Based in Hackney, East London, British brand RÆBURN was born on a foundation of 'responsible and intelligent fashion design for a global audience'. Originally known for super functional and durable outerwear, the brand has expanded to relaxed underlayers with graphic designs and versatile legwear.
The RÆMADE collection saw the introduction of pieces made from unexpected surplus fabrics. The distinctive and functional designs solidified the brand's mission statement of creating responsible fashion with integrity and purpose – Its upcoming collection champions a futuristic military aesthetic.
We spoke to brand Creative Director Christopher Raeburn about key pieces from the new collection, sustainability in the industry, his PITTI experience, and more.
What is the key concept behind the new collection?
RÆBURN SS23 draws inspiration from the iconic SR-71 Blackbird, a strategic reconnaissance aircraft that still today boasts the world record it set in 1976 as the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft.
Study of this jet, coupled with research into its flight suits and supporting equipment, has helped to shape a collection that champions a futuristic military aesthetic, underpinned by our ever-present commitment to responsible design.
Your profile states that your brand is:‘a new definition of luxury with integrity’, making ‘clothes that protect the man and the planet’. Can you tell us more about the concept behind these statements?
‘Luxury with integrity’ is a nod to the high build quality of our wares that is realised through a conscientious approach to design. RÆBURN is committed to working in ways that see us lower our impact wherever possible, investing time and resources into a better understanding of how we can build meaningful, enduring products, responsibly. Our collections champion the use of natural fibres, recycled qualities and repurposed surplus materials.
What fascinates you about military materials and utilitarian clothing?
Military clothing is rooted in function and typically includes supremely fit-for-purpose fabrications and design details. There’s nothing superfluous – designs exist as solutions to real world challenges of those who need to use these items in the field and that in itself is absolutely fascinating. As much as we concede a modern consumer seeks out good looks, we believe it’s equally important they’re presented with clothing that works to protect them, supporting the challenges of their day-to-day life in the city and beyond.
What are your thoughts on the current industry approach to sustainability? What are the key changes that you feel we need to see more of?
That’s a huge question to answer. Broadly, it’s evident the industry is waking up to the fact we need to revise our systems and build products in different ways: more considerately and more responsibly. Personally, I think we need to look upstream and ensure we’re making products that are natural, enduring (repairable) or recyclable - if we’re able to then consider a product's whole life cycle fully – and what happens next – we’ll be in much better shape as an industry.
What do you think makes the Raeburn brand ‘unique and desirable’?
We believe that our garments are the product of a great team effort; a coming together of like-minded creatives who are dedicated to exploring new responsible ways of working together, in turn provoking our industry to do-better.
RÆBURN hopes this commitment to furthering what’s possible, responsibly, resonates with our audience and furthers the desirability of our wares. We are consistently looking to deliver best-in-class wares that look good, perform, and endure - all things we consider to be attributes of a desirable fashion brand.
What are the key pieces that you are most excited about from this collection and why?
There’s a wealth of new styles we’re excited about this season, a trio of highlights include:
The RÆMADE CANOPY Smock – A smock that has been RÆMADE from an original military parachute canopy designed for High Altitude, Low Opening (HALO) capability. The original artifact was deconstructed and meticulously reworked into a new, limited edition item.
S/S AOP Tee – The RÆBURN All Over Print Tee features graphics inspired by SR-71 Duxford Blackbird aircraft operated by the USA Air force. Digitally printed under renewable energy, its graphics denote the supersonic aircraft surface texture. Archival military objects and paraphernalia remain a constant source of inspiration, finding beauty in that which was originally designed purely for function.
GD Overshirt – The RÆBURN GD Overshirt has been finished in Italy and produced in a 130gsm recycled nylon ripstop. The product has been garment dyed, giving unique character to each individual piece. Styling cues have been taken from the season’s key artifact: original military parachute canopies.
What did you enjoy at this year’s Pitti?
It was great to have the opportunity to enjoy a ‘business as usual’ event following the past several years of difficulty with COVID restrictions. It was a pleasure to be able to connect with faces old and new to showcase our wares and see all of the wonderful work neighbouring brands had produced for SS23.
What's next for the brand?
Toward the latter part of 2021 we opened our second retail location in Central London, at 2 Marshall Street, Carnaby. This now award-winning store has helped us learn a lot about what retail means to our business, reaffirming this is a pivotal part of our brand’s growth plans. We believe such outposts are essential to afford us the opportunity to not only showcase our wares, but also connect with and develop a community. This will hopefully be one of the many stores as we look to continue expanding our retail footprint. Further to this, we look forward to expanding our international wholesale network and furthering a great roster of retailers who proudly fly the RÆBURN flag.