Cult style brand, BLAG founders Sally A. Edwards and Sarah J. Edwards have joined forces with British Actor / Producer Tom Hardy to turn their combined creativity into a high-end, luxury menswear label, under the iconic BLAG name. The collection will be unveiled to the public this Monday, 4th August exclusively in Men’s Contemporary at Selfridges Flagship London store and online at www.selfridges.co.uk. Selfridges has recently been named the best department store in the world by its peers for the third consecutive year.
Designed exclusively by the trio, the label focuses on classic yet practical attire, functionality and attention to detail, beginning with a range of luxury cotton t-shirts, sweatshirts and joggers.
Sally A. Edwards & Sarah J. Edwards invited Tom Hardy, (Bronson, Inception, The Dark Knight Rise, Legend, Mad Max: Fury Road) on board, as they share a mutual desire to create clothes they like and can’t find, as well as an appreciation and passion for functional clothes and great craftsmanship.
“Sarah, Sally and I vibe nicely and share a love of poly dynamic multi-mediums and platforms. Artistic endeavors in collaboration are key to finding the truest form of sharing individual skills in harmony and creating dimension, focusing on one specific task or goal. We have known each other for years and love all forms of expression that reflect observation, symbolism and journeys, spiritual, physical, raw, simplistic, complexities and just plain old good fun.," explains Tom Hardy. "We draw from classic and contemporary stories, thoughts, movements and experiences."
BLAG, founded in 1992 by identical British twins, Sarah and Sally, expanded from a fanzine to style brand and luxury annual. Throughout the iconic title’s history, the duo broke boundaries in editorial and publishing, taking on all creative duties. With their unique approach to photography, interviews and design – later styling and directing, Sally and Sarah took instinctive bets and gained a reputation for championing many talents upfront, introducing: OutKast, Pharrell Williams, Tom Hardy, Lupe Fiasco, James McAvoy, Will.I.Am, Rinko Kikuchi, Janelle Monae, Andrew Garfield, The Game, 50 Cent, The Roots and GZA to their loyal influencer audience.
"I've always loved to see initial ideas to realization - it takes a keen creative mind and eye to do so." says Sally A. Edwards, "This began with art as a child and evolved with graphic design in my teens, then by rebelliously growing BLAG as a fanzine, to magazine and book. Sarah and I took traditional editorial and design and flipped it; making it unique. Being an identical twin, you always strive for individuality, at studies and work we were very conscious of our dress sense and style. We've carried that through in everything. Why place the text and do the shoots in a standard way? Why is that creative? So, Sarah and I decided to take a different stance with BLAG - we switched it up, created surprises. How about a slick photoshoot with a hilarious interview? We staunchly went against any trends and presented things as timeless. We went from grungy backstage photography to slick or unexpected location shoots. Through this Sarah and I began to take on the styling role as well, keeping the team minimal to get the desired results, showcasing great creativity. Here I discovered a passion for menswear and style. So we decided to expand BLAG into a label, we're really excited about it and can't wait to grow and build it. We have plenty of things up our sleeves."
"I'm excited to finally pull many of my most cherished, challenging experiences and interests together and channel them into designing clothes. I studied men’s and women’s Fashion Design, before that work experience in a clothes factory aged 13," says Sarah J. Edwards. "Six months after leaving home, as a slightly stubborn and impatient teenager, I gave up on my studies for the music industry. It was when work took me out on the road with Beastie Boys and Public Enemy in my early 20s, I witnessed first hand just how influential they were, constantly creating and changing style, fashion and cultural reference points. Back then, through sheer determination Sally and I had grown BLAG into a high end glossy and had a book deal thrown at us at 23 and it paved the way for what we're doing now. During that time, I taught myself photography, never stopped looking at style and carried the techniques learnt at Art College with me. I met Tom Hardy almost 10 years ago, we connected right way via storytelling. Stories of experiences and aspirations, annoyances and ambition. Walking each other to meetings and auditions, a solid bond built on encouragement. I'm thrilled to be working closely with two people I consider to be the coolest I know. Sally and Tom possess an enormous range of creative ideas and even though we go back years, they still surprise me. It's these essences that makes this such an exciting journey."
Mirroring BLAG magazine’s ethos and reputation since its inception in 1992, the label will present on-trend practical style with quality and integrity, invested in innovative design and the well made. Through colourful imaginations of past and present, Sally, Sarah and Tom’s design inspiration captures the timeless energy of key cities and eras, military practicalities, ordinance and how historical and future icons would move through daily city life. The debut men’s collection draws on the influence of effortless paragons of cultural time and takes references from historical and modern armour, featuring inspired cuts and original art created by Sarah and Sally brought about by the trios conversations and creative sessions.
”Sally, Sarah and I have known each other for years, drawn together as a group of collective talent and tastes and share a goal to put together a relevant collection of must-have items of clothing with a contemporary twist. Which suits us all and our friends. And to share with others.
"In all aspects of life and in art - reinventing and change is as important as being reliable," states Tom Hardy. "Quality and integrity is just as important. Form is great for chaos to bounce about and nothing really is sacred when it comes to making creative choices - canvases are everywhere. It's only a logical question of time before the opportunity presents itself for another output like clothing, and everybody I know loves a good bit of kit. I do. Reliable jerseys, t-shirts and joggers, what better than to just do it yourself. Imagine if all I needed to do was buy my sneakers and caps and underpants. Then I'm thinking - scratch that. Just sneakers. You think, what works? What doesn't? So we'll make it.
"With access to new and old talent and ability, apparel is a great place to enjoy a freedom of expression, but also have something to show from it, something to share and something to wear. Something which has endless possibilities. Now it's about what else can we make and what's interesting? What's the twist and why is that going to be my favourite sweat or pair of pants? What more do they need? Not to mention the amount of artists we know. Plus, we all enjoy and love creating, so personally apparel is a functional creative smart platform for expression and functionality, comfort and practicality. It's a treasure trove of options and opportunities and ultimately we care. So we care to find great fabrics, great cuts, just good kit. Why not do it ourselves. There's nothing stopping us."
To date the BLAG brand is still owned and operated by Sally A. Edwards and Sarah J. Edwards.
Tom Hardy is a partner with Sally A. Edwards and Sarah J. Edwards in the BLAG Label and as of April 2014 they are working in partnership with Fashion Lab.
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