Folk Clothing & Footwear: Men’s and Women’s London Fashion
View Folk Fashion collections on London Fashion Review Blog
A Brief History of Folk Clothing
Founder of Folk, Cathal McAteer, cut his fashion teeth at an early age, with a Saturday job in Glasgow’s designer boutique, Ichi Ni San. Throughout his time at Ichi Ni San, he gained more responsibility on the buying side of fashion and made some important contacts, including Jimmy Collins of YMC (You Must Create), who would provide him with job opportunities in the future. Upon leaving Ichi Ni San, McAteer spent a short amount of time working in Brussels before relocating to London. Once in London, through connections formed at Ichi Ni San, he was soon working for the likes of French Connection, Nicole Farhi and YMC.
In 2001, Cathal McAteer set up his own men’s fashion label – Folk. His aim was to create clothing that his friends would wear; simple everyday clothing with subtle, innovative and sometimes playful detailing. The Sister label, ShoFolk (with a focus on men’s and women’s shoes) followed in 2004.
As of March 2011, Folk had four successful standalone stores as well as selling in 200 other retail outlets globally, including Liberty and Selfridges in the UK, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and the brand is soon to be stocked in Paris’ Bon Marche. A full list of stockist can be found on the official Folk website.
- 2001: Folk clothing is founded by creative director Cathal McAteer as a menswear brand.
- 2004: The sister brand to Folk, Shofolk is launched selling men’s and women’s footwear.
- 2009: Collaborative project between Japanese denim brand Edwin and Folk is launched celebrating the shared ethos of craft and modern styling in both brands. The second standalone store opens in London’s fashionable Brick Lane in East London.
- 2010: Opening of the womenswear store on London’s Conduit Street, stocking top designer brands such as Sessun, Humanoid and Acne as well as Folk shoes and accessories. The fourth standalone store opens in Amalienstrasse, Munich as a dedicated menswear space to build on the brands presence in Munich with stockist including Serie A and Harvest.
The Folk Clothing Design and Aesthetic
“The details are not the details, they are the design”. – Charles Eames, Iconic Furniture Designer
The quote above by Charles Eames, describes the Folk design ethos for clothingand footwear collections. The focus of Folk design is on developing and using their own fabrics, trims and design detail to create easy to wear garments with an added sense of fun. McAteer, creates collections that he and his friends would like to wear; this approach to fashion can be seen in the look books of Folk, which often has Cathal and his friends modelling the brand’s clothing.
Shofolk: Folk Clothing’s Sister Brand
“Never skimp on your shoes” – Cathal McAteer.
Shofolk emerged on the fashion scene in 2004 as the sister men’s and women’s footwear brand to Folk clothing and accessories collection. All shoes for the collection are handcrafted in Portugal from raw, natural leather Like Folk, the design ethos of Shofolk is to create a line of footwear that friends would wear. Cathal McAteer and Elbe Lealman are the duo behind Shofolk. The collections are made up of classic designs with contemporary twist to create comfortable footwear that is functional but still retaining the sense of fun that the Folk brand is known for.
Future of Folk
Since its inception in 2001, the Folk brand has gone from strength to strength. In fact, Cathal McAteer was voted one of the top 100 men in fashion by GQ magazine in 2010.
Over the next few years, expect further stand alone stores in more fashion-statement cities. The brand expansion will be bolstered by the launch of the Folk womenswear line, which is expected to arrive in the Winter or 2012.
To take a full look at the recent collections of Folk, visit the official Folk website.