Just yesterday, I was looking at the usual ( but interesting ) stuff on Instagram, and there is Lyon, “live and direct” from Berlin talking about his favourite outfit in store right now which seems to consist of a “UW” jacket a “Hansen” Shirt and a “Kestin” pair of pants, and suddenly in a time of global lockdown I felt connected to a great bunch of friends in Berlin, in Copenhagen and in Edinburgh
Privileged and lucky is how I feel most days. To be in good health through these strange days is a privilege right now but I am also privileged to do for a living what I always wanted to do, I get to design clothing I love and want to wear. Lucky that I get to work with and meet with some amazing people and just yesterday I was pleased to see one of my favourite people popping up on my Instagram feed and talking about some other great friends and also talking of things I had designed that he was enjoying.
I’m not great with dates, I think it is because I like to look forward not back, (or maybe I just have a rubbish memory!) Either way maybe it was back around 2011/2 when I first met Lyon the co-owner (with Ralph, a man with the best sense of humour I have ever met, but that’s another story) of Trueffleschwein. A small but influential store in Berlin, they had bought our collection, but we had never met him. That summer we had been lucky enough to visit Berlin for the first time during the fashion week, invited to the store for a party we were keen to meet him and see the space.
The store did not disappoint, in a way low key, but a proper local focal point, very international in outlook, yet very Berlin at the same time. Lyon didn't disappoint either, a great character, he had grown up in the Philippines but lived in New York in London and finally settled in Berlin. He a genuine delightful man, an honest simple and engaging human being, so full of life and enthused about the brands he champions, and we hit it off as friends straight away, I am both lucky and privileged to call him a friend.
During that same evening, he introduced us to a couple of, what I might have described as “serious” people from Copenhagen! Soon discovering the dour mood was a front and actually they were both fantastically delightful and joyous, they ran the eponymous label Hansen, Aase and Per quickly became great friends and I have long since greatly admired their incredible talent, the designs, the garments and attitude to the whole fashion industry and again I’ve been lucky to count them as good mates. Our collections are very different, even though we share many design influences and fabric suppliers, despite this Lyon and Ralph have always managed to blend our collections in store very well.
More recently he started stocking another mate of ours, this time a talented guy from Scotland, another brand and owner I have lots of time for, Kestin Hare, he is another guy who tries hard to have that fashion, serious, straight face when in fact he is a great laugh and a warm and lovely person, he has become a good friend since we stood opposite each other for hours waiting for any clients to appear at a few trade shows early on in both our brand's history.
Watching that Instagram today has reminded me how lucky and privileged I am to do what I do. To be healthy and have great friends around the world.
Stay Safe and call/skype/zoom/facetime/house party your friends.
Peace, Love & Soul.