FEATURE: Casely-Hayford’s Inherited Resistance

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Joe Casely-Hayford and his son Charlie share a small two-floor studio in the Shoreditch section of London. The top floor is clean as a whistle, a showroom for their menswear brand, where each season’s clothes are displayed for buyers and press. Below is their workspace, strewn with thousands of sketches on stacked white paper. The short staircase that divides the two is more like a conveyor belt for Joe and Charlie, who run back and forth, trading places constantly. Charlie’s mother and Joe’s wife Maria is in and out, too, running the business while the two boys focus on balancing their creative urges. The whole family lives just blocks away, Charlie in an apartment of his own but close to the house he grew up in, where his parents still reside.

Both Joe and Charlie were born on the same day, May 24, two decades apart. They’re Geminis, the Zodiac sign represented by the two twins of Greek myth, Castor and Pollux. Geminis are said to have two people in one body and a personality split a mile wide. But Joe and Charlie seem to have found a happy medium for their multiple sides, creating the eponymous father-son fashion line Casely-Hayford that reads like cotton hieroglyphics of the unspoken language between them. Colors for their newest collection come from a hereditary love of Georgia O’Keeffe’s desert palate, for instance, and long linen shirts are directly inspired by a silhouette common with the Bangladeshi men that live in their neighborhood, a look Charlie loved as a kid. Examine any sleeve they’ve ever sewn and you’ll get a little swatch of family history.

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POSTED March 11, 2011 12:30PM IN FEATURES, STYLE TAGS: , , , ,

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