Since November 2015, so over 4 years now.
What does your role entail?
I’m responsible for the design and buying for the collections. This starts with research around the season, then moves to the design process, the development process and finally to the fittings and production. It’s a whole journey as we're still a relatively small team. Primarily I focus on the clothing, but I also help out with creative direction of graphics, marketing material and photoshoots.
How is working from home?
Initially, a shock to the system. There was a real fear of whether I would still be able to accomplish everything, as I’m sure everyone has experienced in some way. With a job like mine you need a library around you - a catalogue of swatches, fabrics and samples for reference. But it was an emergency and we made the best of it. I’m pleased to say we’ve managed to pull together, the team has been amazing and we've kept the ball rolling.
What was on your mood board for this season?
We aren’t governed by trends or by being too seasonal, but we definitely drew some inspiration from key themes this season. One element that felt very SIRPLUS already was this season's Safari looks - short sleeve practical utility shirts, pastel yellows and soft khaki greens. I think the Luanda Cuban Shirt is one of the most 'SIRPLUS' products we've ever produced. Inspired by incredible African wax prints, it has two large lower patch pockets which really speaks to the utility looks of this season and the practicality always factored into our design process.
Yellow was also a big theme and we chose a soft tone in the Yellow Cotton Linen Grandad Shirt which I think is a perfect golden hour piece. Henry is always an influence too, as the Founder but also a SIRPLUS muse, his style and interests contribute to the process.
Every season we really focus on a central question - how can we evolve?
What's your favourite piece of this season?
That's too difficult! I have two.
Firstly the Positano Cuban. It was a bold choice, we’ve never done anything in such a fluid fabric before but I felt we needed it. It’s made from EcoVero™ - an eco-responsible viscose, which we are really excited to be using. I found the fabric with Gavin, my brilliant assistant. The luck of spotting something, backing it and then seeing your customers agree feels like such a success.
The second would be the Textured Polo. It was again a new direction for us, something we've wanted to do for a while and I felt we had to launch it. We managed to make these in certified 100% organic cotton. The team loved the product during development and it has sold really well. It's exciting and very reassuring that we're creating new, unique pieces that clearly speak to our customers.
What’s your most memorable piece?
For me, it’s the Stone Chore Jacket. I think it encapsulates how we have evolved. As a young brand, we had to be so careful about what we bought initially. Navy has always been popular and was always a big part of our collections, sometimes the collection would be fairly dark. This season we really let some colour in, and it’s been a pleasure to see such a positive reaction.
It’s definitely a step forward. Now we look at collections and say “have we got enough colour”?!
Also, it's a key part of our unisex collection. I think it proves that these pieces really do look great on anybody. I love it so much that I have one. I’ve always loved wearing our organic t-shirts in a small. They are so soft and with a decent thickness - a weight women's t-shirts don't usually offer. So the chore jacket was a great addition.
What’s the best bit of your job?
When the samples are all lined up and ready to shoot. It's the one point I take a deep breath, as usually by then everything is on track and I see all my hard work come together. Looking at everything on a screen for months can be very digital, so when you finally see the looks come together in real life and the team can see your vision it's so rewarding. When my team get excited themselves by the looks - it's the best part. Everyone in the office will start to comment and Simon (our Retail and Operations Manager) will start pulling things out against himself, planning his next outfits.What’s always on your desk?
Water! I have got pretty good at keeping hydrated so I'm trying to stick with that. No matter how stressful it gets, keep drinking!Coffee or Tea?
I’m going to say coffee as somedays it's just essential.What song reminds you of this season?
Khrauangbin & Leon Bridges - Texas Sun
Complete the sentence: SIRPLUS is…
As recorded by Olivia Foan (over Zoom you'll be happy to hear)