A Collected Brand:
Harrison & Fyfe
Harrison & Fyfe is a carefully curated range of quality men’s accessories from the finest brands and designers in the industry right now.
Our definition of ‘the finest’ is based around process, materials, ethos and passion. We care little for pretensions or catering to current adjacencies between brands: this is a small collection of products that cannot be found together elsewhere, and we think it is unparalleled.
It will constantly change, never grow too large, and often break from convention.
H&F is a venture created by Ross Baynham and Thomas Potter. We are young enough to know what consumers admire and aspire to, however we also have some serious experience in creative advertising and high-end retail respectively. That experience comes from an eclectic mix of positions in the fine art, fashion, and design industries, along with relevant academic accolades and a fair amount of travelling around the world.
What inspired your Brand, Harrison & Fyfe?
Thomas: I met Ross whilst working within the Scottish art scene and quickly realised we had a lot in common when it came to style. I remember him having this amazing cardigan that I instantly wanted! After working together on a number of projects and after many late nights in Glasgow bars we decided there wasn’t a company out there doing what we wanted to do.
Ross: I think for me the motivation to create ‘something’ probably happened a couple of years back when I was studying at art school in the States.. during that time I discovered so many incredible independent craftspeople and designers in Brooklyn, Portland, Nashville et al; real creative hotspots. Everyone was focused on making ‘things’, rather than clothing, yet accessory-led stores were few and far between.
I pitched the idea to Thomas and he made it better…
How does it feel to be launching Harrison & Fyfe?
Thomas: Pretty thrilling. There are the obvious nerves that come with launching a passion but I think we’re confident that we have something special here. Ross is a perfectionist when it comes design and the details, we would not be launching unless everything was perfect. The timing is right too, menswear is crying out for our store.
Ross: It’s definitely an exciting time to be doing this, and a huge amount of hard work has gone into it. We hope we will be offering up one of the best shopping experiences on the web.
What can people look forward to from Harrison & Fyfe?
Ross: It’s pretty simple really - quality, stylish men’s accessories from what we believe to be some of the finest independent brands in the world. The focus is on classic style and impeccable craftsmanship and materials. Our job is to curate that collection and then present it to you as part of an amazing shopping experience, from start to finish.
What tips do you have for people looking to start their own brand or business?
Thomas: Do it, it is great fun and I envisage it being very rewarding, but be prepared - there is a lot of work involved and I suppose certain sacrifices have to be made, but when it is your own business you care more about it and do what it takes to make it work. Having the right people on board with you is essential. We couldn’t have got this far without a lot of support from family, friends and contacts helping us out.
What tips do you have for men who looking to refine their style?
Ross: Think classic, study what the icons of the early 20th century were wearing and carrying and you will rarely go wrong. You are always better to buy sparingly but spend big, as long as you are paying for something of quality. On the flip side, keep an eye out at markets, vintage stores and ebay for hidden gems. Don’t religiously follow the big fashion houses, sometimes it’s the little guys with no exposure who are doing it right. More often than not, actually.
When you think a Modern Gentleman what comes to mind?
Thomas: I think of a man who is certain about himself without being arrogant. Who wears classic pieces adapted for the modern age. A gentleman should also have certain values and characteristics in my opinion; strong preserve, intellectual thinking, polite yet meaningful speak. A man who is respectful and considerate of those around him.
Apologies, that sounds awfully deep doesn’t it…
Ross: Wow Thomas, that is deep. I think of a guy who is confident in his own ideas about style, but isn’t irritatingly fashion conscious. Someone who appreciates nice things, works hard, plays hard.
Accessory wise what’s going to be big this Spring and Summer Seasons for men?
Ross: Tech carry is obviously now a huge industry, growing in parallel with Apple, and I can only see that continuing. Ties are getting thicker, shirts are getting chalkier, camouflage is getting sillier, camel will reign supreme. Wallets got very small for a while, but I think they might be getting bigger again.
What do you think is going to be your biggest seller after your site launches?
Thomas: I know this sounds a bit prosaic but I honestly could not say. Our whole collection is very strong. If I was forced to say something though I would probably say we will running low on Daniel Wellington stock after the weekend we launch. They are beautiful watches at a really good price.
How do you feel about the state of menswear now and how it’s expressed?
Ross: I think menswear is in a great place right now, and has certainly come on leaps and bounds from where it was a decade ago. I my opinion that is due to the average consumer being much more knowledgable about the industry, and that in turn is due to the community we call the internet. There is so much quality information and inspiration out there, and it is so easy to access. Websites like Tumblr are awash with guys who genuinely know what they are talking about when it comes to style. On top of that, you can have pretty much any item from any brand delivered to your door, tomorrow.
What other brands are you working with and why?
Ross: Our small collection of brands can be seen in our store, and we would hate to pick one or two out to highlight as they are all genuinely incredible! Over the past few months we have really got to know the people behind the products, and it’s inspiring to experience their talent and skill and then present it to the public. Our store might be the first time our customers have come across a few of our brands, and hopefully we can make that introduction special.
Thomas: We have some other brands that we plan to introduce into the collection over the next few months too. Some big names and some new start ups. They both get the same treatment with us. It is all about the quality.
Who’s your style icon and why?
Thomas: I have many and I could go on for a while here. Errol Flynn and Gregory Peck come to mind straight away. I also have a strong admiration for the 1920’s; both in the UK and over the pond. That was a great era for style and excess and there were some fantastic characters who made a name for themselves then. I would say music bore many of my style icons. Jagger and Richards always looked sharp, especially in the early ‘60s. The Strokes and then The Libertines really changed my views on style when I was becoming growing up. Those bands, in my opinion, were the first in a decade to care about what they wore - they blew me away.
Ross: Christopher Bastin, now the CD at Gant, has had a huge influence on my views on style and menswear. Everything he does just seems so well considered, and he appears to be completely unfazed by the pretentiousness that often abounds the fashion industry. Matt Pierce, who owns Wood & Faulk, is probably the man I am most jealous of. If you follow his blog, you will yearn to be able to craft things in the way he does. We hope to work with him later in the year. In fact that reminds me, I better send that email!..
What Inspires You?
Ross: Architecture, European cities, likeable people, photography, Brooklyn, Horween leather, concrete, wood.
Thomas: Music, friendships, cricket, art, success, literature, food, Fuller’s London Pride, idyllic scenery, classical architecture.