It’s a warm Wednesday night at Bistrotheque — the trendy restaurant in London’s east end — which is steadily filling up with well known industry faces. They’re here for the launch of Parc, a new luxury menswear brand from Paul Rawson and Anthony Campbell, who have been working in the industry as educators and designers for the last 10 years.
The brand is a long time coming, for both the pair — who along with being business partners are also engaged to be married — and their community. “We have a lot of good friends in the industry, who for the last 10 years, have been asking ‘when are you doing it?’” says Campbell, who along with Rawson, is stopped for congratulatory kisses and hugs throughout our conversation. “We got to a point where we thought it was time for us to do something.”
“We just want to spread a bit of shine and happy energy”
Parc’s first collection is “upbeat and fresh,” which is also how the couple describe their personal style. “Paul and I have always worn a lot of textiles, print and colour, so in some ways [the collection] just reflects us,” muses Campbell. “It looks like us — we dress optimistically and fun — and just want to spread a bit of shine and happy energy.”
Inspired by a recent trip to LA, SS’19 is playful and unapologetic in its use of print and colour. Textiles are multi-coloured and metallic, prints are oversized and bold, softly tailored into suiting, sport jackets and shorts. “We haven’t held back on fabric development,” Campbell explains. “It’s about surf culture, with undertones of LA nightclubs and GoGo boys, but done in a very subversive, subtle and sophisticated way.”
Spreading the message about Parc will be largely driven by social media, and the duo are considering Instagram as a direct-to-consumer selling platform. “Instagram isn’t just going to be product and the shoot, it’s going to be a lot of research, our mood,who our boy is and what we want him to connect with,” says Campbell.
Having witnessed their fair share of labels launch — and subsequently shutter — the designers are approaching their business with a wealth of experience and a good understanding of what not to do. “We want to start by working within our own confines — going at a pace that suits us — so we feel confident,” Campbell adds. “Sometimes you go so hard and fast that you can’t meet orders — we want to work in a way that we can organically grow and build a loyal following.”
If the well-attended presentation in Bethnal Green is any indication, Parc’s loyal following are already here, ready and waiting. For now, they’re relieved to finally launch, looking forward to a few days of well-deserved rest. “We can’t wait to lie on the sofa and watch some box sets!”