In the summer of 2015 I graduated from London College of Fashion from a degree in Fashion Design & Development. Having found a love for pattern cutting early on, I developed my skills through internships and later freelanced for various London based brands. My final collection at university was focussed on soft tailoring and simple billowing silhouettes and from this I made a paired down shirt to take away on a holiday through Europe. With breezy volume, a scooped hem, petite classic collar and short sleeves, looking back this shirt was the starting point of Henri.
Drawing on this first design and inspired by a love of technical details, I wanted to take the London tailoring heritage and reimagine it for a practical, modern woman. Channelling robust elegance with classic design, I developed five women’s shirts and made a small batch here in London. Shirts for women, made in London. I launched the business in September 2016 with those five designs which are still in regular rotation today.
Over the years we have steadily grown to include a wider range of garments but always adhering to the same ethos: a comfortable fit, timeless design, high quality and sustainably made. With pattern cutting being my original training, achieving a good cut is central to every product we release. Once a product is refined to its fullest, it remains in the collection as a classic. In this way we don't fit in with the usual fashion cycles, but rather customers can expect to see our range growing slowly and steadily with familiar favourite resurfacing throughout the year. We aim to design pieces to last and our range honours this.
Four years after first launching, we have a permanent shop & studio side by side on the Hackney Road. From this base we sell our pieces, design and sample new ones as well as teaching women how to sew their own Henri cuts through our sewing workshops. Growing our community from this base (as well as further afield) has been an unexpected joy to running Henri. I hope that over the next few years we can continue to make women feel comfortable and confident in their everyday and maybe encourage a few to take up sewing as well...