There’s a new menswear line on the market – Native Youth, a mix of basics and smart casual staples falling within the £25-£89 price bracket. They’ve already been snapped up by British retailers ASOS and Urban Outfitters. We gave a call to their design team to end out more…
Tell us about the Native Youth brand.
“Our aim was to create a socially relevant menswear brand that allows us to showcase the eccentricities of British design with expanded vision, super wearable and rich in understated hidden detail. To assign a ‘typical’ consumer to the Native Youth brand is in itself an impossible requisition! We aim to meet more of a discernible demand than a specific. A personal desire for Individuality from the fashion conscious man.”
Where does Native Youth see itself in the menswear fashion market?
“Since we launched the brand at Stitch in July the reaction to the brand has been unprecedented, with buying teams from leading retailers including Selfridges, ASOS, Urban Outfitters and Coggles already making selections from first AW12 collection. We have invested considerable time and effort to ensure our first collection is well rounded and on trend. Price points are key to the brand, offering a stand-out collection on the high street. Native Youth is ultra-wearable with a subtle richness in detailing, perfect for the fashion-conscious man with a love for British heritage and design.”
Which pieces from the AW collection do you predict to be popular?
“The fifty piece collection focuses on creating modern menswear product across a wide range of premium jersey, shirts, outerwear and trousers. A fusion of essential wardrobe staples including selvedge raw denim and yarn dyed shirts with more carefully conceived pieces such as true over dyed indigo, double faced fabrics, conversational prints and reverse print tee’s. Key pieces include the tapered 13 oz selvedge denim, Japanese worker vest in burnt orange and the cut and sew Fisherman, with its coated linen fabric bringing an innovative touch to a classic original.”
Which male British style icon(s) does the Native Youth brand identify with?
“Well that’s a thing with Native Youth it doesn’t appeal to a specific person or ideal, there’s no real style icon I can highlight which encompasses Native Youth look entirely. We’re meeting the demand of the style conscious male, whose trend savvy but still wants something more from what’s on offer on the high street. An ‘icon’ to us is anyone who’s trend aware but more importantly desires that something a little extra from their attire, again it’s about that subtle richness and attention to detail basically someone who wants the clothes to speak for themselves.”
Drawing upon British heritage as inspiration, the ethos of the brand is ‘reflecting the no-nonsense British way of doing things’; so why include Japanese work wear influences into the designs?
“At Native Youth we understand that building a brand is much more than assigning a “designed in England label” and showcasing attractive product. It’s about combining irreproachable design with the best fabrications there are available to us. Whilst sourcing these fabrics around the world our creative team have no doubt been influenced by the cultural variances they experience. In particular the Japanese design philosophy, the simplistic yet comprehensive attention to detail is an element which played an obvious intrinsic role throughout design and creation process.”
Interview: Farhana Nazir