Oct 3 2013
“As with all collections I start with myself…” A very simple approach that most, if not, all designers can relate to. A designer’s likes, habits and memories shape collections that tend to be described as personal every single season, but no other designer embraces nostalgic life moments and feelings quite like Ashley Marc Hovelle.
Hovelle’s brand launched in 2009 with one t-shirt in a few stores, which has since expanded into a full collection of shirts, jackets, shorts and sweatshirts that he describes as ‘retro cool’. Becoming a sought after, successful brand with just one t-shirt is a testament to Hovelle’s expertise and a display of how far a good product can take you in business. “Three of the most crucial things to us are: quality, fit, and attention to detail,” Hovelle told us, but what sets his product apart from what is the norm in menswear is the fun and familiarity in design.
Most of his products have an invisible stab stitch (which originates from the 80s) that makes hems and sleeve lines appear seamless to the eye. This type of detail is one you would see today that would make you think back to your childhood wears, not to mention the retro vibe of his collections.
When discussing his SS14 collection, Hovelle said, “I find inspiration in everything I see, especially worldwide travel. This collection explores retro imagery of seaside escapes to visual illusions within stripes as a fashion art form.” Hovelle continued, “…maybe all those years wearing a school uniform with a badge, embroidered itself into my design mindset. Therefore, I have incorporated some of the most influential fashion capitals in the world in the form of embroidered badges and other striking art forms by incorporating repeat prints with bold graphical forms.”
The Ashley Marc Hovelle SS14 collection is very clean and sharp with bold stripes that are reminiscent of French sailors and American lifeguards from the 1950s. Each piece strikes a cord and springs conversations with like minds that agree on the familiarity of the design. It hits close to home in a way. Much like the Americana revival here in the States a few years ago, you become drawn to what you know and what you know has never failed and never will. Perhaps that is why fashion is cyclical. It’s not quite rehashing as much as it’s providing a product that will always be great in design. Hovelle knows how to channel the familiar into a great product since day one of his brand that began with one t-shirt to today with a full SS14 collection.