HERSHAN DIARIES VOL 01

Author: Mike Christensten

15 Nov 2020

Category: Diaries

Before Jeremy Hershan “stumbled across fashion”, he studied film, he studied literature and he studied writing. Storytelling led him to work with clothes: “It was the fusion of these two passions,” Hershan confirms.

Having trained under Kris Van Assche, worked at Gieves & Hawkes and Alfred Dunhill and headed up creative at R.M. Williams, Hershan knew what his next step would be. “To take all the experience I've had living in different places and draw on that to do something for myself. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to make things my own way and style things in my own way.”

Initially, Hershan went through multiple iterations of what his brand name might be but decided he couldn't live with any of them. “Your surname is something that you have to live with. Taking the personal attachments out of my name, Hershan sounds European and I liked the fact it nodded to my heritage as well as being ambiguous in that sense.”

Cue HERSHAN International.

“I knew I wanted to build a brand with an underlying sense of quality and timelessness. It was about spending time to craft things with love and attention to detail and make something beautiful that would be a launching pad into more of a lifestyle brand.”

There was no rush, though. “I wasn't in a hurry. I wasn't trying to quickly get something to market.” Hershan had spent 15 years studying heritage brands and how to make them feel modern so he didn’t want his brand to have any of the hangups of old. Instead he wanted HERSHAN to have that slightly nostalgic feel everybody can appreciate, while ensuring it’s still contemporary.

The first thing that he felt was genuinely missing from the menswear market was a beautifully-crafted utilitarian tote bag. “In that sense it was a problem to solve, so I spent two years building one.”

The bags are woven in Portugal on mid-century shuttle looms – the last of their kind – to a set width, leaving no waste behind. The webbing straps that run up the body of the bag are inspired from the strength and structure of an old French parachute bag Hershan fell in love with, and the handle is made of vegetable tanned leather.

Lastly, the branding and colourways – natural ecru, orange, azure and emerald – are inspired from the golden era of travel, with Hershan researching old Concorde advertisements to get the stylistic feeling exactly right.

Which, altogether, leaves a product that gets better with everything it’s put through.