Nicholas Daley is Doubling Down on Creative Collaboration

As his FW20 collection hits stores, the designer reflects on the role of his brand.

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After showing his Fall/Winter 2020 collection at last year’s London Fashion Week (and then having to revisit it for LFW’s digital iteration earlier this year) Nicholas Daley’s “The Abstract Truth” will finally reach stores this month.

In-keeping with the brand’s previous releases, Daley draws on influences and traditions from all over the world for FW20, from Japanese techniques and fabrics, to using bespoke Jacquard silks and tartan sourced from the heart of Scotland.

Despite originally showing the collection at last year’s London Fashion Week, Daley opted to stick with showing the same collection at this year’s digital fashion week — an experience he enjoyed.

“The digital fashion week was a great way for the British Fashion Council to support designers and offer a platform to showcase talent,” he told HYPEBEAST. “During a time where physical shows weren’t possible it was nice to look back to that moment and celebrate it, for me the FW20 show was my most accomplished to date so I enjoyed revisiting that moment.”

“The Abstract Truth” begins with an exploration into Japanese textiles. Extending his long-held appreciation of craft to new regions, Daley worked with a team of Japanese specialists to create bespoke fabrics, transforming them into a concise capsule. The Japanese marbling technique known as ‘Suminagashi,’ or ‘floating ink,’ has been employed, a practice that perfectly encapsulates the meeting of craftsmanship and controlled chaos.

“I’m refocusing and finding new ways to articulate creative visions, whether through film, digital activations and collaborative projects.”

Alongside that, Daley has lined up a raft of partnerships with British menswear stalwarts. This includes (deep breath): fabrics by the silk mill Vanners, tartan by Loch Carron, hats by Christy’s, footwear by both George Cox and Trickers, outerwear by Lavenham, and a full sophomore capsule collection with Fred Perry.

That spirit of creative collaboration has become a hallmark of Daley’s brand – and one that he is keen to hold onto. He acknowledged that the ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns have given him the opportunity to double down on the core of what his label stands for. “Everyone has had to re-adjust and re-evaluate their core values,” he said. “It was important to keep pushing the message of community, craftsmanship and culture during lockdown. Moving forward, I’m refocusing and finding new ways to articulate creative visions, whether through film, digital activations and collaborative projects.”

Despite the current unknown on when or if shows will return, Daley is keen to resume normal practice when restrictions allow. “Shows are the one thing I miss the most,” he said. “They are important as they bring communities together. I see my shows as an opportunity to highlight a great breadth of talent; music, poetry, art and more all under one roof and one instant. It’s important to have these moments to celebrate and showcase talent with friends and fellow creatives.”

Nicholas Daley’s “The Abstract Truth” Fall/Winter 2020 collection is available now from SSENSE, while its upcoming collaborations with Fred Perry and Lavenham are set to drop next month.

In other news, Barbour has teamed up with Noah for a FW20 capsule collection.

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