News in Interviews

Phoebe Coleman: day in the life of...

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Our newest jeweller on the block is the lovely Phoebe Coleman. Fresh out of Shoreditch, the collection is part rock and roll and part whimsy and supremely pretty. There's a piece on every Hambledoner's wish list. Here Phoebe gives us a little peek into life in the studio.

phoebecoleman - ditlo

Q&A with Marc Asseily, founder of Arpenteur

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We love a family-feel independent, so are super excited to be stocking menswear brand, Arpenteur, run exclusively by two cousins (and a certain pattern maker they admit they couldn't work without). We hear from founder Marc Asseily on their lessons learned, brand inspiration and Arpenteur's guilty pleasure. Bibimbap, anyone?  

Describe your typical working day.

If we had to sum things up, we would say there is a bit of design and pattern making, a bit of production and factory visiting, and a lot of e-mails and phone calls.

Who or what couldn't you work without?

Our pattern maker, a lady with a long experience [in the industry]. She is the one who understands and translates our intentions into shapes.

What do you like most about what you do?

We are an independent company (the brand is just the two of us, and we are cousins). The best thing is making our own decisions and being able to work without any compromise on our values.

Which project, collection or achievement are you most proud of?

Every season we develop original fabrics, in partnership with French knitting and weaving mills. We try to get fabrics with a good balance between rugged quality and comfort. This is something we're always proud to achieve and show.

Who would you most like to see wearing an Arpenteur design?

Anybody who likes the story we try to tell, gets the feelings we try to comunicate through our products, and maybe shares the same values of independence (and style!)

What has been the most important lesson learned?

Always try to ask ourselves the right questions to make a product better from one season to another. There is always room for improvement.

Who or what inspires you?

French folk culture, clothes and art are a very strong source of inspiration. We also try to translate personal feelings about things we see and like. It may come from various media or random observations in our daily life.

What would you like to do in the future?

We are always looking for new people with specific skills we can use to make better garments, and we would like to keep it that way for as long as we can.

What is the Arpenteur team's guilty pleasure?

There is a Korean restaurant not far from the office, serving the best bibimbap dish in town. We could eat there every day of the week.

And finally, tell us a bit about this season's collection...

The AW14 season tries to focus on simple but strong styles, with a focus on outerwear. Our ideas stay pretty much the same from season to season. We just try to find new fabrics, improve and reshape things we previously did. As with every season, there are a number of classic gallic sportswear fabrics: wool melton, moleskine, boiled wool and corduroy.


Q&A with Buffy Reid, founder of &Daughter

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We've all been unashamedly looking forward to the end of this uncharacteristically hot weather and it's all down to one woman, Buffy Reid, the knitwear entreprenuer behind &Daughter. Guernsey knits, ribbed sweaters and chunky cardigans are just about the only things on our mind right now so we were super excited to talk knitwear inspiration, working with her dad and how she acquired the name Buffy.

What was the original inspiration behind &Daughter?

&Daughter was originally inspired by a hand knit Aran I found one Christmas that my Grandmother had made. I was working in fashion in London at the time and my friends and I all lived in knitwear but found it hard to find the type of pieces we wanted to wear- a simple crew neck in a perfect shade of navy or a chunky cable knit but in a modern shape.

My Dad had worked in knitwear his whole career and growing up we were surrounded by boxes of amazing things and that somehow felt missing from what I could find and it felt relevant.

Describe your typical working day?

Coffee about 6ish, emails and customer orders start the day. We dispatch from our studio (which is in my house) so we pack each order that comes in and then a courier comes to collect later that day. After that I usually spend the morning working on the new collection that's in development. At the moment that's AW15, so it's mood boards and sketch reviews, Skyping with the factories to catch up and feed back on prototypes coming through as well as checking on progress for the forthcoming Spring season.

The afternoon is usually lots of meetings: appointments with press or our web and production teams to discuss the site design or any upcoming campaign shoots. Then, if there’s still time left in the evening, hopefully a
glass of wine and dinner with friends.

What do you like most about what you do?

&Daughter wouldn’t be possible without the amazing skill and knowledge of the craftspeople we work with, working with them and learning from them is incredible.

How has it been going into business with your father?

It's allowed us to get to know each other and it's a lot of fun which is probably a bit of a surprise. Of course we disagree sometimes but when I go home to Donegal we visit the factories together which are in amazing parts of the countryside where my Dad grew up, it's beautiful and I feel really lucky to be able to do that with him.

Who would you most like to see wearing an &Daughter design?

I most enjoy seeing how our customers wear it. Everyone I see in &Daughter wears it slightly differently and gives it their own take, that’s exactly our intention and it's exciting to see.

Who or what inspires you?

Miuccia Prada and Phoebe Philo: two strong, intelligent women creating clothes for strong, intelligent women. They have changed the way we get dressed.

Which jumper will you mostly be wearing this winter, and how will you be wearing it?

We design &Daughter to work as a wardrobe of knitwear pieces so I tend to wear different styles for different days. I've been wearing our stripe collar t-shirt a lot at the moment as it's a great transitional piece while the weather is still warm and then I layer our boyfriend cardigan over instead of a jacket.

As it gets colder I have a feeling I’m going to be always in our rib collar tunic knit in navy - it’s incredibly versatile, for meetings in the week I’ll wear it with an A-line skirt and a chunky loafer and at weekends with some skinny jeans and flats.

What has been your proudest &Daughter moment
to date?

A customer wrote us a thank-you letter recently to say she’d lived all winter in the two pieces she’d bought from &Daughter. It was such a kind and unexpected gesture.

What would you like to do in the future?

We are taking things intentionally slowly, we want to focus on doing one
thing but doing it brilliantly well.

And finally, can we be cheeky and ask where the name Buffy came from?

Of course. My older brother couldn't say Elizabeth (my real name) when I
was born so he used to call me Buff and so for as long as I can remember I thought that was my name. It gets a little sillier as you get older but it's too late now!


Wishlist

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We've long been wanting to work with the lovely ladies at Betty Magazine (one of our favourite reads) and finally the perfect opportunity arose in the form of our 15th birthday. So we asked them to compile a wishlist of their fifteen favourite Hambledon wares. And then we thought, what the heck, let's celebrate this occasion with a giveaway. Yes, people, this impeccable selection could be all yours. 

(This competition is now closed)

1. Falcon Serving Tray £19.99 | 2. Mint Skyline Fountain Pen £17.95 |  3. Nail Polish Paprika £12 | 4. School Milk Bottles Crate £9.95 | 5. Where Chefs Eat £14.95 | 6. Double Star Gold Earrings £38 | 7. Popcorn Holder £2.95 | 8. Chiaverini Apricot Jam £5.95 | 9. Birthday Candle Card £3.50 | 10. Pink Love Salts £9.95 | 11. Pearl Tea Cup & Saucer £4.95 | 12. Classic Strong Mint Toothpaste £5.50 | 13. Rose & Vanilla Tinted Lip Blush £9.95 | 14. Nail Enamel Remover £10 | 15. Vintage Bouquet Long Socks £19.95 


Brandy Monique: day in the life of...

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She's the lady behind Fig + Yarrow, our gorgeous new range of handcrafted organic bath and beauty products all the way from Denver, USA. The team have croissant Wednesdays, smoothie Fridays and a teepee in their studio. Bet you the place smells heavenly, too. Brandy Monique, can we come and work for you?

Fig + Yarrow

Stephen Kenny: Day in the life of...

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We've long been envious of the way letterpress artist Stephen Kenny spends his days, working from 'problem press' headquarters in East London, listening to Radio 4 and producing some of our most favourite posters and greetings cards. Time to take a closer look at what he's getting up to.

Stephen Kenny

Q&A with Hilary Robertson, author of The Stuff of Life

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Lucy is an uber fan of this lady. Hilary Robertson, major league interiors stylist, art director and all round oracle on the stuff we love. We've been pouring over her exquisite new book, The Stuff of Life, for several weeks now, so we were just a bit wowed to talk styling, buying and NYC life with the lady herself.

How did you get started as a stylist?

After university I interned on various magazines which helped me decide that I wanted to be an interiors stylist. Initially I had wanted to be in the fashion department but I discovered that the interiors/design world was more appealing to me.

There aren't that many jobs available on magazines but I was very determined! I found a magazine that was about to launch and wrote to the publisher before he had even hired an editor.

Who or what couldn't you work without?

Travel is really important to me as I am always looking for inspiration, new products and trends. I'm in Copenhagen at the moment which I always find refreshing aesthetically.

I lived here in my twenties and it definitely influenced my choice of career. Scandinavians have such a rich design history and they integrate design into their lives in a very natural, practical way.

What do you like most about what you do?

I like the immediacy of photography: you can make a picture very quickly. I take pictures myself all the time. Instagram is fantastic for amateurs. In fact, the iPhone has really helped me to be a better stylist; it makes communication easier and I can record a visual diary that I find incredibly useful in the process of creating a story.

Which project or achievement are you most proud of?

I'm always moving forward and learning so I don't really dwell on the past! I'm always convinced that the next thing I'm working on will be the best. I'm grateful to my publishers for backing my ideas!

Anyone you would absolutely love to work with in the future?

I'd love to work as a creative director for a brand. When I first arrived in NYC I worked on creating a new interiors brand, Canvas. I enjoyed that process as I was involved in everything from sourcing materials and products to art directing shoots.

Tell us a bit about your move to New York, and from a buying perspective, how it differs to London?

The decorating business is very different here from London. US magazines are very focussed on showing homes that have been 'decorated' by
professional interior designers, quite different from our approach in the UK.

Finding independent retailers with their own identity is hard here as the US high street has become so homogenous; the same home brands are everywhere. I reacted against that by spending lots of time at flea markets where I can find things that help me put together a more individual look. I also love to discover crafts people who sell their work on Etsy or at fairs.

Who or what inspires you?

Visiting museums and art galleries is invaluable. I always spend any free time that I have looking at art and design or watching films with a strong aesthetic. Bergman's Fanny and Alexander is my favourite film.

Finally, if you could go back in time, when and where would you put yourself?

The Bloomsbury Group's interiors have always appealed to me. I like the Omega workshop's inventiveness and unconventional approach to creating rooms bursting with texture, color and pattern. I adore Cecil Beaton's interiors too and the sets in Jean Cocteau films. (Around 1912- 1930 might be about right).



Angela Bell: Day in the Life of...

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She's the lady behind the most exquisite and luxurious collection we stock up in womenswear but hers is no sterotypical designer's life. She runs Queene and Belle from an attic studio on her farm in the Scottish Borders, surrounded by fields and 700 sheep. Join us lusting after Angela Bell's gorgeous glam/ unglam life.

Angela Bell

Q&A with Pierre Boiselle, Sales & Marketing Manager at Edwin Europe

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Basement favourites Edwin are back for SS14 with a spot on collection of summertime staples. Rob sat down to talk road trips, red wine, raw selvedge and rare disco with Pierre Boiselle, who heads up the sales and marketing for Edwin in Europe.

Describe your typical working day?

I am very fortunate as I travel a lot and most of the time avoid any routine at work. But if I am at the office, first I would have a coffee and a cigarette, then a quick chat with Rey and the rest of the crew before I turn on my laptop.

Who or what couldn't you live without?

My girlfriend and our 're-worked family'. Being a bit more materialist, a pair of raw ED-80 red listed and a fresh pair of fine shoes.

What do you like most about what you do?

The travels and the huge diversity of people I have the chance to meet on the road. Moreover the people I am working with. They are an extension of my own family: some my mentors, some collaborators, but overall, mostly very good friends.

Who would you most like to see wearing an Edwin design?

I have never thought about this to be honest. I guess Nile Rodgers from Chic and Jean-Paul Belmondo would have been quite cool back in their glory time. People that would inspire the notion of 'style' to other people.

Which project, collection or achievement are you most proud of?

I might be a bit boring here but at the moment what I am the most proud of
with Edwin is the quality that you can get for a decent price. There are tons of amazing products on the market, but to be able to offer a raw selvedge denim using exclusive fabric made in Japan for £130 is, I think, pretty unique.

Tell us a bit about this season's menswear collection.

It's a proper summer collection! A lot of colour, light ounces and bleached denim. A lot of prints to be applied to jersey, shirting but also jackets and bermudas. We are also introducing a new fit to our range - a new skinny called the ED 85.

What has been the most important lesson learned?

Be polite and quiet when necessary... to manage your ego.

Who or what inspires you?

Some 'entrepreneurs' I have around me at work and in my private life. Places such as Antheor in the south of France, Greve in Chianti in Tuscany and Guaiu in Brazil.

What would you like to do in the future?

Keep on going! Do my best to make Edwin an unforgettable denim brand
that can talk to everyone while at the same time respecting our Japanese heritage without compromising on quality.

What is the Edwin team's guilty pleasure?

Cigarettes, red wine and road trips.

We know that you are a massive fan of rare disco music. Which three records never leave your bag?

I am indeed a big fan of disco music but I should not get any honour for this. A dear friend of mine spends most of his free time digging tracks. The rest of the time he drinks vodka and makes me listen to his new finds. So, here is mine and Clement's selection:

1. Herbie Hancock: Stars in Your Eyes

2. Joe Dassin: Le Jardin du Luxembourg (Tee Two Mariani Edit)

3. Gino Soccio: Turn it Around

And finally, your top three Lyon must see/dos...

I love this city a lot so I give you a few more than three:

Food: Go to Les Halles Paul Bocuse, a covered market where you will find all sorts of fine food, from snails to foie gras, but also lots of specialities from Lyon. My favourite place there is called Chez Merle. They specialise in
seafood and serve the best oysters in town.

Drink: Head to Le Voxx. I don 't know if it's a good tip as the servers aren't always polite and the food isn't great, but I spent all my teenage years there so it's a bad habit that keeps my friends and I going back. If you want to enjoy a bottle of rose or a Ricard on a sunny Saturday afternoon we might meet each other.

Club: L'ambassade is a very small club that used to be an old gangster spot back in the 80s. The crowd can be a bit strange sometimes but the music is always great. Manoo the resident dj has made some tracks with Masters at Work in the past which probably explains why!

Shop: Go visit my good friends at Heritage Store. They have great selection of menswear and in the basement of their store there is also a record store called Emile Records! For womenswear Solis is worth a visit.

Stay: If your budget allows stay at La Cours de Loges. It's an amazing place hidden in the historic district of Lyon. A cheaper alternative is The College Hotel nearby.


 


Wishlist

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She's one of the biggest names in blogging and her daily installments on 'bohemian modern style' are a permanent fixture on our reading list. Just a little bit excited to have Victoria Smith, aka SF Girl by Bay, here, taking her pick of our wares.

1. Large Harlequin Napkins £4.25 | 2. Lifecycling £19 |  3. Assorted Vintage Letter £79 | 4. Bottles with stopper £3.95 | 5. Beech Lemon Squeezer £5.95