About eight yrs in the past, the actor Jeremy Solid, who plays Kendall Roy in Succession and who is recognized for his esoteric, intimate preferences in fashion, which match the more verbose facets of his character, located himself in Brighton, a seaside city on the south coast of England. Brighton is household to a sizable college, a flourishing array of LGBTQ venues, and the secretive shoemaker and trend designer Paul Harnden, whose vintage-searching, vaguely Dickensian items are manufactured by some of England’s oldest mills, in regular tweeds, or silks or strong Ventile. Powerful resolved to use the event to track Harnden down. He tried out an LLC tackle, attempted Google Earth. He did every thing he could, he explained to me, “in the hopes of having a pair of coveted P.H. boots, but to no avail.” Harnden was undiscoverable. “The trail went chilly. A riddle wrapped in a thriller inside an enigma, built with extraordinary care and artistry,” Solid mentioned.
To Strong, this only extra to the attractiveness. “He is reclusive, un-self-in search of, and dedicated to the perform exclusively—those values, to me, look immanent in the clothes,” he reported of Harnden, who is identified for being intensely precise and controlled. He sells to only a handful of stores, usually no a lot more than a person or two in every city. He almost never alterations his designs. He insists that his clothing is not discounted on sale, never loaned for photoshoots, under no circumstances bought on-line. “He is performing some thing that is just about the specific reverse of what Walter Benjamin termed ‘Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’,” Powerful reported, citing the principle that replication can undermine an object’s “aura.” He named what Harnden does “ineffable and serious,” noting that in “a globe of raising sound,” he is making an attempt to build his personal, distinct audio. “Someone who does that, in any discipline, is as unusual as a snow leopard these times and as vital.”
Harnden’s clothes are also worn by Brad Pitt. By Daniel Day-Lewis. By John Galliano, who the moment claimed, in 2010, to “buy all my stuff from him.” “He’s very Greta Garbo,” he instructed WWD. “I can not get keep of him. I believe that he life in England by the sea.” WWD ran a independent article, “The Mysterious Paul Harnden,” in which Adrian Joffe, the husband or wife of Rei Kawakubo and head of the retailer Dover Street Market place, which sells Harnden’s work, said that it was “beyond fashion.” This impressed a piece in New York magazine’s the Reduce, “The Mysterious Designer John Galliano Loves” in which the reporter, baffled and awed, noted “Nobody’s in fact achieved him.”
The very first working day I check out to get in touch with Harnden is a gray Wednesday in January. That 7 days, the Italian luxurious brand name Bottega Veneta announced a takeover of the Excellent Wall of China, emblazoning a extend of the structure with its tangy eco-friendly branding. After months of backlash towards fashion’s scale and speed—its relentless championing of the new, the opulent—and several pious-seeming, head-hanging claims to rethink, article-pandemic, the marketplace was previously grinding back into its usual rhythms. Brand names had been, at the time again, traveling journalists throughout the world for fashion reveals. Merchants were having shipping and delivery of new stock, marking down what experienced arrived just a few months just before. And general public relations specialists from Paris to New York have been soliciting attention for their designer purchasers. Harnden, on the other hand, did not appear to want to talk.
I searched fruitlessly for a phone variety, an email deal with, just about anything. His web site has no make contact with information just a white webpage, with a jumble of textual content: ^8m*+,J1/4%?@p=~#3Kf. I punched this into Google, hoping it could be a clever clue, and located practically nothing other than a web site write-up, from 2010, by another person else complaining about how not possible it is to get hold of Paul Harnden.