Here at Contemporary Content we’re a big fan of staple pieces that will stand the test of time, without a doubt one of the leaders in this is London based brand, Folk.
Founder Cathal McAteer, hailing from Cumbernauld (a town used to accommodate the population overspill of Glasgow) started out his career in the fashion industry at the budding age of 15 after being asked by Stephen Flannery, Co-Owner of the infamous Glasgow boutique - Ichi Ni San to model for the store. This then lead him to working his way up from Sales staff, to Store Manager and eventually ending his time as part of the buying team - bringing CC favourites such as Dries Van Noten and Helmut Lang to Glasgow. Not being satisfied doing all this work for someone else, he knew had to carve out his own path in the industry.
Jump forward to 2001; Trucker hats donned the heads of anyone wanting to make a statement. Their collar most probably popped, loud colours and logos were all the rage. Cathal, stating that he felt at the time everything was ‘too designer’ for his taste set out to create the first Folk collection. With no great funding or finance he drew upon inspiration from his favourite pieces in his own wardrobe and began designing and producing easy to wear, understated products with focus on a combination of fabric quality and a diverse colour palette.
The brand has come a long way from when Cathal produced his first shirt; now spanning featherweight Wadded Jackets, clean and simple Tailored Blazers, perfectly fitting T-Shirts and chunky Mohair Crew jumpers all feature prominently throughout their collections. There really is something for everyone.
Cathal quotes iconic designer Charles Eames, “The details are not the details, they make the design”. This design philosophy couldn’t be more appropriate to Folk. Every aspect of a Folk garment is considered, from thread colour to pocket linings. This attention to detail is still at the forefront of the label and is constantly being evolved by Elbe Lealman - who became the brands Head of Design in 2011. The distinct lack of branding on Folk pieces stems from this ethos, Lealman stating “We consider every single design option, all the thought processes are so pain staking and laborious that when you get to branding it feels so difficult” and “to stick a fucking name on the outside feels like we’re spoiling it".
Folk was Cathal’s ‘Lifetime Ambition’ and that ambition has definitely been realized. The brand consistently goes from strength to strength with every collection. The brand currently has three brick-and-mortar stores in London, the first one opening in 2007 on Conduit Street in Bloomsbury - now neighboring the Folk Womens store, housing Folk’s Womenswear offerings launched in 2012. In 2015 the brand launched a ‘see all, buy all’ concept store in the heart of Soho surrounded by the likes of Our Legacy, Albam, Oliver Spencer and Universal Works. Everything in the store from the clothes to the lighting and furniture are all designed by Folk and available to buy.
If you’re looking to build that wardrobe of essentials that will see you from season to season you don’t need to look any further than Folk.