KATHARINE HAMNETT LONDON
Fashion is a form of self-expression that is constantly evolving: there is always some new trend to follow, or a new style to adopt. Starting a business in an ever-changing industry is challenging, and requires great effort and commitment. The fashion brand, Katharine Hamnett London, seems to tick all of the boxes when it comes to the traits required in order to be successful in the highly competitive fashion industry. The main reason might be the way they have stuck to their original mantra from when they first started out, which is “making clothes for the good of all living things.” This quote is the perfect encapsulation of the growth that Katharine Hamnett has undergone in all the past years and how they’ve always pushed the boundaries through the clothes that they have produced and sold and continue to do so, to this day.
Katharine Hamnett launched her brand in 1979, using her own name as the brand’s name. They started out with selling clothes for only women but then in 1981, expanded to menswear. However, what brought Katherine Hamnett in to the public eye were their chic and innovative slogan tees, which had phrases like “CHOOSE LIFE,” “EDUCTION NOT MISSILES,” and “CLEAN UP OR DIE” printed on them in big letters. Thus, this is what set Katharine Hamnett apart from other clothing brands in the UK – their ability to be forward and unrestrained through the clothes they sold. The fact that they made such political statements, especially in a time when no one thought that fashion could be political, is why the brand appealed to so many people and consequently, started gaining popularity. By 1984, the brand was selling this collection in retail outlets spread over forty countries, and then, by the 1990s, the company had established itself as a major UK exporter, with a multi-million pound turnover. Catwalks for their collections were organized in Milan, Paris, London, New York and Tokyo and thus, only some years after their launch, Katharine Hamnett became a global brand with customers in every part of the world.
Katharine Hamnett continues to reach new highs to this day, now a leading fashion brand in sustainability and ethical production. They are inspired by the Buddhist concept of Right Livelihood, which encourages “ethical business behavior,” and “making a living in a way that does no harm to people and the natural world.” Thus, they are committed to creating products that are environmentally friendly, and from raw materials which are sustainable and can be regenerated or recycled. Being considerate of the environment while working in such a competitive and capitalist minded industry is a risky move. However, the fact that Katharine Hamnett prioritizes the environment over more profits for themselves is the reason they continue to be successful. Like always, they are pushing boundaries and reimaging the future, a feat that most fashion companies haven’t been able to achieve. There is no wonder they continue to remain popular amongst the masses, due to being at the forefront of the movement for healthy and sustainable practices within the fashion industry.
Katharine Hamnett is quite active on all social media platforms. On Instagram, they operate under the username “katharinehamnet,” and have more than twenty thousand followers. Currently, they have launched another collection in collaboration with a charity, called Contemporary Art Society (CAS). The campaign is called “CHOOSE ART” and is gaining a lot of momentum around the world. The purpose of it is to bring attention to the power art has in speaking the truth, bringing change and connecting people. Thus, Katharine Hamnett continues to thrive as a sustainable fashion brand, campaigning for all that is right and true in this world. There is no question that a lot of thought and dedication went into bringing this brand to life and that people who are working behind the scenes are still as passionate about clothes and the fashion industry as they were when they first started out forty years ago.