This week we got chatting to Kestin - the main man behind one of our best loved menswear labels, Kestin Hare. Founded in his home town of Edinburgh in 2014, Kestin has continued to thrive on core values of quality craftsmanship, vintage research and unique and technologically advanced fabrications.
Having been proud stockists since the beginning, it's about time we met...Describe your label in 3 words.
'Quality, functional, unconventional.'
What inspired this season's collection?
'For SS19, I was thinking about my childhood holidays spent in this unspoilt part of Northern Scotland. Lazy days with nothing much to do apart from outdoor adventures and fly fishing with my dad on some of the finest beats on the River Spey. Speyside is filled with epic scenery and world-famous whisky distilleries. I wanted to bring in those functional elements of country attire but update them and make clothes that you can wear every day. We shot the campaign up at the BenRiach distillery, the copper stills, the mash tuns, the warehouses with all the casks - it was an amazing experience.'
What are the biggest influencers in your life and work?
'I’m inspired by a little bit of everything, there’s no one person or thing that takes over. I’ll always take something old and make something new with it. But it’s an accumulation of lots of different elements. Scotland is always a key point of inspiration for me it’s all about weaving in the references and challenging the preconceptions of Scottish design.'
What would be the soundtrack of your life?
If you didn't do this, what would you do?
'I’m actually very good with my hands so maybe a joiner. I love making things, and am getting pretty good around the house building things with wood, I’ve made a bothy, fences and a desk for my daughter, next up is project bunk beds. It’s like therapy for me.'
What's the oldest and newest piece of clothing you own?
'Hmmmm, oldest is a hard one. I have a pretty extensive vintage archive, lots of old military and workwear gear from the turn of the 20th century. Newest piece of clothing is the Fatigue short in navy ripstop.'
What book is on the bedside at the moment?
'I’m actually listening to podcasts at the moment, Russel Brand Under the Skin is pretty good. I listened to the Wim Hof episode and was totally blown away by him and his concepts.'
Where do you call home and why?
'Edinburgh is my hometown, I lived down in London for a long time but relocated back here when we started having our children. The quality of life is so good, so much outdoor space for our little girls to play in, 30 minutes drive to the most amazing beaches, you can walk to work in 10 minutes, world class culture on tap. What more could you want.'The Cruiser Store - Edinburgh
What are your favourite 3 local haunts in Edinburgh?
'Too hard to pick just 3 - here is my personal guide to the best Independent places to stay, eat, drink, shop and explore in my home city.'
Where's your favourite escape from the city? (Side note - I grew up in North Berwick ♥)
'Ha! No way small world! I love NB, the lobster shack is amazing. Either the beaches in East Lothian, or the Reservoirs in the Pentlands if it’s a nice day. Or if it’s raining we head to the forests which are a bit more sheltered in Mid Lothian.'The Pentlands
Spring Summer or Autumn Winter?
'Coming from a Scottish climate, it would have to be Autumn/winter. I can really go to town with the fabrics and I’ve got a real thing for outerwear. We have got a special collaboration for AW19 with an iconic Scottish brand so keep a look out. Also it means we can go big into knits, we produce all of our knitwear in Scotland.'
What would be your advice to your younger self?
'Work hard for someone else learning all you can before setting out on your own. Don’t be afraid of failure, practice is controlled failure which eventually leads to success if you don’t give up. And don’t ever give up.'
What can we expect from next season's collection?
'The Autumn/Winter 19 collection is called “In High Places” and draws inspiration from British mountaineers in the 1970s. This era was described as “the golden age of mountaineering” with a key group of die-hard British climbers achieving celebrity status due to their pioneering and inspiring efforts. Research for the collection started with a trip to uncover the archives at the Scottish Mountain Heritage Museum near Fort William. We uncovered garments that were worn by the climbers, I was like a kid on Christmas day. The special collaboration between Blacks of Greenock will be launched too.'
Read more about Kestin Hare's road trip Speyside HERE.