Trouva super boutique The Hambledon has collaborated with label Universal Works, to create a one-off collection of menswear, womenswear and lifestyle goods, called the Ltd. Store. The Winchester-based retailer has dedicated part of its shop to house the collection of exclusive items.
The theme of the collection and the design of the space were influenced by a fruitful trip to Japan earlier in the year by Universal Works co-founder David Keyte. Whilst visiting a fabric supplier in Tokyo he came across an irregular spot print that would eventually inspire the look of the collection and branding of the pop up space. It was here too that he discovered a wool blend ripstop – a fabric that harks back to traditional Japanese workwear but with a luxury feel, softening the utilitarian aesthetic.
Traditionally a menswear label, this is Universal Works first foray into womenswear. Keyte explains that the design process was a natural extension of the menswear collection given his preference for a unisex look, also noting that female customers often buy smaller sizes of the brand’s men’s items, rolling up the cuffs for more feminine styling. The Japanese influence can be strongly felt in the only traditional women’s item: an Ikat dress based on the construction of a kimono using one size with a simple, straight cut to achieve a relaxed but flattering fit.
Besides the aforementioned spot-print, navy and olive feature heavily across mens and womens creating an harmonious flow between the two. This extends further into homeware with cushions and tea towels using the humorously deployed spot motif.
Supporters of thoughtful and sustainable practices will be pleased to hear that these principles were at the forefront of the brand’s mind during the production process which took place in India using Japanese textiles. The Hambledon cites the commitment to high quality manufacturing as one of the aspects that drew them to the brand in the first place. Keytes explains the importance of building personal relationships with the small team in India, ‘we wanted to make high quality product with people we like and respect; where we know first-hand that our products are made by people who care about what they do and are paid properly’. See and shop pieces from this exciting collection on Trouva now.
The Ltd. Store is open until 8 October, in-store and online.