliot have brought their brands’ own signature design aesthetics to the table and applied them to the traditional wardrobe that Lavenham provides, with contemporary, yet classic results. In a world seemingly now overrun with collaborations – most of which are fairly run of the mill – these two partnerships have provided something that is worth looking into – a heritage product updated for the modern wearer, representative of all brands involved while offering a fresh statement that will undoubtedly stand the test of time. Read an extract of David’s interview below, and catch the whole story here.
David: How and why did you hook up with Lavenham?
Charlie: We were interested in the cultural significance of the Lavenham jacket, specifically on the streets of London. It has this old world refinement; it’s worn as a staple of the countryside uniform, even in city. But it has also been adopted by London ‘rude boys’ as a style statement of a subculture worn with their sportswear, and that juxtaposition is a perfect combination for the Casely-Hayford House.
Harris: H by Harris and Lavenham both make specialist quilted products here in the UK. Their quilting capabilities are off the hook, so it was a no-brainer that we should unite and work on a project. Steve [from Sane PR] suggested I meet with Nicky at Lavenham; there was mutual appreciation from the get-go and with that the H x L collab was born.
David: What is it about Lavenham that you like?
Charlie: It’s totally purist. Although they now have a full collection, I love brands that do one thing and do it better than anyone else.
Harris: Lavenham are unique as they are genuinely one of a few brand-manufacturers that make everything in their factory in the UK. That in itself, in this day and age, is amazing; their state-of-the-art machines are brilliant to work with.
David: What was your starting point for the jackets?
Charlie: We wanted to combine the classic Lavenham jacket with a streetwear bomber jacket to accentuate its cultural significance within the London style scene. The final piece for us is a simple concept that for us brings both worlds together.
Harris: The collection is called Urban Cowboy. Lavenham’s heritage is creating blankets for horses. My brief to myself was to highlight their equestrian sensibilities while introducing a contemporary twist, by combining a jockey style fused with an urban aesthetic.
Photography: Nikolas Ventourakis/PORT