We caught up with Marc Hare in his London store to find out more about what’s going on in the world of Mr Hare. We talk manufacturing shoes in England, not being able to wear his shoes outside of his house, the advantages of having a physical store and much more. Take a leap to read the Q&A.
Photography: Ivan Oglivie/Selectism.com
I noticed you sent an email today about the Deacon and the Beacons.
Right at the beginning, all the shoes were proper evening, sparkling, extravagant shoes. And then it snowed and I spent a whole year not being able to wear my own shoes out of my house. And I thought, “I’m never gonna let that happen again.” So that’s how the Idolescent collection where I used lots of vibram soles happened. Although they’re nice shoes and I do wear them a lot, it didn’t resonate with what I was trying to do in the first place, which is why these heavier British commando shoes do the job.
They bridge the gap for you.
It’s a learning process. You realize why the big shoe companies are so big. When you’ve got 60 to 100 years worth of experience behind you, you know what you’re doing. You make a shoe, it takes a good year and a half before you know whether that shoe works properly or not because you’ve gotta wear it out. And then you improve it and it takes another year. You’ve got these rounds of two years before you can make real improvements to something.
You’ve improved the Genet with the elastic side panel.
That was more to do with the shoe fits of different people. If you had a high arch there was a tendency that you could split the Genet by just jamming your feet into it. It didn’t happen to everyone, but the more of the things we sell, the more people are gonna be jamming the wrong size foot into it. So we had to find a solution where it kept its shape and it was still tight. And it could stretch more for people with higher arches.
What’s happened with the made-in-England stuff?
I don’t want to start a controversial argument here but it’s quite difficult to manufacture shoes in the UK unless you own your own factory. It just is. It’s not anyone’s fault, the industry’s gone a certain way, Northampton’s had it quite rough. Some players in Northampton have worked things out and are turning it around so that the UK shoe industry fits back into the global shoe industry but it’s still a long way to go. There’s a lot of great design talent, and I’m not even putting myself in that category, there’s a lot of great design talent in this country and some of the greatest shoe manufacture in the world. And the two things might as well be on other sides of the planet for the amount of collaborative effort that comes out of those two places. So that’s what happened to our English shoes. I want it to happen. I want to make a Mr Hare English shoe.
Is it a price thing?
It’s finding the right manufacturer to work with. In Italy we work with factories who are set up to do third-party manufacture. So they don’t have branding, they’re purely to make shoes for whoever comes in and wants to make shoes. That isn’t how it’s set up here in the UK. Most of the factories are [their] own brand factories, so the primary focus is on manufacturing their own brand. Then you have a price situation where you’re kinda getting charged what they’d charge to make their own shoe. Where we have to operate on a strict margin system. We manufacture something, we have a wholesale price and that price turns into a retail price. That’s not always the case here. Making a shoe in England, it’s hard to find a margin to make the whole thing work for everyone. That’s the biggest problem. We all need to get together and have a chat. We have a bitty shoe industry. We don’t really have an industry, we have a legend.
How do you go about something like that, or is that too big a question to ask?
It takes a lot of involvement. It’d be good if the British fashion council got involved, or London Collections: Men. You look at the fashion industry before Topshop got involved; Before Burberry turned it around; The biggest fashion entity was Marks & Spencers. And in those days, if you talked about British fashion, you’d go Galliano, McQueen and then the other side was M&S. And that’s exactly the same situation we have now in the British shoe industry. And they turned it around. So the format’s there, it can happen. There’s manufacturing, there’s design and there’s marketing. If we put all those things together we can rule the world.
How has having a store helped showcase the brand?
The thing that’s nice is having direct feedback from customers. Actually seeing the stuff go on people’s feet. When we were wholesaling, we getting a lot of feedback from around the world but it was never direct. It’s a help and a hindrance because the customer’s always right. They come in and tell you exactly what they want so you’d have to be a fool not to listen to them. But at the same time it does dilute what you set out to do. You’re in that dilemma of “Do I chase the commerciality or do I continue to strive forward with what I wanted to do?” When you find the balance between those two it can really help.
Python; is that the luxe ceiling for you?
It caught my eye. It’s such a beautiful skin that I thought I’d make some shoes out of it. I’d never say never to anything; things take your fancy and things resonate with you at different times. We’ve made a 100 pairs of python shoes and that’ll be it.
So you’re testing the waters?
No, just trying to make something that you think will be beautiful. It’s not about making massive hits, you just wanna make something that looks beautiful and uses that material. I like using things like that because they do what I want shoes to do, which is just give you that thing which is so stooshe, and so understatedly brilliant and wonderful and beautiful. I’m not gonna go and start using things that are massively endangered or a threat to that species. Most of what we use in the shoe industry is byproduct or farmed materials.
You had that Scarpe Nero thing.
Scarpe Nero is still a good idea and something we’re going to work on. The whole point of Scarpe Nero was to get a better price point and once again the economics of the thing, it takes volume to bring the prices down. So help me out world! Next time I bring out some Scarpe Neros, buy lots of them. You buy them, we’ll make them cheaper.
Do you want to do more of that kind of thing?
They’re only just coming into store now. We did four; we’ve only released 3 and 4 as they were the heavier winter ones and then 1 one and 2 come out in spring. Sort of Star Wars prequel order. The reaction’s been good because they are a little bit cheaper that what we do. And that’s just because of using one color all the way through, using standardized materials. It’s just me learning how to do things. I’m still making very high quality Italian shoes but at a better price point. But the only true way to do that is volume. The original idea was to have a £300 Italian made shoe. If someone else says they’ve done that then guarantee the top half was made in India and it was sewn together in Italy. It’s something I’m desperate to work towards, I didn’t set out to have high prices. I had certain principles about what I wanted to make and how I wanted to make them. And that dictates the price.
Is showing at fashion week a permanent thing?
Yes, I wanna do that. Because London is the first day of the calendar. Last year we did that and then shot off to Pitti. You get to Pitti and you’re reading about all the things that happened in London, so in terms of grand “this is our intention for the season”-kinda thing, it’s perfect. What I found is that you show in London it all makes sense. The next day you’re in Pitti and you’re this sore thumb. And then two weeks later you’re in Paris and the whole equation changes because it gets super glamourous and big fashion companies are out there wielding their cash. I didn’t even bother going to Milan. That’s where money happened. It wasn’t set up for little guys, whereas Paris is set up for little guys.
Selectism Q&A | Marc Hare of Mr Hare Shoes on Manufacturing, Fashion Week and More is a post by Jason Dike on Selectism.
Makers & Brothers, an online store founded by siblings Jonathan and Mark Legge, dedicated to promoting craft and design in Ireland and beyond, follow up April’s “shop-in-shed“ at Brown Thomas department store with another Dublin venture. Dubbed “Maker’s & Brothers & Others” the tiny department store will be stocked full of all the good stuff you can grab online and more, from Studio Donegal woollen socks and blankets, Aesop toiletries, Donna Wilson knits, Irish linens, Linda Brownlee prints, Cushendale Woollen Mills throws, as well as those beautiful Fort Standard brass bottle openers. Press play to see inside.
Makers & Brothers & Others - 5 Dame Lane Dublin 2, Ireland Until December 24
Makers & Brothers Open Dublin Pop-Up Shop – Gifts, Homewares & More is a post by Lena Dystant on Selectism.
When images of Kanye‘s first set of official Yeezus Tour merchandise hit the Internet, the big talking point was his reappropriation of the Confederate flag. Now, as new tour pieces are set to arrive – at PacSun, the newly revamped purveyors of streetwear - the talking point is the lack of Confederate flags.
Apparently, the graphics and patches were kosher when pasted on gear sold at at venues like Madison Square Garden and The Staples Center, but apparently not acceptable for America’s last bastion of decency and family values: the Mall.
Either way, see the whole 10-piece collection above. It arrives in PacSun’s webstore and brick and mortars at 8PM Thanksgiving Day.
RELATED: DEAR KANYE WEST, PLEASE DON’T LET YOUR ADIDAS LOOK LIKE THESE 7 ADIDAS
The post More ‘Yeezus’ Tour Merch at PacSun, Fewer Confederate Flags appeared first on SLAMXHYPE.
Visionaire and GAP team up for the first time in 11 years on a limited-edition range of collectible t-shirts designed by famous artists. The first batch will release at Art Basel in Miami Beach next month, a selected five styles appropriately named the “Miami 5.” Yoko Ono, Inez & Vinoodh, Marizio Cattelan & Piper Ferrari, Craig McDean and Sølve Sundsbø are the artists who created the shirts, each style of which will release in quantities of 300. Expect to see skulls, Lady Gaga and Stephanie Seymour in graphic black-and-white tees with Visionaire branded logos.
Yoko Ono, Sølve Sundsbø and More for Visionaire and GAP “Miami 5″ T-Shirts is a post by Elaine YJ Lee on Selectism.
Just a month after finally getting word that this thing is actually happening, we now have a start date for filming and visual proof that this is all real. Doug Ellin tweets before Deadline confirms:
And further, the cast reunited:
This should fully satisfy any non-believers who thought that this film getting made was about as likely as Dr. Dre’s Detox album being released;As in, not at all likely.Well, now it’s no fantasy, so you’re all officially allowed to get excited.
RELATED POST: THE ‘ENTOURAGE’ MOVIE IS OFFICIAL
The post Entourage Movie Even More Official. Filming Starts In January. appeared first on SLAMXHYPE.
Could this be the best Foot Locker commercial ever? With Kyrie Irving, Mike Tyson, Dennis Rodman and Brett Favre starring in Foot Lockers infamous Week of Greatness spot, we certainly think that Foot Locker has created a true masterpiece. In case you either don’t believe us or haven’t seen the brand new spot, we have the commercial posted after the jump for all of you sneakerheads to enjoy. Give it a look and be sure to let us know how you felt about it in the comments section below.
Common is one of the newer brands on the menswear scene, but it’s already caught a number of eyes, from stockists to writers. We managed to catch Common’s Saif Bakir and Emma Hedlund while they were in London. The two chat about their upcoming Newgen presentation, the reasoning behind the names of their clothes, working with Kanye West and more. Take the leap to read the Q&A.
Congrats on the Newgen, how’s all that been?
Emma: It’s been great. We had such nice feedback. We’re all new to twitter, because it’s not very big in Sweden.
Saif: No, Instagram is much bigger.
Emma: We had a lot of tweets yesterday about it. It’s quite nice. We’re very happy with it.
Saif: It’s great to be part of London Collections: Men, it’s even better to be part of newgen with its support, the experience and the help you get.
Emma: The knowledge that they’re all sitting on. That part is the biggest help. Then, obviously, the platform and the opportunity to present to press is great but just that knowledge the fashion council is giving you…
Saif: They’re providing a safety net. With the lawyers and business plan.
All that other stuff you don’t really think about.
Saif: Which actually is the hardest part. You need a business partner, it goes hand in hand. It’s one thing being creative and designing but you won’t make it unless you’ve got a really strong business side. And they provide that.
Do you know what you’re going to do yet or is it too soon to ask?
Emma: We kind of know what we’re gonna do.
Saif: We’ve got ideas, we just need to tie them together. But we know the inspiration and the focal point of the collection.
Emma: And the shapes. It’s all the beginning part of the collection, it’s not hanging there, at all. But I think we’re starting to see it. We can visualise it. The mood board are there, the fabrics are there.
Saif: We’re finalising the print and the ideas.
Emma: Every season we collaborate with an artist, we call it Common Grounds.
Tell us more about that.
Saif: It’s a platform. Where we meet, as the name suggests, on common grounds. We, as fashion designers, would contact a graphic designer, an artist or illustrator. We don’t really set the boundaries, it’s really an open brief. It’s just someone whose work we like and appreciate and want to do something together. The past three seasons it’s been print on clothes but it’s just the way it kind of happened. We’ve fallen in love with some of the artists we’ve seen and thought, “Oh my god, it’d be so cool to do this on this.” But the idea is to work across all disciplines. In the seasons to come it might be completely different, it might not even be clothing.
Like a book or something?
Saif: It could be a book, furniture, a stool. It’s just really open — whatever we like at the time. It depends on who we’re working with and what their discipline is.
Emma: And it’s really interesting to step out of your comfort zone and allow yourself to work on something that is not necessarily what you would do yourself. I think you need to take something that has been provided to you and come up with something creative. We give them a brief and they come back with something and then you need to do something with it. Often that becomes much more interesting than if you were to do it from scratch yourself. So far it’s been really expensive. And now we’re in the process of starting something for 2014. It’s very fresh at the moment.
You’ve spoken about the whole continuous collection thing. Do you feel that strict seasonal dressing is an outdated notion?
Saif: Seasons are melting into one another. Look at now, we’ve had a really warm autumn. Is there a point of having autumn/winter, spring/summer? They’re all kind of going together. Sometimes we’ll have a really cold summer or cold spring and nobody would sell anything. Any shorts would end up on sale. Retailers and businesses are seeing it through a sales point of view. For us, it’s more like dividing the year.
Emma: Our collections are continuous such as there’re carryover styles and also seasonals. There might be very light garments in the autumn/winter collection and slightly heavier ones for spring/summer.
Saif: And to add on to [what] Emma said, it’s a story under constant development. When we say our collections are continuous, it’s because you should be able to hang them all together and they would look like a big collection. Because at the end of the day, you’ll put them in your wardrobe and that’s how they’ll hang. You’re not going to divide your wardrobe– take pieces from all of our collections and hang them in your wardrobe and [you can] see there’s a red thread going through them. A common vibe. That’s what we meant with our collections being continuous.
Going on from that, how important are mainstays?
Saif: Carryovers happen because they become popular.
Emma: Also, from people asking about it and press reactions. Our outerwear for one, there’s a demand or they’re asking for outerwear to come back again. So the bomber jacket is becoming a carryover style, it’s been so popular.
Saif: It’s become our signature piece. It’s always there and people expect it. This guy emailed me, he promised never to buy a bomber jacket ever again because he’s got 8 or 9 and then he walked outside of Other Shop on Kingly Street and had to get it. And he emailed us just to tell us that. He broke the only vow he had to himself not to buy one more bomber. Which is great, and for us it’s better than sales. He’s expressing his love for a piece that you’ve actually created and done. Its the ultimate satisfaction really.
What’s behind the names of the pieces?
Saif: At the beginning, we were inspired by a particular thing like Russian art or something. At one point, we were inspired by the ’40s and that kind of army-military.
Emma: We used the names. It was German names then it was Russian names. Last year we had a lot of inspiration from American sports so the names came from the likes of Cole and Neil and American baseball players.
Saif: First season we had a trench coat made out of silk. It felt so French, it looked so French and then it was called Yves. It’s like giving personality to the garments.
How was making things in Sweden?
Emma: That was something we initially had as a starting point.
Saif: At the time everyone was complaining that everything’s made in the Far East. People were talking about the environment and the impact that has on it. It was really in fashion to talk about that. Like in New York, there was a lot of brands all made in Brooklyn. People were making their own soap and jams and god knows what else. There was so much homemade, locally produced things. At least in food there was a lot of that.
Emma: It felt natural to take that on in fashion, but in very high-end fashion.
Saif: The Swedish manufacturing industry was huge back in ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s then it started dying. There was a few factories that we thought it’d be cool to go back [to] and see what’s going on.
Emma: Our first collection was all manufactured in Sweden. And it was a really nice idea but it was really difficult to make it happen. And we felt that, first of all, we didn’t get the kind of support that we hoped to get from the manufacturers themselves. Because there’s not many and there’s not many people that are interested in working in the factories, so there’s no knowledge. Everyone had to leave and work somewhere else.
Saif: It was a dying trade really, it’s a dead trade.
Emma: Today, if you study or aim to go into the textile business you wouldn’t really educate yourself as a technician. You would go into possibly pattern cutting but you would probably go into the design part of it.
Saif: Nobody wants to be a seamstress.
Is it the same in England?
Saif: It is. The industry vanished ages ago.
You don’t aspire to speak Latin anymore.
Saif: No, exactly. You nailed it there. It is a shame. At the end of the day, who’s going find it interesting? The local people, because if it’s made locally then it should be attractive to the local people. But then the local people weren’t interested. Swedish people were like, “I’m not paying that much for that.” So it’s fine when you complain about the factories falling apart and people are dying in Bangladesh but you’re not willing to pay the extra money to get it done locally with fair wages. It’s hypocrisy, so we thought. And the international stores wouldn’t care about if it’s made in Sweden.
Emma: We haven’t completely left the idea, if you can make something locally that would be great. If you do a specific product and the manufacturing possibilities are there, that’s great.
Saif: Having said that, we produce a lot in the UK. We sample everything in the UK. All our collections are done here. And we produce in Europe so it’s not sweatshops in Bangladesh. I don’t think for brands at our level and our market, it’s not interesting to be in the Far East. If you’re going to go to China you need thousands and thousands and thousands of quantities.
Emma: And you definitely lose the quality of the garment. You can immediately see it. Even for the bigger labels that have originally produced in Italy or in Europe, then they go to the far east and you see they lose the possibility of controlling the quality of the garments. Obviously if you manage to have someone there to oversee it it’s good, but it’s just easier to do it here.
How long were you at COS?
Saif: A year and a half.
Emma: When Saif was at COS I started working with Kanye West and then moved on and worked with Wooyoungmi. That’s when Kanye started the discussion of setting up a studio in Paris and making his brand. Pastelle, it was called initially, to Kanye West. That’s when both me and Saif were appointed head of design.
How was Wooyoungmi?
Emma: That was my first complete menswear debut. I did four, five seasons with Wooyoungmi. It was quite different because it was all quirky details but I learnt a lot. I was in charge of creating the catwalk collections.
How was Pastelle?
Emma: When I started there, it was very new so it was only me, Kanye and another guy Virgil who’s doing Pyrex, working very tightly with Kanye on everything. Initially it was a lot more street and what Kanye was all about at the time. He was always a lot more interested in doing womenswear and more high-end clothing. He was looking at Paris rather than the streetwear that you associated him with.
Saif: We have to thank him for the hours we spent working. It wasn’t a 9 to 5 job.
Emma: We never left the studio before 2am. And then we were there again at 8am.
Saif: We are kind of doing the same hours now. It prepared you for the hard work. And he was there all the time. He didn’t sleep. Look how productive he is.
Emma: And when we were sleeping, he was recording.
How does his public thing differ from his private thing?
Saif: He works. It’s all work.
Emma: At one time initially we all sat at his hotel, the Moritz. In one room, he’d emptied the whole room and he was recording his album with John Legend and Jay-Z was coming in. And in the other room he had the design team, sketching. Multi-tasking.
Stockists, you’ve got a really strong stockist list.
Emma: We’re very lucky that our debut collection was in Tres Bien and in Storm in Copenhagen.
Saif: So it filtered down from there. It was our strategy. We didn’t want to be everywhere and we pinpointed the shops we really wanted and contacted them directly. We don’t do trade shows. We’ve been offered all the trade shows for free but it’s not our thing.
Emma: It’s important for a young brand to have a personal connection to all the stores.
Saif: We sell ourselves.
Emma: You need to see what they need from a brand. All the stores have their needs and their specific customers. And that also gives you the opportunity to decide how you’re going to design your collections in order to keep all your customers happy.
Saif: And stay true to yourself. It’s good to get the feedback and to have the personal contact to your customers. Because for us, we don’t have our own stores or online shop, so they are our first customer. We’re lucky to have stores like Soto, Voo, Tres Bien and Storm all liking us.
What’s next apart from New Gen?
Saif: We’re just really excited about New Gen and putting all the effort and getting a really strong collection.
Emma: And semi-relocating to London. Being here where it’s all happening.
Saif: And doing a great presentation. There’s not much time left, less than six weeks. And Christmas is in-between.
Emma: It’s going be Christmas in the studio. It’s always going be exciting with the new collaborations as well.
Selectism Q&A | Sweden’s Common on LC:M, Kanye West and More is a post by Jason Dike on Selectism.
Until Ploom dropped its PAX vaporizer in 2012, “sleek design” and “beauty” weren’t exactly buzzwords in the infant e-cigarette industry. Thanks to PAX, vaporizer enthusiasts could finally toke publicly without having to worry about looking like they were sticking torture devices into their mouths.
The only problem with the PAX? For all it’s simplicity, it’s stub-nose design made it look like you were smoking a stainless steel thumb drive.
Enter Ploom’s modelTwo, a beautifully thin vape that fits the hand like a classic cigarette, but features a pod-fed smoke delivery system that’s combustion-less and secondhand smoke free. Even though the anodized, food-grade aluminum piece could pass as a writing utensil, it’s battery holds enough to smoke 4 pod-fulls in a single charge.
Welcome to the future of smoking, people.
Get a modelTwo for .95 on Ploom’s webstore here.
RELATED: LET A$AP ROCKY’S “PHOENIX” ACCOMPANY THE SMOKE
The post Ploom’s modelTwo Vaporizer, Now More Cigarette-Like appeared first on SLAMXHYPE.
It’s Friday. You’ve still got a few more hours of weekly grind before you can clock off for a couple of days. Maybe you’re past deadline on that brief you were supposed to have cracked yesterday. Maybe your boss is on your back for the third time this week. It’s all good though – the Jellyfish Eyes characters just came to life and they’re making the world a more pleasant place one Harper’s Bazaar page at a time.
The magazine recently caught up with Takashi Murakami, the man behind the kawaii characters to talk about his animation, whilst photographer Jason Schmidt followed model Angela Lindvall around Los Angeles accompanied by Murakami’s happiness-inducing characters. It’s like Harper’s Bazaar finally figured out the formula for a universally appealing editorial – what’s not to like about sunshine, burgers and cuddly monsters?
RELATED: Takashi Murakami: Healing Powers
The post Harper’s Bazaar Just Made the World a More Pleasant Place with Murakami’s Monsters appeared first on SLAMXHYPE.
With Daniel Craig already signed on for at least two more 007 flicks, Ian Flemings’ dapper British spy won’t get a chance to see his first non-white man casting, probably, until 2020. However, DJ Whoo Kid takes matters into his own hands, recruiting A$AP Ferg, Wiz Khalifa, and Problem for a Bond-style short film. Though plot details are as scarce as in Casino Royale, theDan The Man-directed video features the kind of adventures 007 would get into if he were a downtown NYC cool kid — a high-speed chase down FDR Drive and a lot of high-class nightlife. “More Champagne” will be featured on Whoo Kid’s N-Word Bond Project in early 2014.
The post DJ Whoo Kid, A$AP Ferg, Wiz Khalifa and Problem Become Black Bond for “More Champagne” [Music Video] appeared first on SLAMXHYPE.