Grey Flannel and Thread Tales Collaborate on HitoJin
A Sustainable, Genderless Collection
LONDON, SUMMER 2022
A celebration of craftsmanship and design, Grey Flannel and Thread Tales present HitoJin- a sustainable, ethically produced, genderless collection of modern ready to wear garments.
HitoJin - a Japanese word meaning person or people.
Japanese design transcends shapes, borders, gender, and age- the perfect inspiration for creating a shared wardrobe.
A conversation around the challenges and rewards of sustainable fabric creation and the merits of genderless styling within s this space, started a collaborative journey between three fashion creatives.
Grey Flannel Owner and Tailor Timothy Everest MBE together with daughter Alyssia, showcase bespoke tailoring as the quintessential original form of British sustainable fashion. Their hallmark pieces are made by hand using sustainably sourced UK-based materials.
They share this passion with Katherine Maunder, founder of sustainable fashion brand, Thread Tales. Katherine’s work as a designer focuses on how garments are created and their relative impact, creative heritage, the longevity of clothing and how versatile, genderless pieces of clothing can be styled.
A natural partnership, the HitoJin collaboration between Thread Tales and Grey Flannel is the fulfilling result of eight months of exploration, fun and passion. Together they created pieces based on the utility and minimalism of Japanese design and combined this with influences of British luxury, elegance and comfort.
Grey Flannel and Timothy Everest MBE
Grey Flannel has been trading on Chiltern Street, Marylebone for nearly 50 years. Taken on by Richard Froomberg in 1974, Grey Flannel was one of London’s early advocates for designer brands such as Armani and Stone Island.
Timothy Everest MBE started his career with legendary Savile Row tailor, Tommy Nutter, who dressed style icons such as the Beatles, Mick Jagger and David Hockney. Seeing the growth of designer menswear brands, Timothy moved to Chiltern Street to run the independent boutique, Malcom Levene. Whilst there he reflected on his experience on Savile Row and the new generation of menswear. He moved to Spitalfields where he started his firsttailoring business and the new bespoke movement. Tim followed in Tommy's footsteps dressing a myriad of rock stars, artists, actors and politicians and has a long history of involvement creating wardrobes for major films including the Mission Impossible franchise. This consummate designer and collaborator has also worked with brands such as Rapha, La Martina and Superdry.
Thread Tales and Katherine Maunder
Thread Tales was founded upon the discovery of Lotus Silk. Lotus is the signature fabric of Thread Tales and Katherine works directly with local artisans who have been hand-weaving this rare, sustainable fabric for generations.
Katherine Maunder is a creative entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience as a Senior Fashion Designer for premium brands such as Ted Baker, Matthew Williamson, and Jasper Conran for Debenhams. She combines a forward-thinking approach with a passion for responsible design and fabric innovation. Central to her work is a deep, pragmatic understanding of what sustainability means in practice, for business. Through her brand Katherine has gathered and assimilated creative and responsible ways of working, sourced, and created fabrics of exceptional quality and discovered new, imaginative ways of thinking about fashion and sustainability. Some of her proudest achievements, beyond the love and loyalty of her customers, include prestigious investors, coverage from topfashion editors, and partnerships with high-end stockists such as Beaverbrook Luxury Country House Hotel, Six Senses Buthan, and Rêve-en-Vert, as well as a collaboration with The National Gallery.
The HitoJin collection is designed around three key elements- functionality, silhouettes that work universally, and an eternal lifespan.
Katherine took her long-term fascination with Japanese design and combined this with influences of British elegance to design pieces intended to be styled in unique ways to reflect individual personality, whilst combining elements of a shared aesthetic.
“I wanted to create pieces that you reach for again and again. Aspirational quality is always at the core of my work - designed to be desired by any age or gender. I am inspired by art, craft and culture and blending these with innovation, utility and design to have minimal impact on people and planet”.
Katherine Maunder, Thread Tales
Tim’s tailoring pieces are cut using the elegant London drape method from exceptional quality wool cloth, by famous vertical British mill, Abraham Moons
“I have been exploring drape and form that expresses the shape and comfort that suits today’s wardrobe -which is both casual and elegant.”
Timothy Everest, Grey Flannel
The team sourced sustainably produced fabrics, working closely with suppliers that share their ethical values, so that their customers can choose to wear, “exceptional quality with a conscience” explains Katherine.
Tim adds; “As a tailor we have always recycled garments over the years, and Katherine and I share the same vision for beautiful garments that are ethically sourced. I am very excited as this is a start of a wonderful collaboration and the beginning of a new journey.”
Key to HitoJin is the 100% recycled cashmere knitwear. Yarn from pre-loved 100% cashmere items is regenerated into a high-quality new product with a significantly lower overall environmental impact. Thread Tales’ partner workshop in Nepal has been busy unravelling unsold high quality cashmere jumpers for the collection, to create new, treasured pieces designed to last a lifetime.
Organic cotton t-shirts feature a hand-painted Calligraphy style HitoJin logo by graphic artist, Chris Bigg, who famously created iconic Album cover art for The Breeders, The Pixies, Lush and Belly. Inspired by Chris’s mark-making, HitoJin features neck ties and scarves with a striking tie-die design, individually hand-tied by skilled Artisans in Nepal.
Handcrafted elements are threaded throughout the HitoJin collection. Some are finished with unique hand-stitched details, as a reminder of the skilled hands of the artisan that made them. The customer can connect to the maker that made their piece through the QR code on the swing ticket. This is important to both Grey Flannel and Thread Tales who view it as part of the telling of the story of the piece, the fabric it’s made from, and how it made its journey “through their hands to yours” as part of the sustainable narrative that encourages people to think more deeply about the impact of their clothing.
The experience and creativity in this collection is apparent in pieces are cleverly androgenous without being shapeless. Exceptional quality fabrics that flatter the shape of the wearer and universally appealing design make for an eminently desirable mix of impeccably tailored suits, shirts and t-shirts, expertly hand-loomed knitwear, tie dye neck ties and scarves. It is the perfect example of the cohesion and partnership of tailor, designer and the shared creative idealism of Grey Flannel and Thread Tales