The Race is On - Push Pony - Art, Culture, Fashion, People

The Race is On

Hackett team up with williams martini racing and get set for a summer in the fast lane

Hackett toasted their new partner Williams Martini Racing last week. Throwing a revved up event at their Regent Street store. Marking their new title as the official clothing supplier of the Williams Martini Racing team for the 2015 season.

Guests arrived to the sound of car engines, and illuminated store front windows. Streaming Hackett’s ‘Coolest Pit-Stop Ever’ video and featuring a very sleek Williams Martini Racing car. Inside the theme continued with works of Angela Palmers ‘Adrenalin’ F1TM racing art scattered around and vibrant neon lights of the world’s most familiar circuits. The now famous F1TM Opus books containing hundreds of both rare and iconic shots, (many signed by the drivers themselves) were also on display to keep in line with the evening’s racing theme. Of course, above all many of the drivers attended themselves!

Speaking on the night Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas said “Williams is a team with so much history in Formula One and with Hackett being such an iconic, traditional brand, I think the partnership is a great fit.”

For 2015 Hackett will  supply all the apparel worn by the team at each Grand Prix during the Formula One season. ON top of that as an official partner of the team, Hackett’s logo will also appear on the nose of the Williams Mercedes FW37 racing car, the shirts worn by team personnel, and the race suits and caps worn by drivers Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas and Susie Wolff.

Jeremy Hackett commented “Motorsport has been a part of the Hackett DNA for many years now and partnering with Williams Martini Racing, one of the giants of F1, still sends shivers up and down my spine.”

I had the opportunity to chat with Jeremy and ask him about being a sportsman himself, and the secret behind Hackett’s longevity as such an iconic British brand.

Your collections are often inspired by classic British sport, and it’s safe to say Hackett’s list of sponsorships and sport collaborations is pretty star studded. Do you consider yourself to be sporty?

JEREMY HACKETT: When I was at school I was very sporty playing Rugby and running for the school. I used to ride quite a bit until I broke my leg badly out fox hunting which brought my riding days to an end….What was it Oscar Wilde said ” the unspeakable chasing the inedible”

As a seasoned spectator then, is there one in particular thats a favourite for you to watch
I would say Tennis is my favourite sport to watch and now that we are one of the sponsors of the Queens Tennis Tournament I have the perfect excuse to attend! With our sponsorship with Aston Martin Racing,  I was fortunate to be able to race an Aston around the Goodwood track. I liked it…but it frightened the hell out of me! ha Now I am more than happy to watch from the pit!

You began your career at quite an early age. Working on the Kings Road and Saville Row before opening your own shop in 1983. Over the years and as you have established your own name and brand, how have you seen Saville Row and in particular men’s tailoring on the Row change? 
Savile Row thankfully still has a number of established tailoring firms, but in recent years a new wave of younger tailors have taken premises on the Row. Breathing new life into what is the most famous tailoring street in the world, with some of them now even open on a Saturday! I also think the new tailors on Savile Row have made themselves more accessible to younger customers who may have found the more traditional firms a little intimidating.

Hackett is well known for it’s strong lineage within British heritage and expert tailoring. Do you think there is a key or secret  to creating a classic garment that won’t date? 
I believe that even classic garments date. When I look back over the years to what we were making say ten or fifteen years ago I notice that our products have evolved. Our tailoring has become softer and lighter and generally more relaxed although the overall effect is still classic.

Do you follow trends when creating your collections/ cuts?
I wouldn’t say that we follow trends but we don’t ignore them either. It is a matter of taking from fashion what works for Hackett.

What influences you most when your creating your collections? 
As a British brand we are influenced by the British lifestyle, sport and our sponsorships. It may be a romantic notion but I think a little romance is no bad thing.

Your book “Mr.Classic” has been referenced  as “a must-have for any man who takes sartorial matters seriously.” On the Hackett website you even offer style advise to your clients via email in the “Ask Jeremy” section. What are would you say are the most important rules or fashion tips a gentleman should follow to be acheive good style?
My mantra is keep it simple, dress but don’t overdress. Your clothes should look like you own them not merely just put them on.

You have lived in London since you were 17. What is your favourite place in the city to feel creative or to be inspired?
Sitting in my garden first thing in the morning with a cup of tea.

To relax or have fun?
Walking my dog in Hyde Park.

If you were giving advice to a gentleman coming to London for the day, what’s one place you would tell him he MUST visit?
I gather that Hackett would already be on his list!  I suggest he goes to St James’s in the heart of Gentleman’s clubland, where he will find shoemakers, shirt makers, tailors, barbers, hat shops, umbrella makers, cigar emporiums and fine wine shops. What more could a Gentleman wish for, apart from a spot of lunch at Wilton’s historic fish restaurant.

Words by Tracy Kawalik and Jeremy Hackett

Photos Courtesy of Hackett and Williams Martini Racing

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