“A great shirt says something about the person wearing it. It expresses an attitude and a take on life. A truly great shirt is a positive attitude in itself. That’s the only kind of shirt I want to be in.”
These are the words of Carl Thompson, an experienced fashionista who spreads his passion across men’s fashion, style, lifestyle, travel and grooming, as well as via the medium of YouTube. In August 2013, Carl founded luxury menswear brand, ‘Hawkins and Shepherd.’ Embodying an endless work ethic, he was taught from an early age to take pride in his work and thrives in a busy environment. After all, ‘idle hands are the devil’s playthings’.
Carl comes from a long line of committed workaholics, driven by a desire to produce good work and create the best products which speak for themselves, an ethos maintained by Hawkins and Shepherd to this day. According to Carl, ‘that may not be the easiest path to take, but that’s never been the Hawkins or Shepherd way.’
As all businesses do, Hawkins and Shepherd began as an idea; Carl aspired to create a piece that effortlessly blended classic and contemporary styles in a distinctive and luxurious manner. A fascinating aspect of the fashion industry is always the inspiration behind the line – in this case, Carl sought to replicate the classic glamour of the roaring twenties, where men’s shirts focused on their softness, and were starched to prevent a single wrinkle from gracing its surface, ensuring the wearer looked smart and stylish at all times. Carl spliced this nostalgia with a more contemporary feel to celebrate the past, while dressing it in the best the current British fashion scene has to offer. With an ear to the ground, Hawkins & Shepherd seeks to combine these with the latest styles from all across the fashion industry, embodying a truly timeless feel. Past, present and future.
The initial Hawkins and Shepherd idea was to create a shirt with a fit-for-purpose collar, infusing a formal aesthetic with a twist of style, while being able to take both a collar pin and a tie, without losing its shape. Firmly fitted and complimenting the wearer in all the right places, the stitching would hug the edge. The sleeves would scale down the arm to meet a pronounced cuff, without appearing overpowering, fitting comfortably around the wrist. In ‘the perfect shirt’ in his mind, Carl would allow room for a watch to be on display. As a watch wearer myself, this is something I’ve recently embraced; I feel somewhat under-dressed without one. It’s a small detail that stands out, and brings an outfit together. The final touches would be mother of pearl buttons, the same material used on the frets on Gibson guitars, for a true touch of class, and a subtle touch of embroidery. On the 6th August 2013, Carl Thompson’s dream shirt became a reality, and the brand’s flagship product, the Pin Collar shirt, was unveiled to the world.
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