With names like the Kangaroo Pocket Hoodie and the Utility Shirt, new Melbourne menswear label Kerrin makes it clear from the outset it’s taking its cues from Australia’s great outdoors.
Founded in December last year by a former head of menswear at Country Road, Kerrin Schuppan, the label fills a gap in men’s wardrobes for enduring, functional items that don’t take themselves too seriously. Each piece is designed to look lived in and to reflect Australia’s relaxed “beach and bush” culture. Schuppan describes the aesthetic as “Australian casual” and says it’s for the guy who wants to invest in quality pieces, who cares about where things are from and who’s looking for things that are responsibly made and “that are going to last and wear well over time”.
While the label’s personality is firmly rooted in Australia, each element has been meticulously sought out from Europe, from 100 per cent Italian linen, zips and eyelets to Egyptian cotton knitted in Portugal.
“A lot of people may know where the garment is made but they don’t actually know where their fabric is made, where the buttons are made,” says Schuppan. “It’s that level of detail that we love and obsess about.”
The current range is a tight edit of core trans-seasonal pieces designed to be layered when warm days give way to cool nights. It includes Egyptian-cotton sweaters, polyamide swim shorts, linen button-up shirts and 100 per cent cotton T-shirts. Prices stretch from $95 for a quality tee, to $270 for a jumper.
Nothing made by Kerrin is mass-produced. Instead Schuppan works closely with smaller international suppliers for consistency and quality control. And instead of releasing new collections the way the market and consumers are used to, he uses a drip-feed model whereby only a few quality garments are released at a time.
Schuppan describes the way of dressing Kerrin has in mind as “working with a base layer, a mid layer and a shell [outerwear] piece. It’s three simple layers that combine together, which I find a really functional way of dressing.”
Schuppan is also poised to release digitally printed shirts and swim shorts in patterns found in nature. He’s particularly proud of the quick-drying polyamide fabric he’s using, which is woven in Como, Italy. He says most labels avoid using it because it’s more difficult to print on, choosing polyester instead.
“Polyester … has a very different hand feel, so it was really important for us that the solid-coloured swim shorts and the printed swim shorts have the same consistency.”
For Kerrin’s next release, Schuppan is looking towards tapered chino pants, 100 per cent merino jumpers and bucket hats.
“When we end up with a product it has to be something we really believe in. [If we] compromise on anything, I just can’t live with it,” Schuppan says. “Having said that, we still are making sure the product is really accessible.”
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