There are many quilted jackets, but there’s only one Lavenham.
Reinventing the wheel isn’t always about going faster. The turn-of-phrase is a peculiar one, but appropriate when it comes to talking about clothing design, especially menswear. When working with time-tested fabrics and heritage brands, the challenge isn’t about making them look modern, but more about reminding people what makes them great in the first place. Founded in 1969 by Mrs. Elliott, Lavenham takes its name from the Suffolk village it was established in. She produced the world’s first quilted nylon horse rug, and since the beginning its wadding has been made from 65% recycled fibers.
When it comes to British outerwear, the brand is a testament to doing specific products very well, for a very long time. Lavenham’s quilted jackets and gilets are the kind of pieces that have remained relatively unchanged since their inception, but remain especially relevant today. We admire their commitment to prolonging the UK manufacturing industry in a time when profit-minded corporate types won’t hesitate to shift manufacturing elsewhere to make a larger margin. It’s pretty punk for a company to take a stance and understand the value in preserving tradition and its importance to the local economy. That community-oriented mindset is especially important to Noah.
There are a lot of brands who might make quilted jackets, but Lavenham makes the quintessential quilted jacket, and it was important for us to partner with them on reimagining their signature outerwear. We chose the Denham, originally designed for horseback riding - but also the kind of piece you’d see elegant women wearing at the grocery store with riding boots - and flipped it with a contrast-stitch denim, channeling the workwear jackets prevalent in ‘90s hip-hop as well as an unmistakably hard-wearing American fabric. We also reinterpreted the quilted crewneck with cues from ‘80s American sportswear mixed with ornate bags that were once prevalent in France and England, now of course re-contextualized for our community. Sometimes reinventing the wheel isn’t about the wheel at all—it’s more about treading new ground.