Christopher Raeburn – A British Fashion Label


Men’s and Womenswear Fashion from Re-appropriated Military Fabrics

Ethical Fashion Proudly ‘Remade in London’

View recent Christopher Raeburn Clothing collections on the London Fashion Review Blog.

An Introduction to the Christopher Raeburn Brand –  Intelligent British Design

Christopher Raeburn Fashion Designer

Fashion Designer Christopher Raeburn

A 2006 graduate from the London’s prestigious Royal College of Art, Christopher Raeburn freelanced as a pattern cutter at several London fashion houses before launching his namesake fashion label in 2008. Inspired by the challenge of creating ethical menswear and womenswear, the Christopher Raeburn brand quickly became known for their reuse of military fabrics into intelligent and functional garments.

The first, Christopher Raeburn collection, a capsule line of reversible garments entitled ‘Inverted’, was showcased at London Fashion Week. Since then Christopher Raeburn has never looked back – in 2011 the brand had its first independent presentation during London Fashion Week at Aldwych tube station.

‘Staunchly British’ all Christopher Raeburn garments are ‘Remade in England’ and produced in East London. As of 2011, the Christopher Raeburn collections were available in some of the world’s finest fashion boutiques, including London’s Harvey Nichols, Brussels’s Heleluja, Porto’s Wrong Weather, Chicago’s Ikram, New York’s debut NY, Beijing’s Fei Space and Hong Kong’s Joyce.

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Christopher Raeburn Spring/Summer 2012

Christopher Raeburn – A Timeline Snapshot

  • 2006: Christopher Raeburn graduates from the prestigious Royal College of Art in London.
  • 2008: The Christopher Raeburn fashion label is launched and is handpicked for ‘Camouflage’, a high profile exhibition at London’s Imperial War Museum. Also this year, the brand showcases its capsule collection of reversible garments at Design Week.
  • 2009: In a year of collaborations, Christopher Raeburn teams up with menswear designer Tim Soar for a collection shown at Paris Fashion Week. Additionally, the brand collaborates with ‘Worn Again’, creating collections from Eurostar and Virgin fabrics. Also this year, Christopher Raeburn secures an exhibition space at London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2009, by winning the International Ethical Fashion Forum’s Innovation Competition. It wasn’t to be his only representation at London Fashion Week that year – the Spring/Summer 2010 collection was shown under the Estethica Banner in September.
  • 2010: Christopher Raeburn makes history when he is the first designer to win NEWGEN sponsorship for both menswear and womenswear in a single season. Also this year, the Christopher Raeburn brand once again features in a museum exhibit, with the ‘Digital Rainbow’ collection displayed at the Design Museum as part of ‘Sustainable Futures’. Finally, the British label receives the prestigious honour of being photographed by legendary photographer, Mario Testino, when he shoots the ‘Inuit Coat’ which was featured in US Vogue.
  • 2011: The brand has its first independent presentation during London Fashion Week at Aldwych tube station. Also this year, the Christopher Raeburn and Victorinox collaboration is shown on schedule during New York Fashion Week, preceding the collection’s worldwide release in Autumn. Additionally, Christopher Raeburn is recognised at the UK Fashion and Textile Export Awards collecting the Rising Star Award for a meteoric success in the export market.

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Christopher Raeburn Autumn/Winter 2011-2012

Christopher Raeburn x Victorinox Collaboration

In 2011, Christopher Raeburn entered into a collaboration with Swiss luxe alpine wear and pocket knife brand Victorinox to create a capsule collection for Autumn/Winter 2011-12. Consisting of eight pieces – including Raeburn’s version of the Swiss Army Knife – the limited edition line has merged the forward thinking design aesthetic of the Christopher Raeburn brand and the heritage of the 127 year old Victorinox.

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Christopher Raeburen and Victorinox Collaboration

In creating the collection, entitled ‘Remade in Switzerland, Raeburn travelled to Switzerland’s Ibach, birthplace of Victorinox’s founder Karl Elsener, to source the fabrics from a number of army surplus stores. While in Iback, Raeburn also managed to find the original house where Elsener started the Victorinox brand. He decided to use the historical location as his ‘Swiss LAB’ to produce the 100 pieces of each style by hand.

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Victorinox Employees Modelling the Christopher Raeburn x Victorinox Collaboration at the New York Fashion Week Presentation

The capsule collection consists of a heavy wool coat with detachable hood, a zip detailed parka, a cocoon blouson-esque puffa, waist length jackets made from parachute fabric, wool scarfs and hats, a back pack and of course the Swiss army knife. Additionally, metal nails, marked with the Swiss cross, were printed on many items and worked as the coherent print symbol throughout the line. The nails were originally used to stamp in horse shoes –  for the collection Victorinox melted down the vintage nails and used the metal to create the pocket knifes.

The collaboration was debuted in an innovative installation at New York Fashion Week and featured some of the Victorinox staff as models. Stop motion films has been made for each item in the collection, accompanied by music that was put together using only “sounds generated from actual recordings of garments and equipment” during the manufacturing process.

With this collection, Raeburn successfully manages to translate his famed reputation of reusing army fabrics to a heritage and traditional Swiss brand. There is a strong chance that the collaboration will continue, as Christopher Raeburn states “we’re really keen on continuing the project in one way of the other…the collection might be developed in another way, but I definitely think the enthusiasm is there from both sides”.

The Future of the Christopher Raeburn Fashion Label

In the future of the Christopher Raeburn brand there are plans to develop the men’s and womenswear collections beyond outerwear. Until then, expect to see top quality outerwear, intelligently designed proudly ‘Remade in London’.

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Chistopher Raeburn Spring/Summer 2012

Christopher Raeburn is a British fashion designer and namesake fashion label founded in 2008,

If you like the look of Christopher Raeburn, check out fellow British labels Gloverall, Mackintosh and Barbour.

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