Meet Luther, our Head of Product Design, as he talks us through the inspiration behind our Spring '20 Collection.
Introduce yourself & tell us about your role.
My name’s Luther, I’m head of product design at P&Co. I take the lead on building collections, working with our Creative Director, Lee, our bank of illustrators, and the production team to create the best products we can possibly make. The other part of my role is focused on the design and experience for customers on our website. Oh, and I’m the unofficial Grandad of the company - the only one of us born in the '70s!
How long have you been in this role?
I’ve always been involved in production even if it was just offering an opinion on designs or helping to artwork the collection, slowly I became more and more involved but I've only recently been promoted to this specific role. When I joined a couple of years ago it was as a designer, one of my first big projects was redesigning the website. The spring collection was the first opportunity I had to oversee a collection from the start.
What do you think of our final spring collection?
There's a lot of really good product in the works for all of 2020. The spring collection saw us building on all the hard work that we put in last year focusing on quality, fabrics and those extra levels of detail. We’ve got some really cool pieces with fabrics like herringbone twill, selvedge denim and Lyocell.
Do you have a favourite piece(s)?
The women’s fatigue pants are one of those products that have looked good on everyone that’s tried them, and we've received loads of good feedback, so I’m really proud of those. It’s been really enjoyable taking our classic Origin jacket and pushing it even further with selvedge denim and a few classic twists.
What was it that inspired this collection?
Last year we took a sourcing trip to London, and ended the day at All Star Lanes in Shoreditch. The walls were covered in mid-century matchbooks - the typography was amazing. We took loads of inspiration from those, so it's cool to see that they have translated all the way through to the finished collection. I was also reading ‘On The Road’ by Jack Karouac at the time - it’s always been a favourite of mine but I loved the endless road trips, things never going quite to plan and the mix of unique characters. I think some of that influence crept in here and there!
What do you think it is about the ‘50s era that aligns so well with us as a brand?
I’ve always loved and been inspired by America in the fifties - the furniture, the fashions and in particular illustration and typography of the time. It was described as the Golden Age & the 'Birth of Cool', and I just love how it seemed anything was possible. There was a spirit of optimism and looking to the future. With spring being the first collection of a really exciting year for P&Co, it seemed really fitting to take inspiration from that time period.
What was it like working on this range?
This range was great to be involved with - it was the first for me being heavily involved in the production from start to finish. We always start by sitting down as a team and discussing key pieces we’d really like to make, what’s inspiring us and what we can improve on.
From there we start building a visual line sheet to make sure our collections work well as a whole and that outfits work well together. Lee then took all our research and mood boards to work up the illustrations to be used in the range - seeing these come together is always amazing!
After that we build the full collection, mocked up with all the details added - getting those boards up on the wall is really exciting and the first time you can kind of stand back and see the scale of the range.
Then we start the agonising task of stripping down the range, any products we’re not sure of or don’t feel part of the range soon get whittled down to the best and final range. It’s a rough process but always results in a stronger, more focussed collection.
A lot of cool stuff didn’t make the cut but we always hold onto it in case it sparks a future idea or fits into another range. I can think of a couple of pieces that didn’t quite make the cut for spring but will launch with summer instead - can’t wait to see those.
Is there anything exciting that you’re currently working on that you can tell us about?
Right now I’m in the middle of creating the autumn winter collection. We’re working on building our shirt category and growing ranges - in particular offering styles in multiple colour-ways. We’ve got some really great outerwear pieces lined up, more great fabrics and just generally building on the success of key products like the wayfare jackets and overalls. Judging by the early samples this year, we're set to raise the bar even higher.
Keep Scrolling for a closer look at the matchbooks that inspired our spring '20 collection.