In-grid6 October, 2015
IN-GRID WILL ALWAYS BE WHITE SHIRTS FOR WOMEN MADE IN ENGLAND. WE’RE REALISING THE EQUITY IN THOSE THREE LITTLE SENTENCES. WE DON’T WANT TO DILUTE THAT, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE ONE OF THE STRONGEST ELEMENTS TO OUR BRAND IS HOW SPECIFIC WE ARE.
In-grid co-founders Katie Timothy and Adam Barclay have a single mission: to create high-quality white cotton shirts for women made in England. When they started dating 3 years ago, the duo quickly found many of their conversations turning to design, art, and reference points. “And then all of a sudden, a product was being sampled, a logo was designed, and you’re a brand without knowing you’re a brand,” says Adam. Launched in the spring of this year, in-grid features a seven-style collection reminiscent of classic pieces reengineered to eliminate extraneous details; their shirts are completely collarless, the placket is turned in, and the button stance is thinner. “We went through the entire process of reduction and refinement until we had something we were really proud of,” notes Adam.
Why white shirts?
It’s a platform for us to show details on a garment that we love. With a shirt, you can showcase cuff detail, button detail down the front, as well as necklines. We’re absolute minimalists, so we love the idea of refining our offering so that you can only get one colour in a few styles.
How do you approach tailoring?
I [Katie] always work with draping on the stand to get the cut, which is a bit more visual so you can really see what’s in front of you. And then it’s simply a matter of trying it on, wearing it myself, and seeing things that I want to change. There’s actually three different cuts within the collection. The first one is fitted, nipped in at the waist; the second one’s a bit boxier; and the third is more oversized that would work for a lot of different body shapes. We want our shirts to be comfortable, so we always have that in mind when we’re tailoring and creating fits.
Why is it important to produce and manufacture your shirts in England?
We wanted to celebrate the skills that are here. We have a great history of clothing manufacturing, and we find it absurd that you would create something offshore when you can find those skills on your doorstep. It’s an exciting thing to work with people close to us and to be involved in that process. We stated that if we couldn’t make the garment here, we wouldn’t make it at all. That was the first component of our manifesto.
We were on holiday in Gambia, and we were staying at a hotel where we met a German couple. The lady’s name is Ingrid, and her husband is Edgar. And they were special, very giving people. Bearing in mind that they were in their late seventies and we were in our mid-twenties, we ended up building this wonderful, completely bizarre friendship. And on our last day, we were sitting there, and we still hadn’t come up with a name. We looked at the chalkboard in the hotel restaurant, where the waiters had written goodbyes to the people who were leaving that day, and Ingrid and Edgar were on there. We looked at how Ingrid was spelled and liked how it looked graphically.
What is the inspiration behind in-grid’s art direction?
What we’ve tried to do up until now is to mirror the concept of our shirts. Our lookbook is very simple and the images are black and white. Our products are white shirts, and you can miss a lot of the beauty that we’ve spent so long trying to create – for example how thin the stitching or hem is. We want to showcase the details of our product by keeping it simple, by purifying and refining an idea to its barest form.
What can we expect from in-grid in the years to come?
in-grid will always be white shirts for women made in England. We’re realising the equity in those three little sentences. We don’t want to dilute that, especially because one of the strongest elements to our brand is how specific we are. As creative people, we naturally want to make other things and create more products, but that will be separate to in-grid. I think what people can look forward to with our brand is consistency. Our buying habits can be repetition based, so we’re hoping to be a brand that can always give you something you’re familiar with, something that you love.