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IN CONVERSATION WITH MYCHAEL OWEN OF ALWAYS WEAR RED
Written by Menswear Style in Interviews on the 20th January 2021 / In Conversation with Mychael Owen of Always Wear Red
Always Wear Red hand knitted jumpers and scarves was founded by a founder with 20 years’ experience as an international award-winning furniture and brand designer. Mychael Owen added to his design-and-make credentials by spending 4 years working with the UK’s best clothing makers, using the world’s best materials. He explored many clothing categories before finally focussing on hand knits which are classic, seasonless British designs that last a lifetime. Labels are woven from commissioned artwork by Finnish artist Erica Akerlund, and each piece is hand numbered and signed in the order it is made.
In a recent episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interviewed Mychael Owen, Founder of Always Wear Red about his background in furniture design and brand consultancy. He gave all this up for a new challenge within the clothing industry, working alongside some of the best British makers around. He quickly fell in love with hand knits, which is the key focus of his knitwear brand which champions downtime. Our host Peter Brooker and Mychael also chatted about the meaning behind the colour red, the limited-edition business model, slow fashion, and how the global pandemic has affected the business.
“I scoured the world to find the very best and most luxurious hand knits I could possibly find, and I couldn't find one. So, I created a hand knitted brand which makes jumpers in very small quantities of no more than 300 a year. When I was in my teens my mum knitted me a massive cardigan. People of a certain age will probably know what I mean by a Starsky Cardigan, and I always remember it made me feel safe and nurtured. We have all heard the term Slow Fashion, but with Always Wear Red, people are essentially going to gift people the promise of a jumper or a scarf that's being hand knitted for them over a number of weeks, and it makes absolutely no difference to the client base. I work with Britain's best knitters and we've created the design to be gender neutral in a very specific shape. The vision I set myself was to produce the best handknits in the world, made from 100% Italian Merino which is the best merino wool in the world. Our customers have fallen in love with what we're trying to do because we're trying to change the way people buy clothes. 90% of the clothes that we own, we don't wear with any regularity at all. However, our knits will last a lifetime and we we've also promised to buy back any jumper or scarf, forever. We then refurbish them with a company called Clothes Doctor based in London.”
This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 104 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with Mychael Owen, Founder of alwayswearred.com. You can listen to the full version below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favourite podcast player.