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SALT+WEST: Fashion's One To Watch

Updated: Apr 27


Salt+West

DARKUS CATCHES UP WITH JAMIE, FOUNDER AND ALL ROUND TOP GENT FROM YORKSHIRE'S MENSWEAR GIANT


Saltaire, not a place where you would think a forward-thinking menswear brand would be born. Recently I caught up with Jamie, the brains and creative behind Yorkshire based menswear brand Salt + West, the name of the brand paying homage to the town of Saltaire and the county of West Yorkshire.


Upon meeting Jamie, he isn’t what you would expect from a fashion designer. A polite Gentleman born in Leeds with a passion for menswear. This guy didn’t even come from a fashion background, but from a career spent in design he wanted to develop a brand he could be comfortable in as well as stylish. We caught up over a coffee in a cafe in the village. He arrived looking effortlessly stylish and had that Yorkshire charisma about him.


TELL ME ABOUT THE IDEA BEHIND SALT+WEST?


Jamie: I wanted to work with silhouettes that suit my style and empower people to feel individual. Making everything in England is a huge part of what I do, and the main driving force behind the brand. I didn’t come from a fashion background, so initially it was tough finding the right manufacturers to work with, but I like a challenge. I initially started with developing the Mawson trouser over the course of a year, it was a fit unique to myself. I’d struggled to find something which had the exact proportions that I was looking for and really tailored it to my own tastes. I hoped there’d be other people out there looking for the same thing, and thankfully there was! 


Salt+West


WHAT INFLUENCES INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE THE BRAND?


Jamie: After moving to Saltaire, I was keen to bring the local influence of textiles into the brand, there’s so much history here and the perfect setting for what I’m doing. It’s a small community, there’s a lot of other makers and artists around here, you’ll find a lot of people from all walks of life into all kinds of crafts. I love supporting British brands and playing a part in bringing manufacturing back to England is something I’m really passionate about. It’s not easy, but it wouldn’t be fun if it was.


HOW DO YOU SEE MENSWEAR EVOLVING?


Jamie: I felt for a long time that men’s fashion had plateaued to an extent. Re-assuringly, I see more designers becoming braver to put a stamp on their style and really carve out their own niche. Fashion is personal and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, but when you find a brand that really resonates with you, it can help define who you are. It can be empowering to step outside your comfort zone and be different, and I think more people are prepared to do that these days.


Salt+West

WHAT FABRICS ARE USED IN YOUR COLLECTIONS;


Jamie: I’m lucky to work with some great suppliers around the UK and Ireland who have incredible fabrics, all the trousers and T-shirts we offer are made with hard-wearing and high quality cotton. I’m currently sampling a knitwear collection for Autumn/Winter made from Donegal wool. it’s such a unique texture and the processes they use are fascinating. I want every garment to feel amazing when it’s worn, the way something feels is just as important as the silhouette.


WHO IS YOUR BRAND AIMED AT? WHOSE YOUR CAPTIVE AUDIENCE?


Jamie: Its aimed at people like myself that are looking for a brand that makes everything in England using fine quality materials and have transparency in the manufacturing processes. 


Salt+West


WHATS IN YOUR CORE COLLECTION?


Jamie: The core collection features my signature piece, the ‘Mawson’ trouser. It’s a garment we plan to keep in stock year-round and has a timeless quality to it. The name pays homage to one of the architects of the village, William Mawson. The ‘Titus’ tee is another core piece, and named after Titus Salt, the founder of the Mill.


LASTLY, WHATS YOUR MUSIC INFLUENCES?


Jamie: Everything from 90’s grunge, dub, jungle, post-rock and shoegaze. The music usually fits the situation, so a drive over the moors might call for some Russian Circles or a walk through the city at night might call for some Burial. 


What a gentleman. Jamie has some great forward-thinking ideas for the direction of his ever evolving menswear brand and I’m excited to see it develop. To have something truly unique made on English soil is very exciting. Go check his work out online, and who knows what the future has in store, but with this man at the helm I’m sure we will be seeing a lot of great things from Salt + West.


Salt+West

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Article By Craig Whitehead

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