James Holder, co-founder and Brand/Design Director, Superdry
James Holder, co-founder and Brand/Design Director, Superdry
 

17 Jun. 2014

Q&A: James Holder, co-founder, Superdry


Founded in 2003 by Julian Dunkerton and James Holder – who today serve as CEO and Brand and Design Director respectively–Superdry has grown from a handful of tees to a fully-fledged lifestyle brand. In addition to its diverse collections for men and women, Superdry recently introduced a ski and snowboard line called Snow, while fragrance, eyewear, watches and beauty also form part of the repertoire. Headquartered in Cheltenham, UK, Superdry has stockists in some 400 stores across 100 countries, while its retail footprint is expanding. To celebrate the beginning of London Collections: Men SS15, Superdry presented its latest wares on the catwalk 14 June. SI caught up with co-founder and design director James Holder to discuss the range in detail. Interview by Emma Holmqvist Deacon

Superdry SS
Superdry SS'15 show
The SS15 collection consists of 2500 pieces across several different style directions. Which are the main themes?
We never follow themes; trends are irrelevant as we are entirely product-based. We know what’s going on in terms of new movements and keep a close eye on the international catwalks, but we apply any influences we pick up with a different twist. Everyone does trend books, color charts… Superdry has a strong identity and we carve our own path with minutely considered products, while we always strive to push boundaries.

How do you go about that challenge?
We are obsessed with perfecting and developing our pieces. Every single product is meticulously considered and we’re always working on a new version of our bestsellers, such as the Windcheather for instance. The most recent incarnation of the model is called the Windattacker, and as soon as we had put the finishing touches, work began on the next product in line– and it has to be better than its predecessor.

Superdry SS
Superdry SS'15 show
Some 90 looks were sent down the runway on Saturday night. Which are the most important ones?
We’re proud of our new definition of swimwear but the tailoring ranges for both men and women are key, too; the look is crisp and quite Scandinavian in style. We’re also heavily into vests for SS15.

What defines Superdry’s denim offering – in general and for SS15?
Our mindset has always been rock’n’roll, and therefore the silhouette of our jeans is slim, though we’re always altering it to achieve the best possible fit. For SS15, we’ve incorporated washings ranging from dark, razor sharp shades to lightest bleach-out. The play on texture is important and you’ll find men’s weight denim in women’s hotpants, for example.

Superdry is primarily known for its menswear, but plenty of womenswear appeared on the runway. Is this a sign that female consumers will be better catered for in the future?
We have worked hard to strengthen the women’s line over the last couple of years. These developments are led by our head womenswear Christina Lundberg, who possesses a rare skill that allows her to create a cohesive whole out of all the looks Superdry offers every season. It takes a particular person to understand such a diverse brand and she is as confident designing hand-burnished leather jackets as delicate lace dresses.


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