WORDS OF A DREAMER
Lately I have been working so hard to get HADLEY collection off the ground, that I have to stop and give myself time to do the things that truly ground and empower me. Creating things, whether it is clothing, art, travel or cooking is the backbone of who I am and now I am working to balance this with a very big job that lies in front of me. When I am on the road, I am searching for ideas in the things around me. People watching is one of my favorite past times. I love seeing the individual style of the people who pass by. I respect those who have style, even if it is completely different than mine. I love risk takers, but I wouldn't really consider myself to be one. My own personal style is a constant evolution and I love to change it up. Someday's conservative, sometimes edgy. I love having a style that is fairly unpredictable and is more of a representative of my current mood.
We are at the stage of building HADLEY where a lot of big branding questions are being asked. Mostly, who are your inspirations when it comes to design and clothing. Sometimes these questions make my head spin, because frankly, how can I ever narrow this down to a concise answer when I get my inspiration from so many avenues? I absolutely love the beauty and feminism of a Chloe piece. I really relate to designs by Isabel Marant, IRO and Rag and Bone. I have so much respect and love for Tom Ford and maybe surprisingly Victoria Beckham (who would have thought I would put those two in the same sentence). Regardless, of people I admire, I would say that the inspiration I get comes more from my daily life. My friends, the places I visit and ultimately the outdoors. Breathing fresh air in the mountains or listening to the lapping waves always seems to spark greatness.
Today I am finding the time to sit down and draw a few styles for next season. New leather jackets, more Ikat handbags and something really exciting...more cashmere (the best!) Hope you are feeling inspired by something today as well. If not, just look around! Inspiration is everywhere!
A majority of my travel began with my work in the apparel industry many, many years ago. I worked with and managed factories and mills globally. Hong Kong, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh, Lima, Portugal, Taiwan, Tokyo, Vancouver and LA to name a few. Although I never really had the time to do the things you would do as a tourist, I spent my days usually in a factory in a very remote industrial area of many of these third world countries. It wasn’t glamorous and usually the extreme jetlag and strange food made it very challenging at times. Sometimes, during these trips, I would count the days down until I was able to go home, but it was not because I didn’t love what I was doing. Being in these less than perfect places made me remember how lucky I was and how grateful I should be for the life that I have. I have seen a lot when it comes to factory life. I have seen a few bad factories, BUT I have seen a lot more good ones. I could speak volumes to my experience in working closely with the Chinese. I enjoy them and respect them highly for their dedication to their craft. I will admit I cringe when I hear people speak negatively about these people, because I truly feel like they are MY people. We all have our talents and we should all support each other for them. Maybe one day we will look at ourselves and others as global residents of the world with the common goal of creating a better place for ALL of us.
I had a friend ask me what HADLEY was going to do to better the world. Will wearing one of our leather jackets or carrying one of our Ikat backpacks cure cancer? Well, it might cure a little depression i.e. retail therapy, but we probably won't be saving lives right now (although I would love to). What we are trying to accomplish is the education of the dying art of Ikat, batik and other primitive ways of making handmade, gorgeous textiles. We are trying to take you back to a place and time when the things you wore told a story, had history and has meaning. I love the idea that I can take something that is old and collecting dust and transform it into something unique and sophisticated.
I look back very fondly at my experience working with large scale manufacturing, as it has given me the experience to produce beautiful clothing and handbags. I am so excited to start a new adventure here and I hope you enjoy HADLEY collection as much as I do.
Today is a monumental day. Not only are we less than a week away from electing our next president, this is the first entry for HADLEY collection. I never thought I would ever share my thoughts on a public forum, but in all honesty, I need to optimize this website, therefore, my hands are tied! I am not sure how long I will be the one writing this. Actually, that isn't true…I know exactly how long. I will be the one writing this until I can afford to have someone else do it for me. Until then we are together. Me and the infinite space of the world wide web.
So what do you want to know? Do you want to know why I started HADLEY? I always knew I would do this, eventually. I have been designing and making clothes for other peoples brands for more years than I care to mention. In the past I have made attempts to move forward with other ideas, but for one reason or another things just didn't work out. This collection just happened. It was organic and I didn't plan it. It started with one handbag that turned into a leather jacket and then a cashmere jacket and so on (I'll save that story for another day). I just started making pieces and the next thing I knew I had a collection.I have been a painter and artist for many years. Painting was my escape into my pure creativity where my actual “work” was always trying to make another's dreams a reality. When I am painting, I start with one vision realizing that at the end, when the painting is finished, it morphed into something completely different. The way that I approach my design work has always been different, more business, less art. This time, the pieces I created on this website, are 100% art. I chose every last detail, down to the each individual hand painted lining, every bead and every button. This collection is the first time my inner artist was allowed to design and create clothes.
As a lover of fashion, my own personal style has always been to mix less expensive, classic basics, with more expensive statement pieces that I knew I would keep forever. Jackets, bags and jewelry were things that I never got rid of season to season. They were the pieces that I always kept in my closet. I wanted to create those pieces. The timeless, heirloom pieces that you would rather give to a loved one instead of tossing out. I have come from a long career of working with mass produced garments using mass produced textiles. HADLEY collection is not mass-produced. It is special. These are the real textiles that all others have been modeled after. The textiles that have been created by hand by families who have been passing the skill of weaving and dying down through their bloodlines. These fabrics represent family. They represent art.
Photos by Pepe Arcos www.pepearcos.com