Instagram has now become the way that many of us find out about new brands and businesses – especially when it comes to fashion labels. I spotted new Suffolk fashion brand Highborn & Harwicke on Insta last month and I had to find out more!
Highborn & Harwicke has a distinctive minimalist style and unisex designs. Owner Gabriella creates the designs in Suffolk and has been inspired by the countryside for her range of t-shirts, sweaters and hoodies. I caught up with her to learn more.
“Highborn & Harwicke came from our love for country clothing, but the realisation that it can often be seen as old fashioned,” said Gabriella, “We wanted to create something a little different to every other country style clothing brand, and take those inspirations forward with a more modern and minimalist aesthetic, that we think symbolises the wonderful changes happening in Suffolk currently.”
The aim for Highborn & Harwicke is to be part of a new generation of country style that still instils country values but with a contemporary outlook. The products are grounded in Suffolk life but acknowledge that the people of the county, and those that visit here, have broad interests.
“We have launched with a very small range which is only really the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we have planned. The future of the brand will not only encompass the inspiration from local heraldry and country life, but also bring in elements of inspiration from the Suffolk coastal surf and boating culture, as well the proud shooting culture we have here too.”
The Suffolk lifestyle has been a huge inspiration on Gabriella.
“Our crest and monogram designs are really only the very start of that expression, and we can’t wait to share what we have coming next. In terms of our actual design style, a lot of the monochrome and minimalist themes come from our personal design tastes, which are heavily rooted in minimalist and Scandinavian design. We love the idea of juxtaposition in our design, taking classic iconic narratives and symbols such as the family crest and monogram, and renewing it in a new fashion.”
The products are named after Suffolk villages as a homage to the county and the company is working with other local suppliers to collaborate as much as possible.
Two of the things I really liked about the products when I saw them online is that they are unisex and eco-friendly – two big topics in the fashion industry (and politics!) at the moment.
“It’s important to say not everything we ever make will be unisex,” explained Gabriella, “but our current products are designed that way purely because we feel fashion and style shouldn’t always be defined by gender.”
She went on to say that the nature of the brand’s current casual wear collection suited the unisex approach, but that they will be releasing both feminine and more masculine designs in the future, but will always focus on having inclusive values.
The products themselves are produced using fair trade, organic and carbon neutral methods, where possible.
“We just don’t want to bring something into the world that does more harm than good. We are also working towards having British made products. We want our customers to feel proud wearing Highborn & Harwicke because they know the clothes are always working to be as environmentally considerate as possible.”
The idea for Highborn and Harwicke had been playing around in Gabriella’s mind for around 5 years, but 6 months ago she found the right direction and finally had the time to develop the idea. Her target was to launch at Heveningham Hall country fair, which she did, and now it’s time to expand the brand.
“We are currently designing more garments beyond T-shirts and jumpers! We are also working on lots of different opportunities, including developing a very limited edition top to celebrate the 2018 harvest for a beautiful Italian vineyard.”