When I started little brother I was stressed out, financially incompetent, rebellious and naïve.
I smoked, drank lots of coffee, drove an old Mercedes, wore a vintage Rolex watch that kept terrible time, used a fountain pen, wore black a lot, never wore brown shoes, had been married once and had very definite ideas about what I liked and disliked. Oh and I had unprotected sex and a fax machine.
Fast-forward 13-plus years and I am not as stressed. I am less financially illiterate, mildly compliant and cynical due to being worldlier.
I abhor cigarettes, drink tea (Crane Brothers Bespoke Blend), drive a newer Mercedes (still have the old one) still wear a Rolex (one of two), use an iPhone and a fountain pen (DuPont not Parker) using black ink, never blue.
I hardly ever wear black as a colour, I always wear brown shoes (English-made), have been married and un-married twice and though I still have very definite ideas about what I like (including safer sex), I no longer send faxes.
At 40-something I would view myself as mildly successful, happy and content with how my life is unfurling.
I think that makes me very good at designing the Crane Brothers collections because as I continue to evolve so will my design principles and aesthetic, which is how a good tailoring brand should develop: basically as its clients tastes and needs develop.
I have also come to the realistion that Little Brother customers are still on the whole young or at least young at heart and that has created a conflict of sorts:
Given I have always had a philosophy to design, make and sell things that I would like to wear myself I have realized that I am not the best person to design the Little Brother collection if my desire to keep it contemporary and relevant is to continue.
For that reason I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Isaac Hindin-Miller as the Creative Director for Little Brother.
You can read all about it here and here.
I never want little brother to become a brand that is seen as past its use by date.
I don’t want it to be a brand that rests on its laurels, draws its inspiration from back catalogues and collections and talks about the good old days.
At the same time it was never my intention for Little Brother to be cutting edge.
I always wanted to design tailored streetwear and to give people what they wanted not tell them what they needed. One of the first collections we produced and showed was called 'Thirteen Unlucky Thugs'.
Thirteen years later (give or take) I think Isaac and the next Isaac and the one after that are the young, talented, stressed, coffee drinking people I want designing the collection - with my sign off of course.
In black ink not blue.