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Interview with L'estrange London

Tom Horne and William Green are two close friends with a lot of creativity and very good energy. Their project and aim is to create the perfect hoodie. The young brand, L’Estrange, has all this in it's DNA and much more. We met them at Pitti Uomo 86 in Florence and asked some key questions to help us find out more.

As a new brand you choose to work on the hood, a classic piece for men. Why? 

W: "The beginnings of L'Estrange stemmed from wanting to create clothes that we could wear ourselves. The hoodie was something we wore often but increasingly we found them to be scruffy and lacking functionally. There were a number of areas that we thought could be improved. It was an organic process but once we started focusing on the garment we very quickly formed a vision of what we wanted to create."  

T: "We wanted to try and make a casual piece more formal and there is so much scope with the hoodie to do that. Starting with a single piece allowed us to take our time, research thoroughly and create something unique."

The stand at Pitti Uomo
The stand at Pitti Uomo

‘What makes the hood special’. In this section of your website you explain the essentials of L’Estrange London. How have you structured your research to build up your hood? 

T: "First and foremost, we said that if we were to make the perfect everywhere item what would we do... We already had a clear idea of what was wrong with the hoodie - the fit, the way it rides up when worn, the quality of the fabric. So we looked to more formal pieces for inspiration, particularly tailoring. Lining the inside gave us the opportunity to use prints but it also increased the functionality through inside pockets. The breast pocket and pocket square take cues from traditional eveningwear as do the prints we used on our latest collection."  

W: "The next step was finding the right materials. This was a long process of experimentation. For example, we sampled with pretty much every zip manufacturer until we found these beautiful high shine zips with the smoothest mechanism. 

"Our factory is small but well-known for producing luxury garments for some of the leading designers" 

Finding the right people just came about through trial-and-error and trusting our instincts."

"I love showing people the pocket square for the first time"
"I love showing people the pocket square for the first time"

L’Estrange London is born from the collaboration between two close friends. How do you manage to be so close in both your private life and as business partners? 

W: "I think it's the way it should be. Your work should be part of your personal life if you really enjoy it. Because we spend so much time together we have a pretty good understanding of how each other works. We have a shared passion for clothing and design so that helps too." 

T: "We're also both pretty easy going. Any disagreements we do have, being so close forces us to get over it pretty quickly. It’s the same for anyone who joins the team, we need to be able to have fun with them and we need to enjoy each other's company. You can't take it all too seriously."

"We found these beautiful high shine zips"
"We found these beautiful high shine zips"

What is your favourite detail in a hood? 

W: "I love the hardware. The process of sourcing zips and cord ends. I still remember the feeling when we got our first custom zip made with our logo embossed. It was special."  

T: "For me, it has to be the pocket square. I love showing people the feature for the first time. You tend to get a big smile."  

L’Estrange London already has several collections and ongoing projects. Can you tell us about the most recent one and give us a glimpse on what’s next? 

W: "We recently did a collaboration with The Shop at Bluebird to produce a limited edition Hood (the Acid Print) for their new concept store on Duke Street in Mayfair. The print is playful and vibrant - it was something a bit different from what we would normally release but that's the great thing about collaborations."

T: "We’ve also just come back from Pitti Uomo. It was our first time there and certainly a very memorable experience. We had some notable interest from some great stores, which we’ll be able to reveal soon enough. We also previewed a couple of very exciting new items which you'll be hearing more about in the very near future! We'll be sure to keep you posted."

Store opening party in London
Store opening party in London
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