For a recent MenswearStyle podcast show our host Peter Brooker sat down with Stacey Wood, the CEO and Founder of King & Tuckfield, an eco-friendly denim label that is looking to take its brand to the next level via CrowdCube. Stacey Wood talks about the logistics of a crowdfunding campaign and how she wooed Richard Biedul into a collaboration that has emphatically sold out just weeks into its release.
The colourful heritage of the founder’s own family history influences the collection, giving it an ownable handwriting and a timeless quality, while always remaining modern. Elements of the family story are woven throughout the collection. For example, a love letter hidden in the back pocket of the women’s jean or a monogrammed handkerchief in the back pocket for men. The brand ethos is anti-throwaway fashion that favours the originality and quality workmanship, and believes that sustainability starts with consumption.
The brand won the Best New Brand of 2018 award from Drapers and were nominated for Emerging Designer of the Year Men’s and Emerging Designer of the Year Women’s by British Fashion Council. Slow fashion is a movement that is steadily gaining momentum and one which embraces both a transparency as well as designing, creating and buying garments for quality and longevity. With their signature line of selvedge denim and Merino wool, King & Tuckfield can also leverage the rich traditions these materials provide and thus better resonate with the conscious consumption choices of today’s contemporary generation.
So, you’ve been running the brand since 2016. Tell us about the journey so far
“Yes, we’ve been running since 2016 and for us it was very important for launch something different to what everyone else was doing. We specialise in denim and merino, and we focus on British heritage, tailoring and responsible manufacturing. We use Merino wool because it was used as a base layer under army uniforms and we use denim because it was worn down the mines. There are little touches among our collection which bring it all together. We use 14 oz and eco-denim that is pink lined instead of red to represent the ballet part of the the brand story.”
The brand is relatively young, what prior experience did you bring to it?
“I’ve worked in the industry for around 18 years. I’ve developed middle market brands such as Scotch & Soda and Samsøe & Samsøe for example. When I left university, I always wanted to have my own collection. However, at 21 I knew my arrogance and naivety would get in the way. I knew I needed to build up contacts and I didn’t know where to start. I saw a job opportunity at Replay for a Wholesale Manager. As denim was one of my favourite things in fashion it looked good. I worked for them and launched their business into the UK and built up some good contacts over 3 years. I then realised I needed to learn about production development, so I started working for a British brand called Gio Goi back in the day when it was Pete Docherty and Amy Winehouse, so it was early on in the launch and I worked on the women’s side of the business. I worked here for around 4 years and then I wanted to learn more about business, so I started working for a distribution company and worked there for 7 years. It was then I thought that it was about time I did my own thing with King & Tuckfield.”
Did you know at that point what your collection would look like?
“I knew I always wanted it to be denim focused and I didn’t want to go down the route other brands were going down such as the high street with over ordering and having excess stock. I wanted something a bit more premium, a product that was made to last. I also knew I wanted it to be something to do with my family. A couple of years before I launched the brand, I started looking through old photograph of my father who I didn’t know because he passed away when I was really young. Its been really interesting finding out about him and the more I learn, the more I can lead the brand in that direction. I was looking through some stuff the other day and I found a little love note from my father to my mum which was really sweet. In our jeans we put a postcard in the back of the women’s jeans which is a love note written to my great-grandfather from my great-grandmother. What’s really nice, is the day we receive our first order of wholesale, it was the day the note was written exactly 100 years prior. In the men’s jeans we have a white handkerchief which simply says K&T tucked into the back pocket in remembrance of my father.”
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