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IN CONVERSATION WITH NICK HUSSEY OF FRAHM
Based in Bath, Somerset, FRAHM was created by two best friends - Jason Tripp and Nick Hussey. They make a maximum of 100 high-end men's jackets of each style once a year, selling on pre-order due to their scarcity. They feel jackets from the big brands don't do what they're supposed to. If they're technical, they look awful; but if they're stylish, they don't work properly or last long enough. FRAHM is a men's brand that's a bit more thoughtful and kinder. The brand is officially 'In Aid Of' Mind, the mental health charity, where they give £10 from every jacket sold, and work with them to promote men's mental health. Their multi-purpose jackets are built to work in both urban and rural environments. Detailed and easy to care for, they're also designed to be tough, for real-world use. The founders built the brand to straddle the space between out-there fashion brands and unsexy technical gear, made by skilled craftspeople. FRAHM only sell small batches of one jacket style at a time, and once that batch has gone, it's gone.
In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview Nick Hussey, Founder of FRAHM about the lessons he learnt from running his first fashion brand, the benefits of being self-taught in design, taking inspiration from Savile Row tailors, and how being different in business is a great marketing tool. Our host Peter Brooker and Nick also chat about giving back through charity, creating exclusivity through a limited-edition pre-order release model, and how being previously suicidal has now driven him to create inspirational and motivational content on his website to help others.
Please introduce yourself
“I’m a self-taught apparel designer, and I specifically like to make jackets. Taking lessons from my first company I decided I wanted a smaller company this time around. I am one man, in one tiny office, with the remains of my stock because we have a pre-order model. I grew up as a racing cyclist and I went to university to study sports science. I first started making high performance, classically styled tailored clothing for my first brand which was successful. I have no education in design, but I have an influx of ideas and influences. I turned all my interests into something I am thankfully really good at. I wanted to set up a more kind and thoughtful men’s brand. I am obsessed by real life rather than creating a beautiful other world. I want to create a beautiful real world. I think the real world is more beautiful, more interesting, and tougher than something that is invented. That is why the tagline ‘tough beautiful’ is there, because life is tough but it is also beautiful, and my garments are tough but also beautiful.”
“In terms of the brand I wanted a look that was quiet, that didn’t shout and say, ‘look at me, I’m a great brand’. I know the proof is in the pudding. When you wear it for years, it will prove itself. The inside of the jackets features splashes of colour whereas the outside is often subdued. I design for myself – a 47-year-old bloke who thinks he is 30 – who wants to wear really classic hardwearing garments that last a long time, are totally reliable, and do a great job. I want to wear garments which are not fashion items that change year-by-year, I want something that is classic. I first launched with a black utility field jacket, then when things started going well, I extended to navy, and now we have yellow, khaki, and green. Almost all my customers talk to me online on the web chat before they buy something and I always ask them what they would like to see. People often ask for something brighter and so I thought I would give it a go. So, I tend to use the bright colourway jackets for marketing because they attract attention e.g. the racing red Harrington jacket.”
This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 75 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with Nick Hussey, Founder of frahmjacket.com. You can listen to the full version below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast player.
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