Kieron Hurley, the mastermind and designer behind the 2016-born brand Les Basics, redefines the notions of simplicity and modernity. By characterizing these concepts with an inherent necessity of the wardrobe and producing pieces that one wants but cannot find, Hurley presents his S/S 2017 collection – an identity-seeking creation that is growing rapidly.
i) What is the story behind Les Basics? Where did you get your inspiration to come up with minimalist cuts and colorways, and how do you differentiate yourself from the growing minimalist trend?
It was born out of necessity. As much as I was looking to start a new project, at the same time, I was struggling to find a killer white tee to replace the few threadbare ones I had left. The more I looked, the more I realized that there was nothing that interesting out there, and it got me thinking that well-designed, premium, not-so-basic basics should become my new crusade, et voila, Les Basics was born.
I don’t set out necessarily to differentiate my brand from any others, but I tend to design things I want but can’t find, so each collection should consist of things you can’t easily get from other brands.
ii) Tell us more about your S/S 2017 collection. It is comprised of a black, gray, and navy palette, which is contrast to the conventional pastels and eye-catching summer styles – is there a particular reason behind this?
The brand is still very young and going through the process of establishing its identity so it feels right to keep the palette tight and understated while it’s in this phase. I did introduce an army green for S/S ’17 but the white, navy, grey and black were the best sellers. I anticipate this will always be the case.
iii) The S/S 2017 collection was inspired by sports. What is your personal favorite sport, and why did you choose this particular theme?
The brand has always had an athletic aesthetic about it, and this was one of the core influences when I first starting thinking about it. No particular reason, it was just how I wanted it to look. My joint favorite sports are football and formula 1.
iv) What are some of the challenges that you had faced during your creative process?
Probably just keeping things simple and avoiding the temptation to over-design – it’s easy to keep adding details, much harder to know when to stop. But it’s a good discipline to get in to, as it helps ensure that every design element has a very good reason for being there.
v) Who are some of your favorite designers, and why you would like to work with them.
That’s a tricky one, there isn’t really anyone whose stuff I always love. I like the graphic nature of Neil Barrett’s designs, a collaboration between him and Les Basics could be interesting. He has been marginalized a bit by the whole heritage thing but Ralph Lauren does what he does incredibly well.
vi) In your personal wardrobe, what sort of a role do the ‘basics’ play? What are some of your go-to basic pieces that are essential to your personal style?
Most days I wear le crew tee, le sports coat & le sweat shirt in a variety of combinations, other styles feature fairly regularly but I wear these literally every day.
vii) Where do you see Les Basics heading in 2017?
I’m working on updating le sports coat, introducing some outerwear pieces and a woven fabric, there’s some print on the way and a tiny bit of color. The plan overall is to keep it very simple and keep the collection at a manageable size.