We present a few pieces to create a look that is a little more earthy and unpolished. From the Loyal Workshop, we have the O’l Faithful Belt and and Goodstead Satchel. We match them up with the Crosby Hemp Sunglasses and a Phone Case from Ryan.
Behind each of our brands is not only creativity but heart and soul. Here is the story of The Loyal Workshop specifically and what drives them:
The Loyal Workshop was founded to provide an opportunity for freedom. Modern day slavery is a phenomenon that we are not prepared to be apathetic about. We believe that another world is possible; a world where sex slavery is relegated to the history books. It’s a brazen dream but we’re putting it into action in one city, in one red-light community, with one woman at a time.
We believe that business can be a tool to bring freedom to those trapped in slavery. Our business IS about freedom. Every product we create is part of a woman’s freedom journey. Thanks for your support.
Our artisans: are women from backgrounds of poverty, each with their own story of trauma and oppression: sold, stolen, trafficked and forced against their will into the sex trade. Without prospect of finding alternative employment, they were trapped. But still with dreams, talents and larger than life personalities.
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Robertson Jessel & Co is one of the brands we have recently brought onboard. Their wonderful leather goods can be found in our wallets and bags categories. We share a little about them and why we think they are so special and fit perfectly into what we are about.
For more than fifty years Robertson Jessel & Co has stood for the finest craftsmanship and excellent customer service. Even in these days of modern technology every piece is still handmade in the time honoured traditional way.
Their collections are made to stand the test of time, becoming your true constant companion through the years. They acquire a rich patina over time, and if cared for, at the right time, can be passed onto the next generation. All their products are Hand-Crafted from only the very finest leathers. Each piece is individually handmade by skilled craftsmen and craftswomen.
After World War 2, two highly skilled leather craftsmen, Mr Robertson and Mr Jessel were working for one of the very finest leather goods manufacturers in the Whitechapel area of London making Motor and Dress cases, Hunting bags and hat cases.
Their hard work and determination coupled with a very strong friendship paid off and after many years hard work they were able to open their own workshop in London. They soon got a well-earned reputation for making the very finest travel cases, attaché cases, briefcases, travel goods and small leather goods. Such was their reputation for making the finest quality goods that from time to time they were also commissioned to make bespoke goods for customers worldwide.
Only the very finest raw materials were ever used, these two craftsmen got themselves a reputation amongst Leather suppliers as being very strict, they would only ever accept the best quality Leather, the same was also said for the hardware they used, only the best will do and there should never be a compromise on the quality.
Today Robertson Jessel & Co’s team of experts travel far afield to source only the very finest leathers and hardware, only the very best will do, no compromise.
even though Robertson Jessel & Co use 21st Century technology to showcase and present the company and its products are still still individually handmade in the same time honoured traditional way it has always been.
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We are feeling pretty good right now. The May 2016, 100th Anniversary issue of British Vogue is out now. That is 100 years of being the Number 1 go-to gospel of Fashion and arbiter of Style. Awesome. The iconic Kate Moss is on the cover. Flip to Page 256 and there will find us, our soft furnishings brand in the ‘Live in Luxury’ feature. We are now set to be in Tatler magazine shortly too. Find out for yourself why these top publications and others are loving our beautifully designed homeware: www.qindcomfort.com
When selling products online, when customers cannot touch or feel a product, success seems to hinge on the convergence of products that genetically exude quality, skilful lighting, photography and creative direction. That gets close, but is still a shadowy reflection of actually holding the product in your hand, touching it, feeling it, smelling it for yourself.
When the samples of our Spring/Summer collection of Cashmere, Merino & Silk blend scarves started to trickle in, I made it a point to always having pen and paper close by. I took of the words and phrases that tumbled from the mouths of my team; unrehearsed articulation of our first, instinctual reactions (at times rather verbose) to what we saw, felt, smelt. These I share with you now:
“This feels so soft, like a cloud… It’s the colour of naked skin… I want to sleep naked in this cloud… maybe it is a naked cloud…am I making any sense?!”
“Yes… it does feel like powder, woven powder, that muffles you in comforting stillness…”
“…It has the sensation of petals in bloom, so soft…”
“They seem to be floating…”
“It is the colour of Ice outside in nature… yet it is completely opposite to ice in its nature, feel and texture…”
“It all seems to speak of Nature… This blue one, the herringbone reminds me of the calm sea, such a true deep tranquility to it… at the same time its making waves with its stunningness, strange…”
“So simple, light, warm, rustically inviting… Scratch the surface and there is a whole other world, deep, elegant…”
“I smell the naturalness of it, the organic DNA within its sophisticated softness…”
“…mature… relaxed gravitas, depth…effortless”
Those who have been with us from the beginning will know that we started off making scarves made with vibrant cotton prints worn primarily in West Africa. Our goal was to combine these with complimentary fabrics such as silks, satins and taffetas to create an aesthetic that was fresh, contemporary and wearable for everyone.
This was the heart, soul and look of Qind Design. It would make me smile when shoppers would look at our collection, commenting, ‘These are lovely, somehow almost African…’
As much as love these prints of my roots, however light and breathable they were, making neckwear with waxed fabrics can at times required quite a bit of creativity. With a primary purpose for full garments, the waxed texture was not always right for a sensitive area such as the neck.
Despite the positive reaction, try as we might we just never quite got full momentum with them. It was time to move on. And so I turned my creative eye East, looking to move the brand forward with fabrics that inherently had the luxurious essence required for neckwear, Silks, Cashmere and Merino wools.
After long dedicated searching, we found a few artisanal manufacturers in India and Nepal. They were willing to work with us to infuse our brand DNA of elegant wearable vibrancy into their traditions of working with organic high quality wools and silks.
We are proud of our first collection of Cashmere, Merino & Silk blend wool scarves that are currently available. They are so light, the perfect passport accessory on the journey through late Winter into Spring and Summer 2016.
Being a brand new space for us, we made small batches to find out what our customers connect with, knowing we have the agility to get more made with our close partners. Our customers are thus able to pre-order any of the items that may be sold out, knowing we will be able to get their scarf to them within a 3-week period.
We are excited about this new direction and hope our customers like it too.
We would love to hear what you think about the designs and what colours you would like to see them in.
We are thrilled to have Linden Flowers Boutonnieres launch our new product category of Lapel Accessories. The wedding florist based in Edinburgh, Scotland has put together a collection that is inspired by pursuits of the Highland Gentleman, sifted for its best qualities and reinterpreted for the cosmopolitan intellectual.
Each piece is individual, whimsical and easy to wear for the quick-eyed, yet look closer (as is the common DNA of the Qind aesthetic) you will find detail, thought and deep layered slow elegance. It is a collection that knots together tradition with mind-blowing yet simple innovation, with specific reference to the Tweed & Stag pieces.
We are happy for Linden Flowers and love the fact that the journey of this collection is a prime example of the Qind Design Collective creative process at work. It is a short story we would would like to share:
Creative Direction in Action
A few months ago I began the process of scouting for designers to help launch our product category of Lapel Accessories. On a long trawl through Etsy and other platforms, I shortlisted several artisans whose work I thought had great potential to help us make a strong start to this space.
I came across some boutonnieres by Linden Flowers and even though I had an immediate affinity to them, I thought they were a bit too ‘crafty’. So I added them to the shortlist but the truth be told they were at the bottom of that list. Through discussions within the Qind Design creative team, we sifted out what we thought Linden could do to bring a bit more polish to their pieces as seen in the screen shot below of the actual Creative Direction Brainstorming Notes:
I contacted Linden Flowers, introduced the collective concept of Qind Design and invited them to join. There was much enthusiasm to come onboard and so I then shared in detail my thoughts in terms of Creative Direction for a new collection for Qind Design.
Linden Flowers seized the opportunity to present their work on a great platform. They embraced the Creative Direction and input, took in the standard of the aesthetic that existed on Qind Design and went to work.
A couple of weeks later they were back with a collection. And what a collection! In one giant leap, Linden’s products went from the bottom of our list to the top! Well and truly, they had gone from being a bit of ‘craft’ on Etsy to becoming a true BRAND with a clear, defined and strong aesthetic.
Their creativity surpassed what we expected and from our side, it also felt really good to know that our Creative Directional input had really worked.
To inaugurate this collection, we have all the pieces on offer for a limited period.
Check out and buy Linden Flowers Boutonnieres here.
I would like to share with you some incredible news. Qind Design as a collective of independent designers was officially launched only on December 31st, 2015. The limited carefully curated brands and products that we have online has triggered in unsolicited interest from ESQUIRE Magazine, owned by Hearst Media Group which owns other brands such as NBC, ELLE and Harpers ZAZAAR, Men’s Health!
And we are just at the beginning of what Qind Design is destined…
Sometimes, with Nothing but the fading light of hope and a destiny unknown, you need to walk a Thousand Miles beyond the point when every sinew of your being, the world and your Loved ones, in pity have called you to STOP, Enough.
If ever there was a time, to show your support of me and Qind Design buy buying our products to allow us to get into Esquire Magazine, the time is now.
Now Off with Go!!
Monge Joins The Collective of Qind Designers
Something extraordinary is happening. Now more than ever, men give a damn about the way they look and are not shy about letting the world know that they do give a damn. More and more men are openly showing an interest in their dress and grooming.
This fact shows in the numbers. Reports state that men now spend more money on shoes than women and the male grooming industry has grown by 70% between 2012 and 2014. A recent survey by the retail industry magazine Drapers revealed that men in general feel overlooked by the high street when it comes to fashion.
The fashion industry is starting to pay attention with more focus being give to menswear: Both London and New York now boast fashion weeks for men; Large retailers left and centre are feverishly opening Menswear Stand Alone stores and at the very top, Harrods in October 2015 had Menswear Takeover as per the video above.
When it comes to the online space, there are massive players like Mr. Porter and Zalando, who now hold positions similar to the big department stores on the high street with thousands of brands and products catering to the mainstream.
However just like in the real world, an individual with specific tastes would rather go to a specialist boutique where he knows he will find exactly what he is looking for with the aesthetic that suits him. Qind Design is morphing itself into an ‘online boutique’ of sorts with collective of independent designers who have similar aesthetic and common customer base, offering made-to-order accessories and smart casual wear. What we do is driven by an artistic craving for that which is high in quality with balance, style and soul. Creative professionals looking for pieces with vibrant accents of colour, taste and character find affinity with us. Architects, Designers and Creative Entrepreneurs in particular tend to like what we do and what we offer.
We are really excited at having Monge Studio be one of the first independent designers to join us as we carefully bring other talented brand artisans onboard.
Qind and Monge gravitated towards each other via Twitter, mutually and equally being excited by each others work. Ideas of future collaborations of some sort we lightly discussed. When Qind Design decided to expand its offering, the first that was sort out was Monge!
Established in 2012, Monge is a brand from Majorca that represents a solid alternative in men’s footwear, thanks to its honest products that mix contemporary design and traditional manufacture. On these pillars is built Monge, a combination of the classic shoes spirit, with a modern twist and handcrafted quality.
Check out the 2016 collection of made-to-order pieces that look absolutely fantastic here.
Qind Design Collective
One of my gigs is doing the style editorial for Yacht Investor, the magazine for super-boat charter and brokerage. In the September 2015 issue, I wrote a short piece on the magic of Pocket Squares as well as putting together a selection of pieces for the advent of Autumn.
The longer version of the Pocket Square piece will be published here shortly with a bit of narration from me.
Visuals: Yacht Investor
Words: Qind Design