The founder of Hackett London, tells us about himself and his brand that has recently opened a store in Istanbul.

FASHION&TRAVEL Your brand is Hackett London but you are actually from Bristol. When did you move to London?
JEREMY HACKETT I came to London when I was 19. In the end, I realised I wasn’t really going to get anywhere working ina shop in Bristol and I was always going to London for the weekend. I didn’t have any serious ambitions, I just didn’t want to stay in Bristol, I wanted to go to London and have a bit of fun.

F&T What was your first job in London?
JH There was a group of shops called ‘The Village Gate’, really famous in the 70’s. They had shops all over London. I got an inter- view, in the Kings Road, and I was interviewed by Philip Start, he was the general manager at the time. I was earning £ 40 a week,
I thought it was fantastic! I think I was earning £ 8 in Bristol, of course I came to London, in a bedsit which cost me £ 20 a week!

F&T When did you decide to have your own collection?
JH When I was 16, I got a saturday job in a tailor’s shop in Bristol. I did that for about a year and then after failing all my exams at school, the tailor took me on full-time, so I fell into fashion really. Initaially I started to sell Second Hand Clothes. I used to go to the markets in London and buy things for myself and I’d buy a few things to sell onto friends. I started to sell to a guy in Paris who had a stall selling incredibly British clothes, anything British, ‘Style and then I thought, why do that? Why not sell it ourselves? So, I opened a tiny little shop in the New Kings Road. The second hand business was fantastic, it was a great money spinner, but due some new clothes along the lines of the sort of demands people wanted. Thats how we started our first collection.

F&T You started Hackett London in 1979. How has it evolved in the years?
JH The company has grown bigger and better than I ever imagi- ned it would. We are now a global brand trading in Europe, The Middle East and Asia.

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F&T Your designs are described as “classics”. Are you a classic man? What do you wear other than your own designs?
JH Yes, I’m very classic in the way I dress. My wardrobe is all Hac- kett but I do wear bespoke hand made shoes.

F&T Who are the best dressed men according to you?
JH I often say David Hockney, because he doesn’t give a damn. He does, but looks like he doesn’t – shambolic! We made ten

F&T Who would you like to dress?
JH I quite often say George Clooney because he’d look pretty good, I think.

F&T What are the main trends/rules for men’s fashion in fall 2014?
JH There are three main trends this season…
Poet: A young poet, such as John Betjeman or Philip Larkin,
is imagined on his travels around England writing about his romantic journey. The travel theme, be it by foot, bike, bus or motorbike, continues as we chart his exploration and discoveries. The university cities of Oxford and Cambridge provide plenty of inspiration in a collection rich in tweed yarns and autumnal co- trousers and cable sweaters. Outerwear highlights include duffle coats, gilets and reversible nylon/tweed jackets. The sponsorship of the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race, London Rowing Club, the continued collaboration with Cooper Bikes and winter and summer polo are all featured within this section of the Autumn/Winter 2014 collection. River Tweed: The River Tweed and its bountiful salmon fishing, running through the Borders of Scotland, provides the inspiration for a young man’s rite of passage where a father educates his son in a more modern feel with nylon and exclusive Made-in-England tweeds and corduroys from Lovat and Robert Noble, in rich heather colours, are used throughout the collection. A tongue-in- cheek look at the traditional Hackett signature of Fair Isle knit- wear is reinterpreted in printed and twisted yarns and neck-ties neck-ties by Stephen Walters & Sons and shoes by Sanders and Cheaney. Winter Harbour: ‘Winter Harbour’ is a trip to the wilds of North East England. The dark brooding sky and grey choppy sea gives birth to a neutral collection of brown heather, cream Aran and herringbone tweeds are mixed with intarsia chunky hand-knits and classic peacoats in this warming and timeless collection.

F&T Can you tell us about your blog Mr Classic? How did you deci- de to do it? How often do you write for it?
JH I never had a desire to write a fashion column. I had lunch with Andrew Tuck, who is now at Monocle, and he said “Why don’t you write something for us?”, I said “I’d never written anything before”. He said, “Write whatever you like, about 300 words.” So, I went home and over a few days I wrote 5 short stories and sent them into him. He said “They’re great, we’re going to print them all.” He gave me a double page spread in the magazine, and a month later he asked me if I’d like to do a column called ‘Mr Clas- sic’ one week and some guy would do ‘Mr Cool’ another week. I did that for about 3 years. Then my book Mr Classic was published and I created a blog to sit alongside it. I’m afraid I don’t write as often as I should but I like to feature things that interest me.

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F&T They say that you answer every mail sent to you. Is that true?
JH Yes I do. I enjoy talking to our customers all the time on line and in stores.

F&T You also use twitter. So you are a “modern” classic. Or is only your dressing style classic? Are you a modern man in otherways?
JH No, not really.

F&T What are your future plans for your brand? You just entered the Turkish market. Are you growing internationally?
JH Yes, we are continuosly expanding in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

F&T Do you think the Turkish men will appreciate the “classic” style of your designs?
JH Judging by the reception we’ve received in other European countries, it looks pretty positive. We get a number of Turkish men shopping in our stores in London and they really do seem to appreciate Hackett.

Leyla Melek