We've always taken denim very seriously at The Hambledon. But probably never more so than right now with Edwin making a big entrance for AW16; returning to menswear, debuting in womenswear, plus they're taking over our Winchester window and giving jeans away.
And it's serious because Edwin is the denim man's (and gal's!) denim, the stuff that gets denim fans really excited. We've got a resident buff here in Rob, whose substantial collection of jeans in varying degrees of distress basically begins and ends with Edwin.
The company was founded after WWII by Mr Tsunemi who was determined to match US denim production in Japan. He played boggle with the word 'denim' to come up with Edwin and by 1961 had created his first pair of jeans. By 1963 Edwin had produced the world’s heaviest ring-spun 16oz denim, creating a pair of jeans that could stand up by themselves and featured the rainbow selvedge which is still in use today. Throughout the 70s and 80s the company pioneered 'old wash' and 'stone wash' techniques which properly revolutionised the industry worldwide and cemented the reputation they continue to earn today.
Edwin have been a longtime favourite in the basement, their regular tapered ED55 the fit of choice for many of Winchester's menfolk. This season it's here in red listed 14oz, alongside the slim tapered ED80 in black and the brand new ED45 which, for want of a better description, is a carrot leg, sure to win many fans.
And Edwin's fans won't be confined to the basement this season. We've been keeping a close eye on the women's collection for a while and now is the right time for some serious Japanese denim on the first floor. We're starting out with the EW70, a classic skinny leg in a red listed selvedge; EW60, a classic straight leg with a relaxed fit through the hip and thigh; EW30, a great boyfriend fit in night blue denim; plus the cropped, wide leg EW25.
Swing by the Winchester store and you'll see them all in our Edwin window. Snap 'em (in the window or on the shop floor), instagram them (following us and tagging #edwin and #hambledon) and you could win a pair for yourself. We've got a men's and women's pair up for grabs. Simple.
It's been a huge pleasure having Creighton's Chocolaterie in our project space this summer, not least because we've got to hang out (and sample the range, and decorate chocolate unicorns) with the lovely Lucy, founder of Creighton's. We took the opportunity to ask her to compile her wishlist of Hambledon wares.
1. Paris Candle £22.50 | 2. Cat Pouch £9 | 3. Little People Big Dream Frida Kahlo £9.99 | 4. Lion Headdress £13 | 5. Multicoloured Festoon Lights £39.95 | 6. The Gourmand No7 £12 | 7. Gold Glitter Alphabet Bunting £2.25 | 8. Fart Whistle £1.25
Stella Nova has been a first floor favourite for a good few years now so we're delighted to be collaborating with them on a window takeover and competition this season. To mark the occasion we talked to founder Trine Skoller about her work, inspiration and life at the helm of Stella Nova.
Describe your typical working day?
It can vary a lot depending on where in the process I am. Sometimes I travel to seek new inspiration or to visit suppliers, sometimes I am drawing the collection and other times we are preparing for sales meetings and PR events.
Who or what couldn't you work without?
My lovely Stella Team.
What do you like most about what you do?
I feel very privileged to do exactly the thing in life that I like the most – to be creative and to create is something that is very satisfying. Every day is a new challenge and that is something I like.
Who or what inspires you?
Everything can be an inspiration and it is difficult to seek inspiration in a specific way, meaning that the more you look for it the less you feel inspired. For me, inspiration can be from reading a book, watching a movie, travelling etc. It is not possible to pin out where and from what exactly it comes from.
Who would you most like to see wearing a Stella Nova design?
I don’t have any specific wish, but I think that there are many women who are inspiring. For me it is important that it is a woman with a strong personality.
What has been your proudest Stella Nova moment to date?
Luckily I often feel proud and that is what gives me the energy to keep developing the Stella Nova universe.
What has been the most important lesson learned?
Not to listen to my own intuition.
What would you like to do in the future?
The same as I do today and many other things.
And finally, tell us a bit about your favourite pieces from the AW16 collection?
The collection is amongst others inspired by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. I very much like the prints of the collection and I think the scattered floral artwork is one of the key prints and in a nice way reminds me of a modern take on Frida Kahlo.
We have a collaboration with a Peruvian association where women hand knit the most beautiful alpaca knitwear. These styles are also very close to my heart, and I have been so lucky to visit them several times and I feel happy to see, that our collaboration makes a big difference for them.
The Stella Nova AW16 collection is now available in store.
It's fair to say we've grown very fond of working with Creighton’s Chocolaterie over the past few years. They're a small, family-run business, headed up by mother and daughter team, Andrea and Lucy, who are just lovely. Most of all though we love that they know how to have fun, especially in the serious wold of artisan chocolate. Currently providing much jollyness and temptation in our project space, we asked Lucy to pick some of her favourite moments creating “chocolate with a sense of humour” from the Creighton’s Instagram feed.
AW16 has hit the rails in menswear and the months ahead promise really good things. Here's Rob's top five of what's new and exciting in the basement this season.