Five Minutes With... L'Estrange
We hope you found time to pop down to L'E Shop, the latest pop-up store from design duo L'Estrange who work to bring the simple hoodie to formal settings with their exquisite Hood. We chatted to Will Green (left) and Tom Horne (right), the guys behind L'Estrange, about mornings, relaxing and of course the fashion business...
What was your breakthrough moment in building your business?
WG: Well it wasn’t getting word from our Portuguese agents that our first production had been stolen that’s for sure…
TH: I don’t think there was a breakthrough moment as such. The journey to build L’Estrange was very organic. We spent a long time refining and iterating, everything from product to packaging, through to the website and journal. Finishing our first shoot with samples from the first collection was a moment Iooking back…it felt like we’d achieved something.
WG: There have been a number of highlights though, from opening our first temporary store in Covent Garden to being stocked in The Shop at Bluebird and then collaborating with them for the opening of their new store. It was an amazing feeling launching in Colette too. And Bloomberg’s feature on us - we had quite a few friends get in touch after that.
How do you start your day?
WG: Tea whilst looking over The Guardian and the Business of Fashion’s daily email. And a catch up from the previous evening’s agenda to make sure we know exactly what needs to be done.
TH: A glass of ice cold water and a healthy breakfast. I read up on the most important news stories online and check Feedly - it’s an app that aggregates loads of different websites so I know what's been going on in the fashion world. Then Will and I will go through the agenda for the day.
Where’s your favourite place to be in the world?
WG: On the water - kite or wind surfing. And in the studio, at midnight, when you’re in that zone.
TH: Lying on my terrace in the summer....or in Forte Dei Marmi.
When you’re not working, how do you chill out?
WG: Seeing friends mostly. As you can imagine, we don’t have a huge amount of spare time so it’s good to catch up when you can.
TH: Read. I don't get the chance to catch all the articles I want to read online so I store them in this great app called Pocket. That and playing with my 4 year old nephew... but that's less relaxing.
What are your favourite shops?
- Shop at Bluebird - best curation of clothing and homewares in London
- Our Legacy - they use such interesting materials in their clothes
- Trunk Labs - the sister of Trunk on Chiltern Street. We always manage to find something for the studio there
- Whole Foods for their take away
Who’s in your secret address book?
WG: Not-so-secret, Blanchette is one of my favourite places to eat in Soho. Trailer of Happiness on Portobello.
TH: My tailor on Bow Road. His studio is in an old clothing factory. He’s old school and he works for the few English brands that still make their suits in the UK.
Who are some of the people that have inspired you in your life.
WG: Jean Touitou. Love how forthright he is in his opinion. He’s had a clear, unwavering vision around which he has built his company over the past 25 years.
TH: Sir Paul Smith - my dad used to get his shirts off him when he only had a matchbox sized shop. Like us he didn't have a huge fashion background when he started. I love how relevant he still is - his brand is constantly evolving.
What is the philosophy of the brand?
WG: We really are into this idea of exploring the space between formal wear and casual wear. Increasingly guys need a wardrobe that is flexible and suitable to many situations. We want to create clothes that fit for this. Clothes that are comfortable yet stylish, and ultimately, wearable in any setting.
TH: That’s our vision: to bridge the gap between formal and casual wear. Mixing interesting fabrics and textures, using hardware, and a lot of attention to detail.