Friday, 7 August 2009

Style Salvage Speaks to... Harris Elliott

After completing a degree in Interior Architecture and Design, Harris Elliott established himself as a leading stylist in fashion and music. Thankfully for us Harris shifted his immediate attention from the likes of Mark Ronson and turned to luggage design. The personal need to find a stylish yet practical laptop case evolved into a thoroughly modern, yet understated luxury luggage brand which is designed and manufactured in the UK. The debut H by Harris collection comprises of two lines, the Q hand quilted nappa leather and the SH wax hide leather collection. Styles include rucksacks, totes, weekend bags, satchels and laptop skins and of course the H jacket which Steve has been drooling over ever since he first saw it on Style Bubble. We caught up with Harris to talk about how the brand evolved from a laptop case, the collaboration with bstore and wanting to dress Obama in Casely-Hayford... imagine that for a few moments and then continue reading...

Style Salvage: We recently read that the need for a new laptop case inspired the label. After this need was satisfied how did the rest of the collection develop?
Harris Elliott: After I designed the Q1 Skin I observed that people stuff their laptops in regular rucksacks and bags. So I figured there was a need for bigger bags for people to put their laptops in. Ivan the buyer at Browns said to me that their customers always needed weekend bags, so I extended the shapes and the whole collection came to life.

SS: Talk us through the different elements of the collection and what inspired them.
HE: The two main elements are quilting- the Q range, in soft nappa and nubuck. My inspiration was the need for something soft but protective, handmade quilting was the obvious choice. For the Sh range, I took reference from a military tunic for the large pocket details, these are made in nubuck and hide. Generally the market has been over saturated with bags that are over embellished with zips and bits, I have designed a collection that is big on form low on unnecessary detailing, simple to look at, luxurious to touch.

SS: How did the collaboration with bstore come about? Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
HE: I went to see Matthew and Kirk at 'B' for advice on how to go about collaborating with designers. They asked if I would collaborate with them, I thought they were joking as they often do, but they were deadly serious. We sketched designs separately, met in the middle and took the best of each others designs. I would love to collaborate with Neil Barrett, Junya and Hussein Chalayan.

SS: What was the first and last item you remember designing?
EH: The first thing I designed was a t-shirt at school with the logo for the band 5Star printed on it, they were my favourite group back then. The last thing was a bespoke vanity case I'm planning for AW10.

SS: In recent years there has undoubtedly been an increased interest and demand for bags in men's fashion. Do you, like us, cringe at the terms bandied about in the press though, for example murse, manbag etc? How do you feel about the increase in public interest that caused the creation of these terms?
HE: My favourite term was coined by the stylist Jason Hughes, the mlutch - man clutch. In general it's all media spin for journalists who have nothing better to write, just a bit of fun really.

SS: As a stylist you have worked with high profile personalities like Mark Ronson, Kelly Rowland, Nike and French Connection. If you could dress anyone, who would it be and what would you put them in?
HE: It would have to be the Queen and Barack Obama. Elizabeth Regina I would dress in Boudicca, and Obama in Casely-Hayford and Spencer Hart. And coming back to earth I would love to work with Vincent Cassel and Natalie Portman.

SS: What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that more men wore?
HE: Plus fours; Tintin had the look sewn up, and Christopher Nemeth produced the best version of these back in the day.

SS: How would you describe your own personal style?
HE: Unrefined with layers and with the occasional bright moments.

SS: What bag did you carry with you today? What was inside it?
HE: Carrying two bags today my Q3 Rucksack and SH2 Shopper, as always filled with a week's worth of useless stuff that never gets looked at day to day.

SS: If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?
HE: Have to be turn of last century where you would wear formal clothes even if you were cleaning the streets.

SS: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
HE: I would like to follow in the footsteps of Thomas Heatherwick, Marc Newson and Philipe Starck designing anything from bags to furniture to architecture.

SS: Have you got any recommendation that you'd like to share with our readers? (shops, hairdressers, designers, websites, bars)
HE: Favourite cafe has to be Royal Teas in Greenwich. I never cut my hair but the best locksmith (dreadlocks that is) is Don Abaka in Kennington. Instead of going to a bar get your own beer and cake, my own concoction and sit in a park drinking and eating with friends. Best shop is DA Binder for old school shop fittings. The Adam Kimmel Claremont video has to be seen!


Chris said...

The quilted bags are amazing and don't get me started on the H jacket! Wow!!!!!

the F word said...

i want them all!!! there all amazing love it

Daniel Alec said...

Such divine bags.
Any information on the pricing?

Alex Fiddock said...

Just seen your interview on the Topman blog- so pleased for you! Its so good how your blog keeps growing and growing, keep it up!

All the best

Style Salvage Steve said...

Chris: Wow sums the h jacket up nicely! I'm a huge fan of the Q line whereas EJ prefers the Sh bags...something for everyone here though.
The F Word: I hear you, I'd happily have each and every one of these...
Daniel Alec: I've not seen them in stores yet but we'll find out and get back to you!
Alex Fiddock: Thanks so much! Most of all we are having fun with the blog, everything else is a little weird..nice though!


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