Devon LivingIssue #04
We explore some of Devon’s independent clothing stores.
Here at Devon Living we love fashion, beautiful patterns, soft fabrics and unique items that catch our eye, especially when those items are made and produced in our very own county. The vibrant colours of our lush countryside and moorland with it’s notoriously bright purple heather tumbling over the hills and sandy grasses, has inspired generations of artists, including those in fashion. Not to mention the turquoise waters and chalky cliffs of our coastline! Join us on our journey to explore some of the most successful independent clothing and accessory brands made and produced right here in Devon.
“The vibrant colours of our lush countryside and moorland with it’s notoriously bright purple heather tumbling over the hills and sandy grasses, has inspired generations of artists, including those in fashion.”
Founded in 1996 in Salcombe, Quba Sails is a unique clothing brand that was sparked by an idea between friends (Will Bees and James Hartley), to create one-of-a-kind jackets made from reclaimed sailcloth. After displaying the jackets at a few boat shows, word soon spread and their popularity rocketed. The company now offers a wider range of nautical-inspired clothing as well as accessories, holdalls and home furnishings, and reaches out to customers around the globe. Our favourites this season are the Celeste Jersey Blazer and the Azura Print Dress; we just love the sailing boat pattern and flattering fit.
Following the success of Quba Sails, Will Bees decided to launch his very own brand in 2014. Featuring bespoke purses, pouches, clutches and bags, Will designs and manufactures accessories in a range of styles, using over five hundred fabrics and two types of vegetable tanned leather. Each accessory is custom made and totally unique, Will explains: “We only use top quality textiles and luxurious natural tan leathers. All suppliers are UK-based and everything is handcrafted in England using traditional techniques.” Our in house favourite is the Audrey Sparkle Cosmetic Bag and the Florence Tropical Mini Pouch, the perfect addition to your festival attire this summer! With the potential to emboss names on the front too, these bags make a beautifully unique gift idea for your loved ones.
While we’re on the topic of accessories, let’s just stop and discuss the faux fur revolution that Helen Moore has spearheaded. Helen Moore has been designing daring faux fur creations for over 30 years and was the first person to utilise the fabric in fashion in the UK. Established in 1982 in the heart of Devon, all collections are designed and made in Tiverton, and are of exceptional quality. The company prides itself on manufacturing in the UK because it means it has complete control over quality and can react quickly to changes in demand. Helen Moore designs now often grace the halls of London Fashion Week and the pages of Vogue. Our favourite item has got to be the Pebble Faux Fur Multi Vixen Scarf; similar to the scarf Fearne Cotton proudly wore to work at Radio 1, but in more muted tones.
Now onto quintessentially British brand, Jack Wills, which began right here in Devon in 1999. Peter Williams and Robert Shaw founded the brand to celebrate Britain’s heritage and wanted to capture the essence of university life, epitomising what it is to be British, irreverent and carefree. The pair state: “We continue to be influenced by everything, from our history and culture to sporting and country pursuits. We take pride in using the finest quality materials, to deliver our distinctive connection between the old and new, celebrating what it is to be young and fabulously British.” Here at Devon Living we love that the clothing is sophisticated yet playful and our favourite piece this season has got to be the Hollyfast Cullote co-ord. www.jackwills.com
Starting from humble beginnings selling printed t-shirts out the back of a van, Saltrock has since become a favourite among beach lovers and is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a surf brand this year. It all started in the 80s when two brothers travelling the world looking for waves arrived in London. They immediately hopped on a train bound for the south west and never looked back. Everything about north Devon, the surf, the landscape and the community was perfect for the brothers and for Saltrock. The t-shirts soon started flying off the shelves and the continued success meant the brand was soon recognised nationally, and then internationally. We think the chino shorts are the perfect addition to your beach wardrobe this summer and the hoodies will keep you wonderfully warm after a day spent at the beach. www.saltrock.com
So there you have it, our quick fire exploration of some of Devon’s beautifully bespoke independent clothing stores. Watch this space over subsequent editions as we delve into more beautiful clothing and accessory brands that we’re lucky enough to have on our doorstep!
"The vibrant colours of our lush countryside and moorland with it’s notoriously bright purple heather tumbling over the hills and sandy grasses, has inspired generations of artists, including those in fashion."