It’s Virgil Abloh. And they are now part of Team Rimowa
We catch up with the team behind the eponymous label reshaping how we think about work style and men’s accessories; now available on DebonairOnline
How would you describe your brand’s aesthetic? Distinguished, elegant and discerning. Our DNA is simple — style over fashion; longevity over trends. Our bags are there to work with your clothes, not overshadow them. We want our clients to be lifelong clients, so we design and create products that will last and that will stay stylish. We don’t entertain trends or what is fashionable; we look to timeless designs and lasting craftsmanship to attract our customers.
What inspires you and your designs? Style inspires me: men with style, and women with style. I find an exquisitely dressed man in a crisp shirt, well-cut suit, smart shoes and a beautiful bag empowering. It gives me energy — energy to design and to create. I want to empower and inspire the men carrying my bags in return.
What goes into creating the perfect accessories collection? Hylton Goods looks at creating products slightly differently from the rest of the fashion world. We are all about slow fashion; we’re not here to churn out a spring/summer collection and then an autumn/winter collection every year. We’re building our brand one perfect product at a time. When we bring a product to the market we do so at our own pace, and when the product and we are ready. I’m not going to rush a release for the fashion calendar. Only after countless samples, tests and redesigns will we release a product to our clients.
What informs your choice of cut, material, print, colour etc? I have a strong vision of the Hylton Goods client — how he dresses and how he holds himself in life and in business. He’s strong and confident but also dignified and discerning. Anything outside those parameters for cut, colour and material doesn’t get a look in. For that added inspiration I look to the history books, to the style icons of the past, to artists and designers I look up to, including Ralph Lauren, Mark Rothko, Robert Rauschenberg and Tom Ford.
Tell us about the Hylton Briefcase, what makes it different? I wanted to create a day bag that has beauty in the detail and practicality at its core, and that stood out from the monotonous. It’s subtle yet striking, discerning yet impactful; it has a quiet strength to it — there’s nothing loud here. With a Hylton Briefcase you get a luxury bag that supports your day (with padded laptop and iPad sleeves, and a zipped valuables pocket) and your style.
What do you think will be the next big revolution in your segment? Revolution? I don’t know. What I do know is that Hylton Goods will continue to produce products for forward-thinking gentlemen who need beautifully designed and carefully created accessories in their lives. We’re not in the market for that revolutionary, on-trend item — we’re here to produce classics in a man’s accessories arsenal to be by his side for as long as he needs them.
What about the Middle East market appeals to you? The style, luxury and openness to global brands. I can’t wait to see our first bags in the Middle East — I wonder who will be the first gentleman to own a Hylton Bag in the region.
How has the rise of ecommerce influenced your company and strategy? Our website and our online retailers account for the vast majority of our sales. So the ecommerce side is, of course, hugely instrumental in our outlook for the coming years. Ecommerce is a double-edged sword with pros and cons. The advantage is that we get to have clients with our bags around the world — from New York to LA, Mexico, Paris and London — but the downside is that we don’t get to meet our clients and talk to them about our products. We had a shop in Piccadilly Arcade, which was fantastic, and I can definitely see a London store in Hylton Goods’ future, but for now our focus is on our online clients and making their experience while purchasing and using their Hylton Goods products as pleasurable as possible.