Superdry has designs on your wardrobe.
The Cheltenham-based fashion label, which is still helmed by founders James Holder and Julian Dunkerton, celebrated its ten-year anniversary at Londons Battersea Power Station last Thursday setting the tone for the next ten years with a catwalk show that marked its intention to stake a claim on high-end womenwear.
ELLE sat down with the elusive duo to get the skinny.
How does it feel to be ten?
James: Its a fantastic feeling. Were looking forward to our teenage years!
Did you ever imagine this was where you would be now?
Julian: No. You cant work ten years in advance. You can never see an end to what you do. Im sure, if we visualise the next ten years and what were about to do You cant see quite where its going to go, but you know which direction youre going to go in.
Tell us about the early days.
James: It was amazing. When we started Superdry, Jules had a love of vintage American clothing; I was obsessed with Japanese graphics and imagery, and we both had a shared love of British tailoring. So we linked it all together, jumped on a plane to Tokyo, got inspired, and that was it.
Superdry is famously known for being a word of mouth brand
James: The clothing is our adverts. Weve got such a diverse range of products. When we first started out, we used to trawl through all the LA vintage stalls, where every product is completely different. We brought that into premium products. So wed end up with 500 jackets a season, and that would be your advert, walking down the street.
Does digital and social media play a role in that?
Julian: Im not very internet savvy, but Im very conscious of making something work. So, you will see a huge amount of progress in the internet that will take us to world-class in the next 12 months. Sometimes, its easier to look into something and get it right rather than actually be involved, because you see things in a different way. Like when James is designing, us being in Cheltenham, instead of being in Spitalfields or somewhere
James: Because were provincial, weve always just stayed focused on the products. Of course, were ferociously aware of every trend on the planet, and whats going on on the catwalks, and whats going on with the competition. But we always just try to steer a different path and just stay true to products. Because, as Jules says, being in Cheltenham Its just got this different spin. Its almost looking from an outsiders point of view, but what you end up with is a better product.
So if it aint broke dont fix it?
James: No! Youve always got to be better.
Jules: Were all about getting better. If you rest on your laurels, in any business, youre done. You have to keep pushing, keep pushing, keep pushing, keep pushing.
James: No matter how good youre latest collection is you can see from the catwalk tonight the massive leaps womenswear has taken as soon as you think youre amazing, youre f*cked. Its straight into the next thing, and you have to be better. We keep pushing, pushing, pushing. Thats why weve grown so quickly.
Who is the Superdry woman?
Jules: The woman wearing a Timothy Everest coat will be different from somebody in a graphic T-shirt, or in a windcheater in a pop hood. So what weve actually done is broadened the range so that mum comes in with daughter, mum spends more on herself than on daughter.
James: Were launching the premium line now and thats really going to change peoples preconceptions about Superdry. Already weve gone from being just a T-shirt and hoodie brand to becoming a true womenswear brand. The same philosophy we did with the guys, were now taking to the womens.
Watch this space.