Setting out to create timeless classics that become part of your everyday life, I’ve heard excellent things about new boy on the block, Malloch’s. I caught up with owner and creator, Chris Chasseaud, to learn more about the brand. Enjoy!
Hello Chris, how are you?
Hi Dan, I’m doing very well thank you. Slightly exhausted after my 2nd Covid jab – for some reason I’ve been drained of energy, so looking forward to get that back and feel normal again. As well as very excited for the new season.
For those who may not know could you give us the background into Malloch’s?
Malloch’s is a small independent brand focusing on creating high quality timeless wardrobe staples that aren’t limited by the restrictions of trend-led fashion. Inspired by a mix of the classic style of Hollywood legends and the honest hard working people of the British countryside, town and sea. We have a contemporary approach to timeless British heritage style with everything expertly crafted in UK. We work with the best factories in the country, championing British manufacturing as a cornerstone of the brand.
When did you first decide you wanted to form the brand?
The idea that I wanted to start my own brand was first back in 2015, after working for fashion brands and felt I wanted to build my own. It took a few of years before taking off the ground and actually started under a different name before I had to change it. It only really started to gather momentum in 2020.
Talk us through your thought process with the products?
I understand that as men we predominately go for colours like navy, grey and black. I want to offer those in perennial styles that you know you can wear over and over, year and year. At the same time I want to throw in some complimentary colours that can go with denim or tailoring depending on your preference. I ensure that all garments are made of the highest standard so customers can buy assured that it will last them.
What do you use for inspiration?
I take inspiration from a mixture of vintage Hollywood actors and Rock & Roll musicians for style, to the British landscape and cityscapes for mood and colour. You can find inspiration anywhere – so I keep my eyes and ears open. While on walks in the countryside or along the beach I take photos of colour combinations to use in mood boards.
Is using British manufacturers important to you?
Extremely important. I always wanted to have Malloch’s exclusively made in the UK. I did flirt with the idea of producing in Portugal and Italy but deep down I just wanted to keep it British. I’ve always wanted to champion British manufacturing. It also helps support an artisan industry and keep those skill-sets alive.
What’s the product you’re most proud of to date and why?
I’m currently developing a Mac that I’m really excited about which will probably become my proudest product. It’s a little way off but there’s a lot going into it, but hopefully I can launch it next year. The new Chunky Knit Cardigan launching in Oct is currently my favourite piece – it’s so comfortable.
What are your thoughts on fast fashion?
I have mixed views on fast fashion. I appreciate that there’s a need for it, but the way it’s run is a little shameful in the sense of over producing and driving prices down in manufacturing to increase margins. Quality is also compromised and therefore making it necessary for people to continually buying new. It comes down to a mindset where we need to ask ourselves if we really need it? Or, keep it for longer rather than just for fashion’s sake. Price-per-wear is important to me – where you get more value out of something by wearing/using more. That doesn’t need to be exclusive to expensive clothing, but ensure we keep things longer rather than just following trend-led fashion. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve shopped at fast-fashion brands and still own their garments after 5+ years (some ever 10 years) and appreciate.
I think fast fashion needs to take a good long look at how things are made and price structuring. I think prices should go up, which in turn allow for fairer wages being paid and less garments/waste being created. Garments should be produced in a more manageable and sustainable way so that collections that are continuously available resulting in less waste. But it’s a tricky scenario as we’ve got so used to it, and people’s livelihoods rely on it in the factory trade.
What interests do you have outside of fashion?
I’m keen on sports, art & design, beer and music. I follow most sports, watching and reading about it. I’m a keen runner but have been coming off an Achilles tendonopothy injury so it’s been a very slow recovery getting back into it. I’m always on the BBC Sport and Sky Sports apps. I’m a graphic designer so do freelance design work and brand consulting and I’m fascinated with brand positioning, communication and customer interaction.
What advice can you give to anyone wanting to channel their creativity but unsure where to start?
Start somewhere. It’s tricky to know where to start but if you get going then the process will lead you – whether directly or via some other avenues you’ll at least figure out what you enjoy doing. I sometimes do small challenges that might be completely different but get me thinking and looking in different ways, such as writing a short story in 100 words, or photographing a series just on shadows or reflections. Those sorts of things can help trigger and nurture creative output.
What life lessons have you learnt from running your own label?
Believing in yourself. Doubts will inevitability creep in but you have to stand firm in your belief that what you’re doing is right. Be adaptable and have back up plans. I’ve been balancing work and the brand, running parallel to each other rather than going all in. I hope that moment will come, but you need options in case it doesn’t work as you had planned.
Do your research. After thinking I did my due diligence I ended up having to change the brand name and thereafter trademark it. Going back to the being able to be adaptable, it helps when all looks lost.
We’re also bang into football and music here at Casual Cultures – do you have interests in both?
I do indeed. I’ve been loving it this summer with Euro 2020 – despite England’s loss in the final. But we played really well and Gareth has a frighteningly good squad and wealth of young talent. I support Liverpool which has also borne a good feeling the past few years. I love Klopp. The passion and rock & roll football. This season should be a corker as fans are back in the stadiums and VAR is backing off and letting referees to allow play to go on.
Music wise I have a very eclectic taste and appreciation for most of music ranging from hip hop, jazz, Afrobeat, blues and rock & roll, and some indie.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Malloch’s is launching Shetland jumpers alongside a few other new styles this winter which I’m really excited about. I might have a pop-up in London for a few weeks before Christmas and I’m developing some new styles for next summer.
Finally, can you summarise Malloch’s in only 3 words…