You will find here the original interview we had with Kestin Hare, the founder and designer of Kestin.co, a Scotish brand we love on Borasification.com.
You can find the whole blog post here (sorry, French only) with a lot of pictures : outfits, Kestin’pieces, new collection …
I let you with my friends Ewen & Kestin :
Could you tell us what is your background (before Kestin Hare adventure) and also what is your relationship with clothes / menswear ?
My namesake brand is a combination of over 17 year’s industry experience with a dedication to pushing myself to produce the most solid everyday menswear offer possible.
I’ve always been interested in fashion and design, coming from a creative family it’s in my blood. Growing up, nobody was better or more well put together than my grandad Bill who ran pubs in Leith, a proper gent. When I started clubbing I realised the power of brands, everybody was buying into branded T-shirts in the early 90s. What you wore defined you, gave you confidence. I was hooked.
I knew I had to play to my strengths and went straight into studying for a degree in Fashion & Design, and then moved to London to work for and learn from the biggest brands and designers, first job at Reiss and then ended up as Head of Design for Nigel Cabourn. It was an intense period of training where I was taught my core values: vintage research, learning about the history of garments, where they were manufactured, the function of the materials, the fit, the details, and the ultimate importance of championing UK production.
What gave you the wish to create your own brand ? what were and are the importants aspects in your approach and vision ?
I knew I wanted to eventually have my own brand, and to create collections which are more than just product. When the time was right, I relocated back to my hometown of Edinburgh and took the opportunity to build my own business and vision, to produce product that stands the test of time and tells a story, weaving in references from my Scottish heritage and making them relevant for today. It’s not just about the clothes for me, I want to make sure that we are creating jobs for people in the UK, preserving and promoting craft industries and ensuring that our environmental and social impact are constantly improving. My designs are technical and functional, but also a little unconventional, and that’s me.
How would you describe your brand to people who don’t know yet about your work ?
It’s modern, simple, distinctive and functional and all about the fabric and subtle details.
Could you tell us more about your inspirations ? where does it come from ?
I always use Scotland as my reference point, something about the landscape, or history, people, or architecture and then delve deeper into those to find the reference points that interest me. I like to tell a story, I’m an emotional designer, and I like to produce a blend of product that inspires people, that they didn’t even know that they wanted, and then the commercial best sellers of course, that keep the business ticking over.
How do you source and choose the fabrics ?
It’s safe to say I’m fairly obsessed with fabrics, they make or break a garment for me. They can elevate the simplest of designs into something premium, tactile and functional. Over my almost 20 yeas in the industry I’ve developed amazing relationships with the best mills in the world. We push each other to develop new fabrics that push boundaries and bring new levels of character or sustainable credentials to the market. For next season I’ve worked with old friends Halley Stevensons Mill in Dundesson two uniqe fabrics. One is a newly developed 6.3oz flax/cotton blend fabric with sustainable qualities to fabric are that it is woven, dyed and finished within 40 miles in Scotland. The second is a water resistant, windproof, breathable 3.7oz dry-waxed 100% organic cotton mini-ripstop which has a Hybrid aero fabric finish with distinct lived in character.
To finish, could you please drop a few words about the current fall/ winter collection and also about the Stac blazer and Wick trouser ?
Our Autumn/Winter 19 collection titled “In High Places” draws inspiration from British mountaineers in the 1970s. This era was described as “the golden age of mountaineering” with a key group of die-hard British climbers achieving celebrity status due to their pioneering and inspiring efforts.
Research for the collection started with a trip to uncover the archives at the Scottish Mountain Heritage Museum near Fort William. We were like kids on Christmas day unpacking those boxes. There we uncovered garments that were worn by the climbers of the 70s, including the renowned crowd of Dougal Haston, Robin Smith, Doug Scott, Don Williams and Chris Bonnington. Inspiration was taken from the fabrics, functionality, details, colours and production of the garments.
The Stac Blazer and Wick Trousers are based on old vintage workwear pieces that we have tweaked the cut and the pockets to make something new and distinctive. I get a lot of requests from my customers who want or need to wear a suit, but want to feel like themselves in it, not look like their mum dressed them. This is our answer to the everyday suit, you can dress it up, dress it down and the textured Japanese fabric is so rich and beautiful, it’s those little subtle details that make it premium . A good friend wore it to get married in the other day. Nothing better than to see your designs used for a wedding of good friends.
Thanks again for your time guys !
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