May 30, 2019 | By Louise Squire
Oct 27, 2017
By WGSN Insider
Earlier this week WGSN was invited to check out a new fashion line that hadn’t even launched yet. 78stitches is the brainchild of director Ollie Amhurst, and launches online today. What’s different about this launch over any other fashion launch, I hear you ask? Well 78stitches hopes to be a little different from your average brand. It launched online today with just 7 pieces, which are unisex and can be rocked by anyone. Small, considered, and upcycled fashion, that’s what the brand is about.
And what of the actual product? Each piece, from the t-shirts to the combat pants are designed with the Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi in mind. “Wabi Sabi means a beauty hidden right in front of our eyes, an aesthetic of simplicity, asymmetry, roughness, and modesty,” states the brand’s website. This relates to the textiles used in the creation of each garment, the fabrics are sourced from leftover rolls from different mills and factories. The brand even includes a call to action on its Instagram page for any other potential mills looking to partner going forward.
78stitches is founder Ollie’s second brand, he cut his teeth with his menswear label Lot78, which launched in 2008, and is stocked in Barneys in the US, and Browns and Harvey Nichols in London. Before that he was the head of European sales for Giorgio Armani.
“I loved the process of building Lot78 into what it is today and wanted to experience the same creative process through building another brand. 78Stitches, similarly to Lot78, has been developed from nothing. This has allowed our creative team to channel a strong focus on sustainability into the design foundations of the collection – almost all our fabrics have been sourced and repurposed from various factories and mills across Europe. The foundation of the 78 Stitches aesthetic is based on the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi, which is centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.” explains Ollie Amhurst, Director of Lot78 and 78 Stitches.
78 Stitches already has a growing social media presence, and the e-commerce is live from today, the price ranges from £120 to £295. The simplicity of the collection is admirable, a reminder that consumers don’t necessarily need more stuff, just better quality. There’s still the issue of the fact that the brand offering includes cotton t-shirts (and from a sustainable angle, the classic white t-shirt is a huge drain on water resources), but the upcycled designs used throughout at least help fashion to see how it can produce beautiful things that focus less on waste and more on recycling, and reuse.
Also pretty noteworthy is the brand’s styling, it’s very 80s New York. The street style shots look like they could be inspired by the movie Downtown 81, that centred around Basquiat and his downtown creative friends, even though they were actually shot in London on Portobello Road. It’s worth keeping on eye on this brand to see how the product range develops, and its contribution to pushing the conversation around upcycling in fashion.
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