M&S &… is the latest initiative from the truly British retail giant. The brand is teaming up with key leading individuals, from iconic leaders of fashion to exciting new designers, to build on and strength the power of their pull. Already we’ve seen two collaborations ‘Archive by Alexa’ a womenswear collection which has seen Alexa Chung delving into their extensive archive and ‘Lil’LonDunn’ a kidswear collection designed by Super Duper Model Jourdan Dunn. So for the third in the series, which launches in store today, it’s the turn of menswear and M&S have taken the brave move of working together with a widely unsung British Designer.
Kestin Hare is a Scottish fashion designer, and former Creative Director of Common People, and former Head of Design at Nigel Cabourn. Since launching his own menswear label Kestin Hare in Autumn Winter 2015, he has showcased at London Collections Men, been shortlisted for Scottish Designer of the Year 2015, and also opened four stores across the UK.
The ‘M&S & Kestin Hare’ 13 piece menswear collection has been designed and crafted by Hare himself and the in house M&S design team, to capture his distinct design, as well as being commercial and relevant to the M&S customer. The exclusive collaboration of summer pieces is inspired by vintage travel and botanical scenes, with a focus on print and fabrics woven in Europe, which include a relaxed textured blazer woven in Italy, printed tailored shorts woven in Spain and a polo knitted in Italy.
Tropical leaves are a key reference for the collection, and Kestin Hare has hand drawn all the prints used on the clothing, linings and trims. The leaf print t-shirt, shirt and shorts are the boldest pieces in the collection, in a colour palette of bright greens, with blue leaves and tropical flowers in reds and purples also featuring on a safari style shirt. Jackets and blazers subtly feature the prints on linings to add a flash of character to timeless summer pieces.
M&S is has shown a commitment to nurturing British talent, and the ‘M&S &’ partnership, has helped to support the brand new opening of a Kestin Hare store in Soho, London, this season. Hare is known for quality fabrics, print and craftsmanship in a clean, contemporary aesthetic, and has himself celebrated emerging British talent, by welcoming independent labels with common values and a shared design ethos to showcase their collections in his Shoreditch store.
“I am delighted to be part of the ‘M&S &’ project, and to collaborate with a British brand with such a heritage in quality menswear. I have always loved Marks & Spencer, and coming together with their in house design team to create the exclusive summer collection which offers something new to the M&S customer, has been a fantastic experience. Due to the support of this project, I am now thrilled to be opening my fifth stand-alone store, and my first in central London, in Soho”.