Cottweiler Makes Its Name Fusing Sportswear Fetishism Alongside Sound Technical Expertise

The International Woolmark Prize winners turn the page on modern menswear.

Fashion 
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Since first breaking out onto the scene in 2010, the Cottweiler design duo of Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell, have successfully transformed its brand from a budding Tumblr meme into a well reputed fashion house. Although considered relatively fresh to the scene, each brings with them a wealth of industry knowledge — in retrospect, helping to shape the brand’s core philosophies. While Dainty studied under the watchful eye of Kim Jones, Cottrell on the other hand, spent time under the tutelage of Savile Row’s Ozwald Boateng. Drawing influence from a multitude of creative genres, the London-based imprint not only churns out seasonal garment collections, but also tinkers with film production and installations. Radical in their approach, the pair instinctively gravitate towards digital art and sportswear fetishism while closely interacting with their social surroundings. Prior to starting each collection, Dainty and Cottrell work through an intense process involving in-depth brainstorm sessions and visual image curation. Examining what inspires them as creators leads to the task of physically shooting each subject — initiating a mood board point of reference. Here, the team deliberates as to what direction the season will move towards.

Harboring a deep appreciation for all things expressive ushers COTTWEILER into its concept-led ideologies season after season. For instance, the label recently descended upon the runways of London Fashion Week to present its 2018 spring/summer range. Drawing creative influence from off-the-grid desert communities, garments expose practical utilitarian sensitivities — intersecting functional charm with stylistic flair. For instance, lightweight track pants feature a multitude of pocket compartments, sportswear caps feature sun protection capes, while accessory waist pouches help compliment the lineups nomad-like narrative.

Considered a seminal turning point in their careers, both Dainty and Contrell were recently acknowledged as the proud recipients of the coveted International Woolmark Prize 2016/17 Menswear division. Tasked to utilize Merino wool into their designs, Cottweiler succeeded in marrying its own fetish-infused cult and tribe codes into the wonderful world of wool. While the versatile textile inhabits both windproof and waterproof qualities, the duo praised its ability to perfectly contour the wearers frame. Given Cottweiler’s affinity for exposing the functional side of fashion, its task was than to imaginatively fuse its own creative language with that of Merino wool’s character. Exploring sportswear’s technicality and eclecticism, the brand offered up elaborate spins on the traditional tracksuit, while incorporating sound utilitarian design sensitivities including padded hoods, detachable cargo pockets, running caps, and elasticized hems and cuffs.

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