As the bell rang for the start of the Moda Exhibition trade show this morning at 9:30am, it's was a perfect time to give you the low down on my brand Hawkins & Shepherd of which I have spent the last 3 years refining. Mainly we're an online brand, but this year is my assault on the high streets of the U.K. so hopefully you guys will finally have the chance to feel and try on our quality products. You shouldn't have to settle for second best and you won't ever have to with Hawkins & Shepherd. So wish us luck for this show.
Hawkins & Shepherd started its life selling traditional 1920's style pin collar shirts, we had and still have the largest pin collar range found anywhere worldwide and this range is ever increasing as it's still our signature product. This year as part of a large scale restyling across the brand and in keeping with market trends, I have designed our first button-down smart casual shirt, available in plain pinpoint weave fabrics as well as print textiles milled in Portugal.
Prints have been trending among the fashion elite since 2012, with the designs moving away from (now tacky) large animal prints, to smaller floral and now smaller again we are in the era of the micro-print and it's only now that these prints are suitable for shirt design. There is a reason why plain shirts sell best and it's because we like to accessorise with pattern ties and pocket squares. Too much print is a big no no, print on print is a struggle to get right and often ends up too garish. However with the micro print being subtle and discrete, it opens up new possibilities in shirt design and styling of which Hawkins & Shepherd has now dipped its toes into.
Further to our new shirt offerings, we have entered into a partnership collaboration with woman's wear tailor 'to the celebs' Calder London on our very first suit and overcoat range, using British fabrics from Holland & Sherry which are the finest in the world. We have designed a limited edition 100% cashmere overcoat in classic camel and navy which will be retailing at £1,600. If this is not for you, we also have a cashmere blend (20% cashmere, 80% wool) overcoat available in dark grey (burgundy on the underside of collar) and navy (orange on the underside of collar) which will retail at £985. Our suits, which are again British Holland & Sherry fabrics and 100% wool. Hawkins & Shepherd will offer a windowpane/prince of Wales check and small hounds-tooth designs in both single and double breasted cuts. These are retailing at £775. All available to trade this weekend at Moda and will be available online at www.hawkinsandshepherd.com from the 1st March.
I guess looking in, it all sounds great as I'm brilliant at sugar coating things but it has been a hard slog, if I'm honest. All of this has not come easy and I'm still in so many respects struggling to take the brand to another level. It has been 2.5 years of hard graft, with many successes and failures, although it's the failures that I learn most from. I'm not sure if you know but Hawkins & Shepherd is totally a one man band, it's me, the designer, accountant, tea-boy the lot...and I have SO much passion for my brand...so its hard when I don't have immediate success overnight!! I've given up so much to build Hawkins & Shepherd, from giving up a rewarding career, an early night is something of a rarity these days, my front room is now a storage room for shirts, I now work harder than I ever have and the salary, well what salary!!! Saying that I love every minute of it, I love sharing with my readers stories of my brand and other brands that I work with. I also now have a greater knowledge of what makes menswear products great which I can pass on to you.
So finishing with a shameless plea, please please please help SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BLOGGER (me!) AND BRAND (Hawkins & Shepherd)!!! It would mean the world to me...just call it a donation, to help me build the brand xx
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