Nicholas Deakins started out from quiet beginnings in 1991 and from then has gone from strength to strength in terms of design quality and manufacturing excellence. Having been in the business for over 22 years and producing contemporary clothing and footwear for the style conscious man, they have not forgotten their roots and hold on to the styles that gave them their start. The Spring/Summer 2014 (SS14) is a more rounded collection that builds upon ND’s previous reputation for innovation and original design. New materials such as suede, leather and nylon have also been used in the shoe range to enhance that premium feel.
The brand utlisises a lot of his heritage from the Casuals Subculture: a group of football fans back in the 80’s who wore expensive designer clothing as to avoid the attention of the police and to intimidate rivals. They did not wear club colours, so it was allegedly easier to infiltrate rival groups and to enter pubs. Some casuals have worn clothing items similar to those worn by mods. This season Nicholas Deakins has actually released a jacket called The Casual, that celebrates the brands heritage.
ND themselves were nice enough to answer a few of my questions as I was keen to understand more about their brand and the style they were leaning toward this season.
Can you tell us how you first got involved with Nicholas Deakins and how you view the evolution of the brand?
Craig Nicholas Tate established Nicholas Deakins in 1991 whilst studying for a BA Honours in Fashion and Textile in London. He started with an initial collection of only four styles which we gave to WJ Brookes in Northampton, a traditional old English boot factory and a couple of friends of ours took our first samples on the road including the classic 7349 elastic boot. We’re now based in Craig’s hometown of Leeds and now have a full line of clothing and footwear, and very recently moved our flagship store to the new Leeds Trinity area. We’re always looking to evolve the brand, introducing new materials and production methods, whilst still holding true to the classic British styles that we built the name around.
Who or what influences/inspires you in your work? Who or what influences/ inspires ND designs?
The inspiration behind the brand was from a need to get into clubs that didn’t allow trainers! We have a strong heritage and a story to tell, and we love to incorporate that into our whole brand ethos. Nicholas Deakins has always been a favourite of the clubs and terraces, and we found that we had a loyal and dedicated fashion savvy following. We take a massive amount of inspiration from the Casuals subculture, which were very prominent up north in the early 80’s- we even named a jacket of ours after them. You’ll see from our designs for SS14 that we really have looked back at our past and celebrate the football designs that run heavily through our collection.
How would you describe the upcoming SS14 range?
Our SS14 collection is one of our most exciting collections to date- the range of product we have is fantastic. We always stay true to our reputation for innovative and original design along with quality manufacture. Our footwear for SS14 features a number of low profile styles with some new variations on the traditional moccasins and espadrilles. We always like to focus on premium materials and ground breaking manufacturing techniques. This season we also have a range of pieces inspired by the history of England football and supporting the World Cup taking place this year, which is a nice addition to the performance outerwear and sporting styles that we have.
What are your 4 essential items of clothing / accessories? What can you not leave the house without? A warm waterproof jacket- living up north might have its perks but the weather definitely isn’t one! A good quality pair of shoes. With shoes you can’t mess around with cheap versions that don’t last very long. My watch- we’re a small team so keeping on time and on track is very important to me and the business. There’s not a lot of time in the day to waste around here! A notebook- may sound cliché but you never know when inspiration is going to strike.
Nicholas Deakins SS14 Shoes
Nicholas Deakins Leeds Flagship Store
After wetting your appetite with the range above why not visit the flagship Nicholas Deakins store which has recently opened on Boar Lane (opposite the Leeds Trinity entrance). As this is the birthplace of the brand it was only natural to base their flagship store here and place some of the brands personality into a brick and mortar store. The rustic interior aethetic that includes cutting blocks as well as wooden window beds and product holders really add to the overall feel of the store and enhance the browsing experience.
Address: 15 Boar Lane, Leeds, LS1 6AE.