This weeks episode of Five Minutes With is with the lovely Hannah Vail, the Derry based fashion designer behind the brand, han* clothing.
han* clothing was set up in 2017 by the fashion and textile graduate. Following a successful pop-up shop in The Emporium in Derry, Hannah moved her production to the Fashion & Textile Hub in the city in recent months, however just this week she has launched an exciting pop-up shop in Victoria Square’s Topshop.
I’ve been chatting to her all about the brand, why she set it up and what she’s got planned for 2018.
1. What made you get into fashion?
I always liked drawing and making things, when I was really young I used to tell people I wanted to be an author and an illustrator. I don’t think there was a defining moment when I decided; I always knew it would be something creative. I think I’m a very practical kind of person and making something functional just made most sense to me.
2. Where did you study?
I went to Thornhill college, then NWRC to do Foundation Art, which I still maintain was the best year of my education so far. I went on to do my degree in Textile Art, Design and Fashion at Ulster University Belfast. I did the graduate program at the Fashion and Textile Design Centre, a course in Central St Martens and two months interning with Helen Cody in Dublin.
3. Tell me a bit about your studio at the Fashion and Textile Design hub.
Han* is currently based within the Hub, I have a beautiful little studio upstairs where I do all my work and use a base for the website. I am very lucky to have had the support of the Hub and the Inner City Trust, since I launched, without it I don’t know that I would have done it.
4. Do you have a typical customer in mind when designing?
As a designer at the Fashion and Textile Design Centre, we have a certain amount of mentoring and business support. One of the key things I’ve been taught is to know your customer. For example one audience at the moment I’m aiming for those who grew up in the 90s and maintain that appreciation for quirky, heavily branded street wear.
5. What influences you when designing?
People on the street, art, dreams. It’s really clichéd but it can be anything.
6.Whats in store for Han Clothing in 2018?
I’m actually very very excited to announce this week that we will have a Pop-UP concession for the next two months within Topshop in Victoria Square, Belfast. I’m hoping this will be the first of many steps towards growing and expanding the brand.
7.Do you wear items from your collection yourself?
Yes! I am currently living in our first run of hoodies. I think I would be doing something wrong if I didn’t want to wear what I’m designing.
8. Describe your own personal style.
Ever-changing. I am big on comfort and on the tall side so it is a very rare occasion you’ll find me wearing heels, I love a nice pair of jazzy trainers.