If you were lucky enough to catch HEW Clothing at our recent Melbourne SS15 Market, then we don’t need to tell you just how awesome this menswear label really is! Founded by Ema Hewitt after returning home from a year spent in Los Angeles, HEW Clothing is a collaborative and fresh approach to fashion design. Read on to discover more about this eclectic Melbourne label.
Tell us a bit about HEW Clothing and what we can expect to discover?
HEW is all about exploring new print and colour in the male wardrobe. We think menswear can be a bit boring most of the time, and wanted to offer some more exciting pieces for the modern man. Our digital printed shirts are printed on the highest quality cotton, and we have spent a lot of time perfecting the fit of our shirts. We also love supporting local artists, so each season we collaborate with local graphic/textile designers to create unique prints. We produce all products for men from t-shirts to jackets; shorts etc., however we are currently focusing on shirts and accessories.
What is your background and how did you start working with men’s clothing and accessories?
After completing Fashion at R.M.I.T, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in costume design. Whilst working in costume, I found it difficult to find bright menswear pieces. In 2012 I returned to Melbourne and continued to work in costume on Australian television series, then I made the decision to start my own business in 2013. HEW officially launched in October 2014.
What inspires your work and what keeps you motivated creatively?
I love to create! I think the fact that I love doing it so much is what motivates me. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else and I am extremely grateful each day I have at HEW. From the moment I wake-up, I am so excited to get to the studio and get stuck into designing menswear .
I would have to credit all the men in my life who feed me inspiration daily. Having a background in costume, I am also constantly looking at the clothing in film and T.V, and I like to draw inspiration from some of my favourite films, which I believe have great men’s costume, like Casino (1995) and Blow (2001).
What is your workspace like and what is your creative process?
I have a huge pin board on the wall behind my desk. This is layered with inspirational pictures, fabrics swatches of prints in process or fabric I have bought. I am a visual person, so I like to see the entire design process mapped out. These days with so much inspirational material on platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, it’s hard to escape working on the computer. The pin-board is my way of getting out from behind the screen and returning to the tangible. It doesn’t matter if I am designing a garment, packaging or VM ideas for a shoot – I am constantly collecting things – yarns, fabric, buttons and pretty much anything that I find inspiring.
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
There are so many challenges. Everyday is a constant battle as I try to juggle all the roles involved in running a business. Starting a business by yourself is difficult, as it takes so much energy to push it off the ground. I am extremely fortunate to have great support from my family and friends who have helped me in areas that aren’t great strengths of mine, such as my website, logistics, cash flow and all other behind the scenes bits that make up a business.
One of the things I love about HEW is having the opportunity to spend my days working on something that I love and that I’m passionate about. What I love about running my own business is having the freedom to work my own hours and be able to see the complete process of what I’m creating from start to finish. Participating in markets and pop up shops is a great way to meet other small business owners and also speak to the customer about our products.