Written by Jake Wright – Features Editor
It’s always an exciting moment when new brands bring something different to the fashion industry. This week saw ‘Abel Honor’ release their first collection, a new American womenswear brand, launched by Kate Wasserbach, a former associate designer for Michael Kors. With the approach to the garments being “an expression of everything you wanted to say but couldn’t” the result was one that was daring and unrepentant in its approach.
Taking the leap from one of the most popular brands in the world to running your own label is a big one. However, Wasserbach feels her time at Kors prepared her perfectly for such a step,
“The four and a half years of experience I had there really shaped the designer I am today. I had unbelievable mentors who taught me how to see a collection from a sketch to the racks of the largest retailers across the world. No one can truly prepare you in terms of starting your own company, however I would say I was lucky enough to get pretty darn close!”
The collection feels very youth inspired with graphic design taking to the forefront of stand out pieces. Images and typography are manipulated using pixilation. Elsewhere the designer experiments with shape varying from floor length skirts to super crop jumpers and tees. Its clear throughout that Wasserbach had a clear idea of what she wanted to produce,
“Irony is always the inspiration for any work of mine—from fine arts to fashion. I like to pair rhetorical concepts; I think it creates interest and suspense. This collection was inspired by the contrast between faith and humanity – god and war. Angels are a symbol of guidance and peace, while war is a symbol of conflict and aggression.”
A rather complex statement but this layered thought process explains the huge variety of styles on show in this first collection.
The brand is starting off almost solely in womenswear however there is ambitions to become more gender neutral in the future.
“Around 90% of our brand is womenswear, while 10% is unisex. I specialize in womenswear but fascinate in menswear. Eventually, I would like to grow the brand to be 50/50.”
Starting a new brand is a complex one, there are so many variables to explore. The thought of who your making the clothes for is an important one, Wasserbach describes her customer as a “strong one.” Abel Honor is born with the intention to empower its consumer.
One of Abel Honor’s key ambitions is to give quality back to the consumer, something that has been lost in this current state of fast fashion.
“I aim for quality, value and truth. These days, fashion is a revolving door – there is so much waste with products that are not meant to last! I want my customers to trust the brand and the product. I want them to feel secure in knowing their money is well spent, and I want them to be pleasantly surprised when they receive our product.”
When new brands are built with good intentions, they usually go the distance and for Abel Honor I think this will be no different. Their first collection shows a clear aesthetic with an ability to connect with a customer. It’s the passion behind the work that holds the key for Abel Honor
“starting my own brand has always been a lifelong dream of mine. Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to become a clothing designer with my own label. I aim to build a lifestyle through Abel Honor because lifestyles are forever!”
Find out more and shop the full collection at abelhonornewyork.com