XS - L
Picture the scene: it's Glastonbury 2016. The rain is hammering, the mud is knee-deep and all anybody wanted to be in was a jumper. But not just any old jumper. Hades knitwear's 'The Smiths' jumper made it onto the back of the holy grail of festival style - Ms. Alexa Chung (and me, but I have a feeling Ms. Chung had more to do with the sales figures than I did). With the nod from The Chung, the label was immediately propelled to super-cult-stardom. The initial range bore the names of legendary musicians and acts, and promptly sold out. The online store closed its virtual doors to restock and recalibrate, and for this season came back with a collection that's as emotional as any lyrics Morrissey could come up with. Titled 'Inner Privacy', the SS17 collection features sombre embroidery and a more delicate hand than that of last season. Following a chance meeting with founder Cassie Holland's mum in the camping area of, yes, Glastonbury, I spoke to Cassie herself to get the lowdown on where she sees the brand moving and just what inspires her.
Who’s your dream customer?
The people I get most enjoyment from wearing a HADES jumper are writers, musicians, comedians whose work I admire - but they’re not obvious fashion icons. In terms of people whose style I admire, it would be Chloe Sevigny. Although I’ve been following her style since 2002 (very closely!) and from what I can tell she doesn’t wear a lot of knitwear.
We’re actually starting a style series called ‘Style Essentials’ in our newsletter in which we look at individuals whose style we admire; people like Marlene Dietrich, Anjelica Huston, Divine, Mary-Kate Olsen, Poly Styrene. A few of the individuals we've selected for that would be dream customers.
What five words sum up your brand?
Irreverent, bold, classic, well-crafted, referential
What’s your favourite piece from the collection?
The green knit with dark green embroidery that spells out ‘Melancholy.’ All the phrases are nods to the interior life; The Exquisite Pain, Unrequited Love, Jealousy. When I was in the design process a friend commented on them all being negative feelings but I don't feel that! These are inescapable emotions and inner truths which we should acknowledge and celebrate. I enjoy the irreverence of wearing a sweater emblazoned with the word "Melancholy" on it.
What inspired you to start the brand?
It started as a fun creative project. I made a few jumpers for friends, posted them online and got a good reaction so continued to design. It was in no way planned out!
I’m not classically trained however I was really interested and reading a lot about the punk DIY ethos. It gave me the confidence to not be deterred by my lack of training and the belief that I could learn to do more than I thought possible.
What have you got in the pipeline?
I’m releasing the winter collection in the next couple of months, I have a really fun shoot planned for it, working with a photographer I’ve collaborated with before. The winter collection won’t be exclusively jumpers, although the whole collection is made up of wool garments. I’m also working on a capsule collection that I’m hoping to get out before Christmas.
Later this year I’m really keen to collaborate with an artist or illustrator or writer. I have a list of people who I'd absolutely love to work with, I need to approach them and see if they'd be interested - they may not have worked within fashion/ clothing before so I'm not sure how open to the idea they'll be but hopefully.