Feature
On Rituals

Daniel W. Fletcher

Morning rituals, demystified, with the London-based menswear designer

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Making moves in the morning is easier for some than others, but a little routine is often all it takes to get us from A to B. So, we’re shedding light on the mysteries of our morning rituals, giving you access to the designers and brand founders that shape our edit. Next up, we meet Daniel Fletcher, the designer behind the young menswear label with the London Fashion Week Men’s crowd hooked. Here, he opens up his cabinet of grooming secrets, taking us inside his Hackney home and sharing his pre-studio struggles.

Anyone who knows me knows, I’m not a morning person. We start in the studio at 10 and I live a five-minute walk away so you’d think I would have a nice relaxed start to the day but it’s always a rush and I’m normally ten minutes late – despite my best efforts.

I’m one of those people who sets alarms every 5 minutes from 8am and doesn’t make it out of bed until 9. It’s a habit I can’t get out of. I like waking up to a light-filled room so I installed sheer blinds; they look great but, now we’ve reached summer, I realise it was a terrible idea! I thought it would help me wake up, which it does, however that’s now at 5am. It’s not made my struggle any easier but in the past few months I’ve tried to set myself more of a routine to make up for my slow start.

I live in London Fields in a modern flat with parquet floors and big windows – I feel very lucky to have found it. It’s filled with paintings by my grandmother (the one above my bed she painted in Arizona in the 80s) and, more recently, lots of wonky pots. I’ve been learning ceramics, so every week some new odd-looking thing finds its way onto a window ledge.

When I eventually make it up, I start by making my bed: it stops me getting back in and clears my head. I’m a tidy person and can’t think when things are a mess, it’s the same in the studio. I pull out some clothes before jumping in the shower. Choosing what to wear isn’t particularly complicated because, for someone who spends so much time thinking about how to dress other people, dressing myself is quite simple and normally consists of a navy T-shirt, black jeans and a crew neck jumper.

I wash my hair with Philip Kingsley shampoo and conditioner. I get a really dry scalp, so it’s like I’ve been in a snowstorm if I swap to a different one. I’d highly recommend it if, like me, you’re prone to the old dusty shoulder.

I normally shave after showering – around three times a week – and for this I use an aloe-rich shave gel followed by a 3-in-1 post-shave balm, both of which help prevent irritation – particularly useful for someone who’s shaving in a rush! I follow this with my daily moisturiser: a product I discovered in Japan which I now use every day.

I have a different routine in the evening and I find the two balance out quite nicely. I clean my skin before I go to bed using Cowshed cleanser and toner, and recently I’ve been using a detoxifying clay mask. This feels like enough for now, although ask me again in 10 years and maybe I’ll tell you a different story!

With all the products I use, I’ve found the ones which suit my skin and I stick by them. Most don’t break the bank, however some are more indulgent than others. My deodorant falls into that category, but it also lasts much longer. You need very little to stay fresh for the full day so a bottle goes for months, which means less waste, which is always a positive for me. During the day, I wear a very light, fresh scent but, in the evening, I switch to Comme des Garçons Wonderwood which is much woodier.

As well as my simple beauty regime, I’ve also started to make smoothies in the morning. It’s quicker than sitting down for breakfast and I have something different each day. I’m pretty hopeless at keeping my fridge stocked so it often ends up being quite random, but on the whole, if it’s got a banana in it then it will normally taste pretty good.

The last thing I do before I leave is have a pump of hand balm from one of my new favourite home and cosmetics brands; it’s based in Margate and everything they produce is made using natural products and considers the environment. Most of their products can be refilled – something I wish a lot more brands would do.

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