Andrew Bunney

Part of the pleasure of having a blog is that it exposes you to new people, excites interest and conversation and occasionally liberates you completely! I very rarely accept invitations to spend time with other bloggers (strange fear of being disappointed by the differences between fact and the distortions of fiction) but meeting Tommy and her husband Andrew was a social adventure I will absolutely never regret. An experience which proved that you could meet ridiculously inspiring, talented, charming and generous individuals who will become friends for many years to come. Andrew is the face behind Bunney, an extraordinary men’s jewellery line worn by both girls and boys. I fell in love with this collection for many reasons. The almost “monastic” simplicity combined with a very modern identity seduced me instantly but I also admire Andrew’s desire to furiously defend traditions and skills from another age. Like an obsessive scholar, his pieces are the result of years of research and the ambitious plan to preserve the “Made in England” heritage. He honours his country’s special place in the world of fashion and provokes by making us think about the sense of passing time when it comes to quality and workmanship. I hope that his line marks the beginning of a change in our fashion culture, with increased emphasis on superior craftsmanship, far removed from the money-driven nature of big fashion chains and the bad press some established designers are getting about the quality of their clothes. In a world of undisputed conspicuous consumption, it is refreshing to come across someone like Andrew who creates exquisite luxury pieces imbued with a spirit of understated elegance.
I asked him to pause and reflect on certain questions. Here are the answers.

His pieces are available from Dover Street Market and Colette
Read his blog here

What did you study at university and how did your professional life start?
I think I went about it in reverse! I liked acting as a teenager and did quite a lot of plays, and wanted to study film at university. By college, I had grown disenfranchised with acting and theatre, so film had lost the appeal. Taking a year out, I started working for a couple of skate shops, buying the clothing and shoes. Despite always being interested in clothing, it had never occurred to me that it could be a career. I was very much inspired by brands like Helmut Lang at the time, although I always liked the independent skate spirit. I ended up moving to NYC and worked for a Japanese company buying vintage clothing. Items were then sorted through and some went to Tokyo, while others remained in the US. I was sent over to Tokyo to work out there for the company for a while, and by then I knew that I wanted to make rather than buy. I came back to the UK, and went back to college to get a degree and learn how to make things properly, then I started working with some of the people that I had met years earlier through the skate shops, beginning designing with some of the Gimme 5 companies, then the streetwear brand Stussy, then various projects and freelance work. For the past 3 years, I had been working for Dr. Martens with my wife, initially making new designs, and then in the capacity of creative director which we finished earlier a few months ago.

What are the elements of the jewellery creation process that attract you?
At this point, the learning, the appreciation of skills, the problem solving. It's a completely different process to making clothing or footwear as the concentration and focus can be on one single item. I use workshops around the country that are making some incredible things, and it is always inspiring to see what they are making or what they have made.

What inspires and motivates your collections?
People and use.
I realise that what motivates a lot of what I make or have made is the idea that someone can make something their own by wearing or using it in a certain way. This is especially true with jewellery. In mens fashion at the moment, there is a drive towards permanence which I think you can see with the embrace of 'heritage', but with jewellery each item has a very tangible worth which is permanent - by the nature of the materials used. Because of this, I almost feel there is a certain responsibility - wouldn't it be fantastic to make something that could be passed down or passes on to a loved one?

What is it about the fashion industry that fascinates you?
Ideas perhaps. Ideas and excitement. Someone presenting something familiar in a new way. I like seeing something new, seeing how it will be accepted and if it changes something. More and more I want to see something that is simply beautiful too.

Can you describe your relationship with the fashion world?
I'm lucky that I've been able to work on different kinds of projects that cross all different kinds of arenas. With BUNNEY, I hope to be able to make something that can reach different kinds of people, male or female, fanatic or just with a passing interest in fashion. I contribute to some fashion magazines, and am working on the GQ Style relaunch at the moment, but coming from the UK I'm always more excited to take something and wear or use in a way that creates something new or unexpected.

How would you categorize your work?
Hopefully I'm making something that can be worn or used by all different kinds of people - beyond male or female. I suppose the starting point was thinking about items that are almost ordinary, but providing a platform for anyone to wear or use as they see fit. I want to make things that allow the personality of the wearer rather than overshadowing them.

All pictures courtesy of Andrew Bunney

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8 comments:

If Jane said...

well they really are the style maven couple...

Your Kitty said...

What an interesting find! I loved reading his story about entering and evolving within the world of fashion.

Your clear and delicate writing always brings a smile to my face - you're extremely talented with both words and images!

Mystery Bruises said...

interesting stuff and the studds are awesome, love your blog, Merry Christmas!
xx
www.mysterybruises.blogspot.com

xhulja said...

love your blog

please feel free to visit mine if you like
http://thepriceofimagination.blogspot.com/

Lala Jr said...

Like so much your blog, lovely!!

I'm a new follower, Lala xo

www.fashionistawearsCHANEL.com

Tofu said...

very cool

sight said...

Tommy's blog is one of my favourites and together they are an amazingly stylish couple!
Thanks for the great post!

http://itsonlysight.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Is that Leon Jean Marie? ?