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INTERVIEW WITH BENGO BELTS' BEN HAYWARD
Bengo Belts is a brand that was set up at the end of 2011 by Ben Hayward, who while travelling the world found an idea and a niche for bright and colourful belts. A Bengo Belt is made in the mountains of western Guatemala where it is carefully hand woven by Mayan communities.
We have noticed an increasing trend for bright colours and African print during the current London Fashion and we can certainly see how certain fashionista’s would go mad for a belt like this. Our favourite is the brown suede belt with the bright pattered colours subtly peeking through. Worn with an oxford shirt, chinos and brogues it carries a certain preppyness which is right up our street!
We caught up with Ben recently to find out more about his brand…
Since 2011 when you started the company what has kept you and your brand busy?
"Since the company started in late 2011 we have been very busy. We have sourced what we think are the best quality Guatemalan Belts on the market.. Our first line of products - the Bright and Suede belts have been really well received as they offer a different take on a belt - being different and unique with no two belts having the same pattern".
What inspired you to set up the brand?
"The first steps of BENGO were thought up whilst travelling. Having seen all the different colours and patterns from various parts of the world I felt inspired to put these into some clothing and I've always loved Belts so it all just added up really".
We see you do belts for men and dogs - Have you seen the menswear dog blog which seems to be going viral?
"I have seen something about that - maybe we need to send that dog a BENGO collar!"
Who is your typical customer?
"A typical BENGO customer really can be anyone. The idea behind a BENGO belt is that it can be worn by anyone of any age.. seeing as they are so colourful - particularly the Bright belt, they can add colour to and go with almost any outfit. I've seen a lot of young guys buying the suede belt to accessorise with a slightly smarter outfit which I've always thought looks good".
What is the perfect time to wear a Bengo belt?
"All year round - why not! Brighten up a cold, grey winters day with a colourful belt, or you can wear around town in the summer with a pair of shorts.. I personally find it hard to see somewhere or sometime where it will look out of place (ok - maybe not with Black Tie!)"
What does the next 12 month hold for you?
"We are really excited about the next 12 months. We plan on launching a selection of new belts all with their own unique styles - each quirky and different but never compromising on quality. Obviously, like all new businesses, we are wanting to gain more of a reach and following but I guess that will come with time".