Discovered at the menswear Tranoï show January 2022, Denzilpatrick struck us by its unique approach to design, fabrics and its strong connection to his manufacturers, factories, ateliers, craftspeople and weavers.
We asked a few questions to its founder Daniel Gayle, whose work we are honored to share, and who we already had the pleasure to talk to in our Smart Creation podcast!
How did you start your design career?
My design career started during my dance training, actually. During those years, there were opportunities to choreograph work as part of annual competitions. I took those very seriously; really building a big story-telling experience and, of course, a very specific point of view on costumes! I didn’t win though, although I did receive an honorary mention one year!
Eventually I made the cross-over formally, taking design courses, pattern cutting tutorials, sewing classes, and then internships! I landed my first job after an extended internship at Jonathan Saunders. This was really the beginning – it really was exciting time to be in London and Jonathan, his team and his peers were really at the heart of that. I was incredibly lucky to have started my career at this moment – it set the temperature for what I wanted to achieve.
In what way would you describe your concern on sustainability through your collections?
What is the place of eco-responsibility in your creative process?
Sustainability is one of the founding pillars on which we are building denzilpatrick. It is very much an unresolved conversation though, people often say, “wouldn’t it be most sustainable to not make any more clothes at all?”, and that, in so many ways is right, there’s certainly enough out there to keep us all clothed for a very long time!
However, I then think about all the factories, ateliers, craftspeople, weavers, and makers that I’ve met during my career.
And so, I decided to start a project that would keep me, and my team connected with these old friends. We honour their work by ensuring that what we bring to them is both from a considered source and is being made with the best of intentions. By considered source, I mean it meets our criteria for sourcing which includes deadstock cloth, recycled materials, upcycled material and garments, and certified organic and responsibly sourced yarns.
Once we’ve established all the materials for the collections, through rigorous planning and consultations with suppliers, we set to creating the collection like any other. We have a story we want to tell through the clothes and how we present them. I’m very strong on product so however esoteric the narrative becomes we always land on garments that perform and function but are embedded with emotion.
What is your relation with your sourcing and manufacturing partners?
Our sourcing and manufacturing partners are key! Without them we really wouldn’t be able to do this. Every season I manage to take away some new learnings about how to handle a cloth or resolve a problem. I remain constantly humbled by their knowledge and experience.
A lot of these people, even those that are based in London, are from different corners of the world, they share so much knowledge and custom from their home communities. This is what denzilpatrick represents; a global community that is sharing the urban metropolis.
And to add, with upcycling and the deconstructing of new garments- our partners are fantastic.
A lot of this is a new process and goes against their usual rhythm of making garments, but, as ever, they are curious and patient with us as we work together to find the best solutions.
What’s the place of materials sourcing in your design + production process ?
The materials sourcing is the foundation we build from. To ensure we uphold our manifesto, we really strive to build an exciting and innovative offer, and we always do! It does mean the colour card is a moving target throughout the early stages of the season but we’re expert at this now – there are some materials that set the story and then we layer in others to compliment and twist – and print is a great way to express colour and tie together sometimes contrasting stories.
How do you choose your materials?
We always start with research, to build the story we want to tell. Once this is set, the story informs the materials we need and then we set about trying to find them! We break down the sourcing into categories: upcycling, deadstock, and new materials. We already have some great partners from whom receive our upcycled cashmere and shirting, so we’ll lock this in quite quickly. The deadstock is always the Rubik’s cube – trying to balance the colour assortment with the quantity availability for sampling v’s production. It’s not easy and will continue to be a challenge as we grow, but this is our goal.
And then new materials; we will always visit Première Vision to check-in with our trusted suppliers and view their new offers in organic and recycled fibres. At the same time we discover suppliers with new innovations. This season we discovered Pinatex from Ananas Anam, it is a cloth made from pineapple leaf fibre. I’ve been really impressed with how the initial trials are looking – we are quite rigorous about final product – we don’t expect customers to make compromise because we found an ethical solution, we still need to deliver good clothes, so let’s see where we can go with this!
The Denzilpatrick AW22 collection film
What are your future plans?
Future plans? Near Future is to present our SS23 collection in Paris this coming June – we are really excited about the opportunity to connect the collection in a physical space. And we have lots of new ideas we are exploring too, including recycled leather.
Further down the line… to keep building our family of makers, followers, supporters and continuing to share our stories and collections with our wonderful wholesale partners and online community.
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