Henri Lloyd is a brand all about heritage, founded in 1963 the original sailing brand was founded in Manchester by Henri Strzelecki MBE. Since then, the brand has gone on to push boundaries of style and technical innovation.
Henri Lloyd’s Autumn 2014 collection continues to promote the brand’s core design DNA: technological innovation mixed with Henri Lloyd’s rich heritage.
As fans of the brand, we had the opportunity to discuss the thought process behind the AW14 collection with Menswear Designer Bardhyl Latifi.
So tell us, what was the inspiration behind the new AW14 collection?
The seasonal inspiration behind Autumn 14 is guided by our Heritage as ‘The Original British Nautical Brand’, that’s the starting point. I then incorporated some innovative and original design solutions to the collection through the functionality, unique detailing and technical fabrication. It takes two seconds to open up one of our archive rooms and you are transported to this new world which I call ‘travel in time’, by the time you come out you are so full of ideas, you can’t wait to get started on the design process.
There’s an obvious focus on technicality for this collection, but would you say you put more emphasis on functionality over general style?
It is all about finding the right balance between fashion and function. We are known for function, innovation, protection – that will always be very important for us and it will always exist within our collections however these products need to be stylish and on-trend too. Our lifestyle collection is a collection of not only the best functional pieces out there on the market, but each individual piece is also a work of art created through our heritage and tradition.
What’s the process you go through when designing?
Hmmm…where do I start! It can be such a long process or it can be a quick process depending on what I want to create. Sometimes ideas include new features or components that are not yet fully commercialised and these take time to develop. You can be travelling and you see something that exists but is used in an unexpected way and that can also be new and exciting. Henri Lloyd always strives to be the very best, we won’t compromise on quality or design and that is something, as a designer, that I enjoy and am challenged by.
When you have to deal with high tech fabrics and advanced technologies, do you sometimes find it difficult to design around them?
No, that is my favourite part as it makes for a few head scratches. I love a challenge, I always have…it is one of those things I do best.
A bit of a style question here… I can see that outerwear is a stand out feature in the collection, but how often do you think a guy should reinvest into new outerwear?
Always. We don’t create just another ‘jacket’ we create ideas that when seen, they draw you in and when worn feels different and better than any equivalent. Also season to season new elements go into the design of our outerwear, ideas that aren’t just the best but help to create an experience that is unforgettable.
Do you have a personal favourite from the AW14 collection?
Do parents have favourite children?
What drives you forward as a designer each season?
Raising the bar and seeing the brand evolve. Whilst we are proud of our 50 years of heritage our eyes are firmly set on the future.
Do you have any personal inspirations you take from when designing?
My back ground and up bringing is not in England so I tend to take a very multi cultural approach to the way I think and design. I also travel quite a lot so I’m used to seeing how different regions outfit key trends with a unique sense of style. It always amazes me how culture can play a big part in how something is communicated.
Loving the pops of colour in the AW14 collection, do you think colour in autumn/winter is important?
Colour is important in life otherwise everything would be boring. It is also important to get the colour right, that way you are creating excitement and possibility for people.
Last but not least, can you give us a snapshot into what our readers could expect from your SS15 collection?
……..That’s a big question to answer without giving the game away !!! However for those out there that love fashion we do have a slightly different angle on the Spring season which is a must see, I am totally obsessed with it!
A huge thanks to Bardhyl for taking the time out, and the full collection can be seen over at Henri Lloyd.