Sitting Down with Kestin: A Conversation with Kestin Hare
In order to take a deep dive into our New Brand Kestin we sat down with the brand’s Creative Director, Owner & Father Kestin Hare to find out more…
Calum: I would love to hear about the heritage and name of the brand.
Kestin: I think when I first started out, I didn’t really see myself working for myself. I always wanted to work for somebody else. When I was training, it was always about the big names, I want to work for, you know, Margaret Howell or I want to work for Burberry, or I want to work for, you know, whoever, whoever it was.
That was my kind of focus, I suppose when I graduated and came out of studying fashion. After a while, I suppose you get to a certain point where life changes and you’ve got different priorities of where you want to be. I definitely wanted to come home. I think, you know, us as Scots have got that kind of inbuilt home in Beacon, that kind of drives us to get home at some point. So I came home and started something.
My former Japanese partner at the time who, you know, they’re, they’re quite big on namesake brands, you know, they like that, the personality of it. And so they were my partner at the time and they sort of decided that, you know, it should be called Kestin Hare, which I was always a bit kind of like, woo!
Calum: Following on from the naming of Kestin it would be great to hear about the naming of the styles. Growing up in Scotland myself I am familiar that some of your styles are named after Scottish places.
Is there a specific potential tie-in from the fabric or the design to the name of the style?
Kestin: The Elgin sock, we make in Elgin or sometimes there is a tie into it or there’s a reason for it. Sometimes it’s just like, we need a boss name! I was thinking about this the other day, like some really work and some are kind of particularly difficult to pronounce.
We’ve also got the Rosyth and it is funny how different people pronounce it you know, the rosey… you know, some people say. So, it is trying to also get names that people can say internationally or remind them of a place.
Calum: What is your process when it comes to the selection and use of fabrics?
Kestin: I’ve always been a big fabric nerd and obsessed with fabric. I think it’s interesting that customers have become more interested in fabric and become almost like geeks, you know, they know what weight something is, how waterproof it is, things which they didn’t know when I first started out. They just knew what weight denim was.
I travel around the world, and there are a few mills, that are my go-to for certain things. We use a lot of Italian fabrics in sort of technical garments. They have got history of producing incredible technical, waterproof or water appellant fabrics and I use a lot of Japanese mills as well.
Calum: When you’ve been in Berlin have you been able to participate in any musical activities, I mean we are in a city famous for its venues.
Kestin: I’ve had a few nights in Berlin. I can’t really remember much about it. We love that.
Calum: Do you draw inspiration from music in what you design?
Kestin: Yeah! I suppose my musical taste has sort of changed over the years. I listened to a lot of music. It’s always in the background, in the studio, in the car, you know, all these kinds of things with it. It definitely affects my mood. I think I’ve got a great relationship with music.
I think over the years it’s been quite interesting to see how it’s kind of developed. When I first started out it was quite indie-driven, you know, so it was all about, listening to Furthermore or Pearl Jam or you know, that type of genre. It sort of changed as I got to sort of maybe 16-17 years old where I found massive attack and I was like, whoa, that, that is incredible! They are probably still, I would say, one of my favourite artists to this day.
Calum: You talked about Massive Attack being your go-to artist. Do you have a favourite Kestin item of all time?
Kestin: Uh, God, that’s a difficult one. I suppose it’s like your children. There’s never one piece that’s kind of like another. I think a lot of the kind of more technical product that we’ve been doing recently, our hiking pants, you know, was a bit of a favourite.
You know, if I don’t like it, we don’t produce it!
Calum: I love the comment you led with there and I think that sums it up perfectly. I think that what comes across very well in speaking to you is the care and passion that you put into each individual item, whether it be in the development, searching for the fabrics, or dealing with the people prior to getting the experience.
I don’t want to compare it to your children, but there is definitely that level of care and love that I think translates very well into the brand!
Kestin is now available online at HHV now.