Nigel Cabourn was born in Scunthorpe in North East England and has spent life as an adult in Newcastle. He has become known for his characteristic outerwear and clothing inspired by army vintage. During his fashion design studies at internationally recognized Northumbria University, he started his own label. When not in his Newcastle office, he travels the world on a never-ending quest for vintage clothes: military, sports, expedition and workwear. The steadily growing archive serves as inspiration for his own collections and collaborations.
Speaking of collaborations, Henri Lloyd has an upcoming two-season project with Nigel Cabourn. The first of these capsule collections will be presented at Pitti Uomo in June, 2019. Is there a theme?
– I remember well when Henri Lloyd entered the scene. I was young, of course, but I still love what came out from the brand the first ten years. These are the garments I am doing my take on, very British and authentic. I will use British fabrics only, to emphasize the authenticity. The focus will be on outerwear which is something of my niche, although there will be other things, too.
”I’m actually lucky enough to to have met Henri himself, and we became friends.”
And what is your take on Henri Lloyd?
– Well, I call it Cabournization! The outcome will be half Nigel Cabourn, half Henri Lloyd, because that’s how I go about things, I Cabournize.. I’m actually lucky enough to have met Henri himself, and we became friends. A fantastic man! I know his sons, too. My vision for this collaboration is to contribute to putting Henri Lloyd back on the map, where it should be. It’s such a fine brand, with such an inspiring history.
In what way is that history important to Henri Lloyd?
– Oh, in every way, I would say. Not many brands have roots that obvious, and in the case of Henri Lloyd it’s sailing, of course. And with these roots in real sailing, you will attract not only the real sailors but others as well, non-sailors sharing the same dream and just wanting to look cool. Everything is there for Henri Lloyd to become a true lifestyle brand, with the Britishness intact and devoted fans all over the world.
What about the match between Nigel Cabourn and Henri Lloyd?
– Without it, we wouldn’t have a collaboration! We share a number of values. For example, I don’t see myself as a fashion designer. I prefer to have a more timeless approach to things, and if something is not fashion, then it won’t go out of fashion. We share that, and it’s also a sustaina- bility statement of sorts. This goes for the fabrics, too. If clothes are manufactured with quality fabrics and with attention to details, daily wear and tear will just add to their beauty. As a workwear aficionado, I also share the eye for functionality with Henri Lloyd. I could go on, but let’s conclude it’s a very fine match indeed.