The British designer joins forces with Topman to create an essential collection of modern suiting
NORMALLY, when it comes to fashion collaborations, it’s big, established brands courting famous designers in order to create something for which people will line up outside their doors. But in the case of Topman’s latest capsule, Topman Fine Tailoring, it was the other way around: Designer Charlie Casely-hayford (the younger half of the father-son duo behind essential British brand Casely-hayford) did the courting. “I approached Gordon Richardson, the Creative Director of Topman, because I feel Topman offers an incredibly modern perception of menswear,” he says. “I was really interested in creating a contemporary reflection of London tailoring combined with traditional details usually associated with Savile Row.” The result is a collection that consists of 10 different suits (along with a selection of Egyptian cotton shirts) for every possible occasion — work, weekends, weddings, and black tie events. Each grouping has different cuts and fabrications, like stretch wools and jogger bottoms for the weekend, and colourful velvet jackets, along with traditional black and white, for the tuxedos. “Bringing our two worlds together forced us to look at things in a new way,” he says. “I streamlined our House silhouette so that it felt younger and approached the suits from a much more casual perspective, so that they felt relaxed, but still gave the impression of a sharply tailored look.” Beyond Savile Row, the designer also drew from the relaxed flow of traditional Japanese clothing, which influenced the cuts of the suits and also lead him to design a limited edition silk kimono jacket that cheekily clashes with Western pop-culture references (eomjis, social media, fast food). It’s this non-traditional approach to design that has made Casely-hayford’s eponymous line such a success, and what makes this new collection with Topman that much more exciting than your average designer collab.