Adam Jones Doesn’t Play By the Rules, He Makes His Own

The emerging designer describes his artisanal design process, what he brings to the UK fashion industry, and his latest collection unveiled in London.

Fashion 
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The fashion industry is in an endless repetitive cycle, and coming across something unequivocally new is challenging. 

Welsh-born designer Adam Jones is making a statement to change that, bringing a fresh outlook taking UK streets by storm. His namesake label is identifiable through upcycled garments inspired by Britain’s working class, recalling his time spent at local pubs. 

Jones repurposes discarded beer towels and animal tapestries to create imperfect garments with a story to tell. The humble pub is a significant focal point for the 30-year-old designer, celebrating their extensive heritage in his hometown of Froncysyllte. He takes worn-out Carling and John Smith beer towels from locations far and wide, transforming them into conceptual knitwear that is undoubtedly unique. 

Jones unveiled his most recent collection at London’s Design District, seeing him return home through sentimental memorabilia from his childhood residence. He now lives in South London, communicating his current address across everyday uniforms worn by working men. 

The collection saw Buckfast Tonic Wine towels transformed into kilts in purple hues, followed by button-down sets with artistic artwork. Athletic stripes were promoted on slashed pullovers and glossy dresses, completing the collection with graphic aprons, branded scarves, and square-shaped eyewear. From butchers to fishmongers, Jones distills a practical sense of British craftsmanship in his clothing, creating bespoke garments packed with heritage.

Following his runway show, Hypebeast sat down with Adam Jones to discuss his experience in the fashion industry, his humorously British design language, and his future career path.

Hypebeast: Tell me about your journey entering the fashion industry. 

Adam Jones: I mean, it’s been a long one. I’ve wanted to do this since I was like 13 years old. Obviously, I had to go to school, but 20 years later, I’m doing it. I pulled pints for years to make some money to make the clothes I wanted to make and just hoped someone would like them, and I guess it’s finally paying off. 

I showed off my schedule and did shoots with what I’d made. I worked for Christopher Shannon and did some work with Judy Blame along the way; they really encouraged me. I guess the journey has been self-funded by what money I could make in the pub, making what I can when I can, and persevering with what I love to do. It was just an expensive hobby, but now it’s my full-time job, which does not feel like a job at all.

“I want someone to go and buy a butcher’s apron and wear it to go dancing, to think about clothes with a fresh eye, not the way we’re supposed to look at or wear clothes today.”

How would you describe your namesake label to someone who hasn’t heard of it before?

I say it’s a nostalgic trip into Britain’s working-class past but for the future. I always say I like to clash the comfort of home with the chaos of the boozer. The things we wear and the materials we are surrounded by in these spaces, I turn into wardrobes you would want to wear now.

What new things do you want to bring to the British fashion industry? 

In terms of design, I want people to appreciate our past and materials from the past, get excited by old stuff, and also see the potential in everyday clothes or something they might already have. I want someone to go and buy a butcher’s apron and wear it to go dancing, to think about clothes with a fresh eye, not the way we’re supposed to look at or wear clothes today. In terms of the industry itself, I’d like it to be a more honest and open place for everyone.

You are preparing to debut your latest collection. What inspired the offering? 

I mean, the inspiration is always the same, really. I like what I like at this stage, in my old age, I don’t have a moodboard as such or veer off in different directions. The moodboard is constantly in my head. However, there’s definitely a local working wardrobe feel in the new collection. I was just looking around me at what people wear on my high street and the humble fabrics available to me there. 

Walk me through the design process behind the collection. 

I don’t follow a traditional design process. I consider every day to be research – whatever I’m doing, I see things and think about ideas, so I’m constantly designing in my head. I don’t take to paper anymore; it just happens – whatever fabric I have found, I have to sit and think about what can I do with that. There are constraints in terms of the size of the pieces and the availability of the material, how many I have been able to find, whether it be a tea towel or a blanket, and I like those constraints – it makes designing really easy for me. 

I’m naturally drawn to what I’m drawn to; there are certain color combinations and imagery I like and always have done. I have a strong aesthetic preference, which means most of the work is done, so it’s just actually being out there at the boot sales and markets, then cutting and making the clothes from whatever I have found. The cohesion seems to come naturally, I don’t try the pieces on anyone until a week or so before the show, and I’m always pleasantly surprised by how it all sits together.

How does the collection evolve your design language in new ways? 

I think the clothes have become more mature. With each collection, I get better at making clothes that will last. I think I’ve toned down the colors, but perhaps not, I can’t help myself. There are more what people might call “women’s” pieces in this collection – skirts and dresses – not that I don’t love to see a “man” in a skirt or a dress. I think the clothes are perhaps less punk this time, less aggressive, more gentle, and softer. I’m leaning more into the home comforts side of what I like in terms of touch, color, and styling.

How does the collection reflect your British roots, and what did you wish to celebrate here? 

In every way, in every piece, in every look. Most of the materials I have chosen are from childhood memories or something I’ve seen in an old family photograph.

The use of The St Michael blankets, the football scarves, butcher stripes, and the bedding is all something I know from growing up. There’s such nostalgia to each fabric in the collection, but to the younger customer, it feels so new. It’s exciting to revive something old that I know and remember but others might not, like sharing a secret, like when you introduce a friend a someone younger to a band or a film you think they need to know about. 

What can we expect from you next? 

More, more, more! I just want to do more. I’d like to get into something more physical and social, such as having some sort of space, a shop, or a hang-out place. I enjoy putting on the show so much, or at least the vibe when it’s all over, and I get to have a pint with people, especially my customers, but I only get to do that ever so often, once a year if that – otherwise I’m hidden away in my studio alone. I miss working in retail, so I’d like to do something where I can meet people who like what I do.

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