The idea to introduce a tailored range, into Superdry’s shiny, new, Regent Street store, was planted nine months ago and now, finally, the highly-anticipated Timothy Everest collaboration has become a reality. With the focus on four predominant characters, catering to tastes from all areas of the spectrum, Superdry and Everest have nothing but praise for one another. We caught up with the pair behind the partnership at the launch of the new collection to delve deeper.
Planet Notion: How did the collaboration with Superdry come about?
Timothy Everest: We had a chat about a year ago when I was doing a cycling collection for Brooks and the Superdry guys said it would be nice to do a bit of tailoring. At first I didn’t think it made much sense and I couldn’t see how we could connect. Then they got the new store here and I thought: ‘This is interesting, they’re closer to Savile Row where I train; could we take this approach to tailoring and put a collection together that wouldn’t be sat in the corner, but one where you could wear with a t-shirt and so on?’, and that’s how it started. We got on very well and literally only agreed to work together at the end of last year. We put the collection together very quickly. We knew this fashion weekend was coming up and it would be a great profile for Superdry so we thought ‘let’s go for it and do something’. This whole concept was only an idea about six weeks ago.
PN: That’s crazy, you’ve done well! So before this time last year you hadn’t thought about doing something like this before?
TE: Well I had this romantic idea of this slightly crazy, tailored department within the store, working with a bespoke mind. So an individual, whether that be James Bond which we’re working on at the moment, or an individual in the city, it’s about taking a bespoke approach. When I’ve worked with M&S and things like that, I’ve tried to understand the opportunity. With Superdry, it wasn’t about being Timothy Everest Hi-jacking the clothes as that just wouldn’t work as my customer base is slightly older. That doesn’t mean I don’t understand and appreciate the 19 and 25 year old, but it’s just about understanding their business. They make decisions very quickly and although they’ve become a corporation, it doesn’t run like a corporation, they run very, very fast, and are very easy to work with and to understand; and they understood where I was coming from too.
PN: So there weren’t any disagreements?
TE: No, it was a real pleasure. Some of the other projects we work on we can’t deliver what we’d like because of the company’s politics, so it’s been a real pleasure so far and will be interesting to see what we’ll do next with it.
PN: Is this something you’re going to continue and carry on?
TE: Yeah. I think as their brand grows we do need to have more product to offer, and with this sort of thing they’ll probably end up selling more t-shirts and jeans anyway, but I think there is an opportunity to play around with the word ‘tailored’. Why couldn’t we do a tailored t-shirt or a tailored jean? We could, we just need to give something different to offer. We do need more product and a lot of people don’t realise how big a business it is, and why would you want to lose a customer to go and buy tailoring elsewhere who’s very happy shopping here? Lastly one of the things that I found very interesting was, just how many people actually wear suits to come shopping. I was really surprised. Young guys often look quite miserable and don’t really want to wear a suit, and so maybe we can sell them one that they could wear to work and feel pretty cool if they went out in the evening.
PN: What’s your favourite piece in the collection?
TE: The Mick Jagger inspired sort of green-y tweed with the yellow collar, I think, is going to be a real winner. But I have to say I think the Town Coat is pretty cool. These times have been really tough and I think it’s good to give something for its true value, and I think if people do actually look at the product and the price they would be pleasantly surprised. That’s something I didn’t realise about their business in the beginning, is that a commodity t-shirt for them, has to have something special about it, has to have a good touch and graphic, and until I started working with them, I didn’t appreciate that attention to detail. Like a lot of people, I didn’t really know the brand, I knew through my kids that they were very popular and very successful but I didn’t realise what was going on. Now it’s going to another level and going into another gear.
Words – Anna Verdon
Photos – Laura Lewis