Browns Focus incubator relaunched as "collaboration platform" with new collections
Browns relaunched its incubator Browns Focus brand on Thursday with what used to be a standalone physical store housing new talent, becoming an “evergreen initiative [that] will celebrate Browns’ legacy of supporting new talent and the ongoing commitment we have to nurturing innovative designers and creatives”.
It’s pivoted to a series of concepts “driven by” its design community, “to celebrate both their individuality and creativity”. Series One launches as a programme of digital creative experiences and exclusive capsules produced in collaboration with its designers, “championing both their products and personal stories”.
The line-up includes womenswear labels Commission, Conner Ives, Maximilian and Mariah Esa, alongside menswear names Bianca Saunders, Labrum, Lueder, Saul Nash and Tsau.
All of the collections have strong themes and personal elements — such as the Bianca Saunders' offer being inspired by a trip her mother took to Jamaica in the 1970s, and Mariah Esa focusing on sustainability with the collection made entirely from recycled garment labels.
The launch is being marked with an installation in the Focus area at Browns Brook Street and Browns East.
Womenswear and Menswear Buying Director, Ida Petersson said: “Emerging talent is at the heart and soul of everything we do and by reintroducing Browns Focus as a platform for collaboration, we aim to showcase not only the designers but also their communities. I’m immensely excited about this line-up, each designer brings something completely unique to the table and are true stars both today and for tomorrow.”
The company said the project has “innovation at the forefront and so the Browns buying team set out to collaborate with both existing partners as well as a selection of new-to-Browns brands. Drawing on the idea of future icons, the team looked not just to ‘icons’ in the world of fashion, but to designers who are icons in their communities, to their peers, to their families”.
Joe Brunner, Menswear Buyer Next Generation said: “What was arguably just as important if not more important, was that they needed to have a voice on topics such anti-racism, social inequality and mental health. These conversations are incredibly important to Browns and we wanted to be a vehicle to drive these narratives forward through our community.”
The company added that all designers involved “were given free rein on their collections and the creative concepts resulting in a series of visuals, written word and sound that are intrinsically representative of each talent”.
It’s a major move for the Farfetch-owned company following its physical move from its original home in South Molton Street to its new flagship Brook Street location this year.
Browns Focus was first launched in 1997 and has championed key names such as Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha and Hussein Chalayan. It has since expanded its new talent promotion to take in mentorships with Graduate Fashion Week and Designers’ Nest, plus creative collaborations and monetary support including partnerships with the BFC, as well as upfront payment for young talent.
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