I first interviewed SKETCHΔROUND back in 2014 not long after their launch. Now several collections in, I am standing in their studio in Hong Kong to check out their latest collection, a week before they are due to head off to Paris for the Paris Trade shows. Now standing in their studio, and seeing the pure luxury of the brand, I am in no doubt Parisians and the rest of the European market are going to love them.
The brand first caught my eye when I read they launched as a completely unisex line. I wondered how they would make this possible. To make the same piece look both feminine on a women but masculine on a male? Well SKETCHΔROUND have somehow absolutely achieved it. Their previous collection is made up of simple but detailed pieces including long shirts and wide leg trousers in black which when caught in the right light have a very slight sheen to them, subtle but effective.
The new collection also features some gorgeous wide leg trousers in white with a matching top, which would look perfect on both a male in summer with a pair of loafers, or flip-flops and for women would be perfect with a pair of wedges swanning around St. Tropez, paired with their matching white top.
Another standout piece from the collection are the gorgeous hero coats they have created. One a gorgeous lilac, another a deep blue and lastly a rich burgundy red, all with top pocket detailing, a belt made from a material that would ordinarily be reserved for the straps on bags, pulled together with their U-Lock clip, a trademark for this season. Each jacket comes in three different sizes, short, mid-length and long, the long one being the most formal.
You see with SKETCHΔROUND it’s all about the detailing. Priscilla, one of the designers behind the line tells me,“Each collection we try and find new and innovative ways to change the details, like the button finishing or the seam finishing. We try and explore at least one detail for each.”
This season it is all about the U-Lock to replace zippers and buttons. The previous collection was the "Investigation of this, and the new collection is taking it further” Priscilla explains. Even the edges of the collar of their tweed like jacket, has double facing material which has been finished to keep the edges exposed giving it a rich and interesting detail.
“We tried to find the language behind the garment body and the human form. We used the U-Lock on the sleeves of the shirt, on the neck and to see how we could change it to use it in different forms. As we do a unisex line, we had to make sure it fits both men and women. The U-lock comes undone and you can adjust the length of the taping.” Priscilla says.
As with all their pieces, the taping and the interlock sections are adjustable to make it more fitted for women if preferred or looser for men.
Even the classic shirt features the U-Lock detailing on the sleeve so they can be turned into a three-quarter length sleeve if preferred, with an intricate button detailing on the cuffs, for added detail as well as a U-Lock feature on the back of the shirt.
There are also some more casual pieces in the collection, the design duo have played around with fringe and layering black fringe material under white. For this piece, they handpicked each corner to fray it, I wasn’t kidding when I said SKETCHΔROUND are all about the details!
Ater reviewing the collection I take a seat in SKETCHΔROUNDs studio to discuss the evolution of their brand since first launching…
Would you say you have kept to the same aesthetic and DNA since first launching?
Yes, I think we have stayed the same. We are always looking at our main message, decent details, we try to minimize things but we want all the exquisite details but still have them as a minimal look. With our collection we always keep that in mind.
It is getting more mature but at the same time we know how to make it more functional for mass production.
You and your partner Kan, both studied in London, do you think your style has influenced you both as designers?
Studying in London, you do see lots of styles. In Paris and London they love new brands, weird and interesting designs. Studying there we saw more styles and inspirations. It gives you more brain storming moments, but when it comes to marketing you need to know what will sell in the HK market and you can’t go too far from that.
Your brand is so unique in that the collection is unisex. Would you say that when design the collection this has limited you or the opposite and made designing a wider and more varied collection easier?
We always wanted to make a unisex collection and to have an exploration of this, men more of a rough fashion, women more feminine. Our collection doesn’t have any gender barriers and is neutral. When men wear it then it looks masculine, when women wear it, it looks feminine. We look for shapes that work for both. We just make things neutral. It can’t be too feminine or too masculine. The U-Lock has helped to tighten the shape. In the first collection we did a loose cut belt, and on both men and women it looked good. It just fits with them and their personal style, so (for this collection) we thought about what we could do to adjust the shape.
With this, I leave the designers to complete the rest of their preparation for their Paris trip. I simply love the classic (with a twist) wardrobe staples they've created. Pieces that perfectly match with their previous collections as beautiful additions to your wardrobe, that can live on in your wardrobe for years to come.