BEHIND THE SEAMS: Wynn Hamlyn
Comfortable, elegant and timeless: an apt description of Wynn Hamlyn’s pieces and arguably the ultimate goal most of us seek when dressing.
Since 2014, when he established his eponymous label, the Auckland designer has revelled in the process of creation, bringing a truly joyful spin to luxury sustainable fashion. We go Behind The Seams with the acclaimed designer to talk about the inspiration found outdoors, the progress in the conversation around sustainability, unwinding with running and the goals and focus for the brand in 2022.
1. Outdoors has always been an interest and passion of yours it seems. Tell us a little bit about how you found yourself on the path you’re on today.
I grew up in the country so most of my play was outside. I have always just wanted to make stuff. So as a kid I was always just nailing things together. I found sewing by watching my grandmother and I guess that was the medium that stuck. Now, I’m still just making stuff.
2. You established your label in 2014. The interest and focus on sustainability in fashion has grown incredibly since then. What do you think is the biggest issue or where conversation should be heading in 2022?
The conversation around sustainability was first gaining real traction around the time I started the label. People grabbed onto it and really started to care, and that led to changes in the way brands thought about their production. Understandably, people latched on to singular points in the sustainability sphere – I.e. Made in X Country label, or a factory certification. And consequently brands used those markers as a fix-all solution, even though those things alone are small parts of the entire supply chain. In 2022 I think the conversation is becoming more aware and more educated about what actually matters holistically.
3. What makes or defines the Wynn Hamlyn woman/person?
The Wynn Hamlyn person is nostalgic, but they reinvent the past with an unapologetic, contemporary twist – sometimes unexpected, never contrived, always enviably effortless.
4. What excites you most about creating and the work that you do? On the flip side, what is the most challenging aspect?
I am most excited wherever there is creation and making. I love the sampling and development side. I am most challenged by the business admin side, but I am getting better at delegating.
5. Your latest Resort collection (which we love!) takes inspiration from your home country, New Zealand and arts and crafts techniques like crochet. Where is the strangest or most unexpected place you’ve found inspiration?
Our Resort ’22 collection was inspired by the region’s remoteness, expansive mystery and raw beauty. We shot the Resort ’22 campaign at Muriwai, Bethell’s Beach and Kare Kare – this coastal region is so rugged; the ocean is ever-present, and it’s grandeur humbled my perspective for both the land and our being. It felt important to tie this collection and body of work back to New Zealand and the land; to continue to reimagine traditional ‘arts and craft’ techniques, and to repurpose them in a new and innovative way.
6. What are your goals for Wynn Hamlyn as a luxury sustainable fashion brand in 2022?
We’re constantly looking into our supply chain and where possible making changes every season. We’d like to get to a place where we can sea freight our goods. Minimising waste by constantly working with our factories and continuing to set up recycling and composting systems in our workroom.
We are also always looking into new fibre options and how these can work into our collections.
7. What does true style mean to you?
Feeling comfortable, elegant and never dated.
8. When the clock strikes after eight, where or what would we find you doing on an ideal day?
At this time of year – after 8pm is when it’s cool enough to exercise. I like to run for my head and because it’s nice to take time after a busy day for myself.