Henry Todd: Interview with Creative Director

Discovering what’s behind a brand’s inspiration is always very interesting, you can find out why they decided to go for a certain pattern, where they source their materials, and going a bit deeper… the ideals that make that brand so unique and different from the rest.

 

It’s been a while since our last Interview, so I’ve put together a few good ol’ questions that were answer by HENRY TODD‘s creative director Evgeny Artyukov; I was right away mesmerized by his creativity, and it’s really worth reading it as he tells us all about the SS15 collection, what’s in the future for the brand and some exquisite trivia.

 

As you might have noticed, we recently collaborated with Henry Todd, and I showed off in our latest editorial, “Posh Boys”, a FW14 creation featuring an intricate diamond-pattern, something so simple yet completely unique…You can catch up with the post here

But now, let’s get back to business and see what Evgeny has to say!

 

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  Q: We always like to start with this obligatory question, how did the journey for “HENRY TODD” begin? What’s the core strength of the brand?

 

A: HENRY TODD was built on the premise of producing the most stylish, most colourful, and highest quality knitwear in the world, but still making it affordable.

That’s not to say our knitwear is affordable to everyone, but that anyone could allocate resources and invest in our pieces, in the same way that they invest in a good suit or pair of shoes. Our knitwear is designed to be enjoyed for many seasons and we keep our quantities small for each style so as to preserve the uniqueness and exclusivity of each piece.

 

We have always been into fashion and trends, but we don’t get obsessive over following the latest cutting-edge looks. Clothes of exceptional quality with long-lasting value attract us in a similar way to masterpieces of music, painting or sculpture. Hand-knitted sweaters are perfect examples of timeless quality – pieces could pass through generations and still look amazing, chic, and not outdated. That is why we are so passionate about creating exceptional knitwear that will never age.

 

We also think that knitwear shows the creativity in fashion because – through innovation and complexity/simplicity of cables, patterns, shapes, and colours – you can tell a story (think for instance about traditional Scottish Aran sweaters) and create a unique masterpiece.

 

Truly beautiful and extraordinary quality knitwear can make the perfect fashion statement. You just need a simple outfit with knitwear of exceptional quality as the finish touch and you’re already making a statement.

High-quality knitwear is usually outrageously expensive. For example, hand-knitted cashmere by luxury fashion houses often costs upwards of £2,000, which means only the more privileged can afford to buy it. That doesn’t seem fair or right, which is why we decided to launch HENRY TODD.

 

Q: We absolutely love the knitwear selection from the AW14 range; can you give us any details on the SS15 collection? Do you have a favourite piece? And when will it launch?

 

A: Sure. Henry Todd’s SS15 collection embraces the spirit and excitement of an English summer’s day, taking its inspiration from beautiful landscapes and enchanting pursuits. Strolling through a luscious floral meadow, boating on a cool blue lake and picnicking in the shade of a rich green apple tree all inspire us.

 

Some pieces from SS15 have actually already arrived in-store and you can visit www.henry-todd.co.uk to see them.

 

I personally love our Cashmere-blend stripe cardigan. I’m really into its bold colourway and patterns, and I think the cardigan is really cool and chic because of its chunky fit. We had it made in Italy specifically because we know that Italian craftsmen are the best in the world at producing the complicated cable and colour combination that we wanted for the piece. However, our cashmere- and cotton-blend yarn is sourced from Scottish mills, which means we still had the opportunity to contribute to the development of British knitwear industry. So, in the end, we created this really cool piece, with a beautifully soft feel and extraordinary quality.

 

images from the SS15 range

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Q: What’s in the future for “Henry Todd”? Is the brand going to take part in fashion week?

 

A: We want HENRY TODD to continue producing the very best knitwear in the world and deliver the pleasure of wearing it to all our customers. We can compare it to what Hermès did with scarves – they were the core of the brand and what Hermès first became so famous for.

 

With the same preciousness, quality, passion, and sense of style that we are achieving with our knitwear, we want to expand our range to produce whole collections of men’s/women’s ready-to-wear clothing.

 

This summer and autumn we will present our FW15 collection at Pure London and Pure Shanghai, ensuring even more customers enjoy our knitwear.

And yes, we do have plans to exhibit at London Fashion Week. Watch this space for more details!

 

Q: We can see HENRY TODD’s creative flare in the designs, but where do you take your inspiration from? Do you have an icon that inspires you?

 

A: Our inspiration comes from the unique and spirited culture of London and Britain in general. Just living in the city can give you tons of unique experiences, feelings and enough inspiration to create something beautiful.

 

British academic institutions, traditional sports such as rowing, and college references are a major source of inspiration to us right now. We don’t want to create just another luxury preppy brand though. We want to mix and match preppy with a bit of quirky and rebellious fun.

 

HENRY TODD wants to celebrate British youth. We want to encourage our customers to be rebellious, to experiment with mixing styles, to be snobbish, but just for fun, and to be preppy, but sexy at the same time. Through our collections we want to inspire our customers to be cool, energetic, and live life to the full.

 

Q: Fashion week is *finally* over and we discovered the collections for the next AW15 from all the major fashion houses, What can we expect from Henry Todd FW15?

 

A: The theme for our AW15 collection is A Very British Winter and we will be celebrating all that is beautiful about our cold harsh climate. The collection takes its lead from the mountainous landscapes of the British Isles and the tough winters that cover these regions.

 

Snow-capped mountains, rugged hillside terrains, frost-coated trees, frozen lakes and dripping icicles all inspired us, as did wild wolves, foxes, mountain stags and bears All these iconic influences led us to create a very tactile and surface-rich collection.

Think winter white, frosted iced pastels and earthy greyed-off neutrals mixed with vivid winter berry, camel and clementine hues to add warmth. Each piece has been crafted in the softest of cashmere and wool blends, in a variety of fine and chucky knits, making them perfect to keep you warm and protected during the winter months ahead.

 

Q: We love trivia! And we are so curious to find out three interesting unique facts about “Henry Todd” that make the brand what it is today.

 

A: I think the best way to answer that is to recap on HENRY TODD’s values. These constitute what the brand is about today and what it will be about tomorrow:

 

• We never compromise on style and quality, and we design the world’s finest pieces. You can be sure that there are no other pieces in the world of such extraordinary quality and sophisticated design.

 

• We are chic and sophisticated, but we are also rebellious and daring. We find inspiration in traditional British things, which makes us a truly British brand. Our knitwear is chic, rich in colour and sophisticated in technique, but the way we like to wear our pieces makes them even more rebellious, outrageous, sexy, and cool.

 

• We are forever young in mind and soul. HENRY TODD celebrates youthfulness, freshness, cool British style, constant fun, and attractiveness!

 

 

credits for words and images: Henry-Todd.co.uk

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