Fashion First

If you dream of a career in fashion, why not take matters into your own hands? Cait Thomson caught up with one young Scots design team making waves in the industry…

Hardwear, the brainchild of Holly Baxter, 23, and 28-year-old Matthias McGregor, has already made an impact on the Scottish fashion scene with its stunning line of clothing and powerful ethical approach to manufacturing.

Since their official launch party last month, Holly and Matthias have been putting their effort into their temporary ‘pop up shop’ in All That is Solid on Glasgow’s Osborne Street. “It’s been really good,” Holly says of their first store. “There’s lots of traffic in the shop and the coffee shop in here is great. They do the best peppermint tea and empire biscuits I’ve ever had! A lot of people have been coming in and talking to us about what we’re doing here. It’s been great.”

GOLDEN IDEA

We ask Holly how she met Matthias and how the idea behind the business came about. Turns out, it was all down to a ripped leather jacket. “We met each other at a club night and just kind of became friends after that,” she says. “Matthias needed a jacket repaired so I fixed it; one of the sleeves was falling off it. When I gave the jacket back I told him I had really wanted to put a gold inside pocket inside but wasn’t sure if he’d have liked it. He told me he’d have loved it and it was then we realised we were on the same wavelength.”

Holly had her first major taste of creating her own clothes when she worked in costume construction in London’s West End theatres. She told Source how she reckons creating costumes for performers on the stage has given her a good grounding in designing clothes for Hardwear. “In theatre, you’re constructing something that’s going to be thrown around a stage night after night. The processes behind the development of the items are different. I love the way a costume can change someone from John in the pub to Cinderella’s prince. It changes the person and I think that’s the same with clothes. People pick their clothes because they want to be comfortable or fashionable, or weird! There’s always a reason behind it and I think there’s a lot of similarities between that and the theatre.”

It’s not just Holly’s work in the theatre that the pair think makes them successful as Matthias offers something completely different to the table. “Matthias took lots of inspiration from his experience travelling,” explained Holly, “A lot of my inspiration probably comes from theatre, ballet and opera. I think that’s why it works, because we’re both really different.”

TOP QUALITY

It’s undeniable that Hardwear’s line of clothing is stunning, with designs for men and women. With soft fabrics, beautiful prints and a strong simplistic theme, Holly describes the company as “Glasgow’s American Apparel”. Using locally sourced fabrics and embroidery, and teaming up with City of Glasgow College students to work on prints, was important for Holly and Matthias, who appreciate the quality in handmade clothes. “The main difference between this and something you’d buy in a shop is the print and the fact that our print isn’t a square in the middle of a t-shirt,” she says. “We really want to get away from that. The reason it’s printed like that is because you can buy a thousand t-shirts from a sweatshop in India printed for a penny each, but we bought rolls of fabric and printed it ourselves. That’s what sets us apart from other brands.”

With the Glasgow pop up store buzzing, and trade booming online, things are looking bright for this design due. As for the future of the company, Holly and Matthias hope to continue what they’ve begun. “We’d like to keep doing what we’re doing, grow and develop,” Holly says. “We would love to go to Berlin Fashion Week, and Matthias has got contacts in Austrialia too. We want to keep doing what we’re doing but in different countries.”

Check out Hardwear online at www.hardwearglasgow.com

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