Designers Raj Mistry and Richard Brand are the creative minds behind VIDUR. Together, they oversee all aspects of the design and creation process of their collections.
Their designs are slick and refined, and look wonderful in monochrome. While only one half from a fashion design led background, Vidur. hone together with a shared gold... to design and create menswear that is "elemental, functional and enduring". While it is still an early endeavour, each piece holds an air of elegance, yet a sense of edginess and an alluring "street-cool" shines through.
Beauty lies within the details of every piece of work, and the Vidur. ethos will inevitably evolve and become increasingly refined over the years. They have a happy-go-lucky attitude, but they don't want their garments to be "throw away" pieces of fashion.
With a clean surface and the ability to layer durable fabric, the practicality of these designs makes you wish that the winter season lasted a little longer. Vidur. set the new precedent of hem variations, shirt tails, and slouchy relaxed lines and we spoke to both Raj and Richard about their brand and working practice. Read what they had to say here.
How did you both meet, and equally as important, how was VIDUR. formed?
Back when we were both studying in Edinburgh (Richard at the school of music and Raj at the college of art doing menswear) we worked for the same store that sold watches. Although we never actually spent a shift together we had mutual friends keeping us in the same ocean, but we’d never discussed working on a label at all, or anything even remotely close. By a complete stroke of luck/fate we bumped into each other at Raj’s graduate show before he went to the Royal College, got talking and the rest, as they say, is history.
Models: CJ Chukwumah & Shubomi Shonibare
Photographer: Oliver Benton
Stylists: Olivia Rose-Hulme & Jeanie Muldownie
Having started little over a year ago, how do you feel you have progressed as menswear designers in terms of creating "functional yet enduring" garments?
Our overall aesthetic hasn’t changed, but as with anything creative, the more you do of it, the more a feeling you have for it and the more your ideas become clearly defined. We’re like a pair of 1 year old leather shoes – way past the initial breaking in stage and just entering the nicely worn in, comfortable stage.
Do you feel that working as a team helps you to develop your ideas?
Absolutely. We know eachother’s strengths well and are in sync when it comes to what we’re trying to achieve. For us both to have a sounding board to bounce ideas off keeps us in check and stops us from doing anything too silly/weird/wacky.
For our readers, describe a normal day at the VIDUR. HQ.
We’re actually pretty disciplined – we’ll set out what needs to be done that day and just get to it. Normally it all falls apart at lunchtime though; one of us is a fancy eater and one of us always wants beans on toast. You can guess who is who.
Where do you find your inspiration? Do you follow any of the current menswear trends?
We’re heavily influenced by Nordic design and its focus on durability, functionality and use of natural materials. This stays constant so in a way stops us from picking up on trends and fashions. That’s not to say we don’t keep our ear to the ground – what’s great at the moment is that there’s a massive spotlight on menswear with so many great designers getting the attention they deserve.
Who is your target audience? Do you have a particular image in mind when creating your designs.
There’s no particular stereotype. We hope whoever wears it has chosen it because they appreciate what we’re trying to achieve.
Do you start designing with a concept in mind or do you let your ideas develop as you work?
We work from the top to the bottom, like an upside down pyramid. We look at the season as a whole at the very beginning and treat it as one body. Then we start drilling down into garment styles, its function, the pattern itself, details, finishing and all the other smaller but still really important points. Throughout all this, fabrication and production stay at the front of our minds.
Is there anyone in the industry that you admire, and why?
We’re big fans of Jeff Griffin – he’s been plying his trade since '94 and is good friend of Raj’s. The way he takes ‘urban vs country’ aesthetic always works well. More recently James Long has really impressed in use of knit [he’ll be Raj’s design tutor at RCA next year}.
Could you describe your work in five words?
Elemental, functional, enduring, timeless (but) contemporary.
Do you have any exciting plans for 2013?
We’re in the process of completing a pre-SS14/resort capsule that we’ll develop into the full mainline collection. Anything else would be telling!
See this post on the NOCTIS Magazine blog here