Starting a label with his father was “the natural evolution of a conversation we’d been having for years”, explains Charlie Casely-Hayford, reflecting on how his and his father’s backgrounds have contributed to designs with “trans-generational appeal – we often come at the same thing from different perspectives which we hope has created an interesting dichotomy in the Casely-Hayford handwriting.”
These aforementioned backgrounds include Central St Martins for both, followed by The Courtauld Institute for Charlie. Joe went on to The Tailor and Cutter Academy, before creating stage looks for bands such as The Clash, and taking on the role of creative director at Gieves and Hawkes. This unique mix of Saville Row discipline and considered individuality is tempered by the family touch; Charlie says: “Working with family is like a roller-coaster every day; there's no off switch so you really push things as far as they can go which is great for the creative process. We can say very little and convey a lot to each other. Each collection, on a fundamental level, is a discussion between father and son.” For Joe, “the feeling of achieving success together is unequalled.”
Reflecting on the success of his family’s synergy and the principles the brand aims to propel forwards, Joe says: “Liberty’s products are very carefully curated to create an intimate and warm environment offering high quality pieces which are cool, yet transcend fashion. These are all qualities we aspire to.”
Spend a stylish day with Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford:
Morning Charlie: I love the Bridge on Kingsland Road. It's like instantly stepping into another country - the intensity certainly wakes you up in the morning. The owner, Rico, makes everyone feel at home even if it's their first time.
Joe: I work with my wife, Charlie's mother; the third and vital family member in our team. We live in Islington London and are extremely fortunate to have at least four excellent patisseries, bakeries and food halls within two minutes of our home. We don't have a fixed routine but enjoy visiting The Place, Belle Epoque and Ottolenghi on a regular basis.
At work C: Unfortunately the design process is never as long as we would like, and that's because there isn't a typical work day. The late night exchanges at the beginning of a season about the influences shaping our minds and vision are always interesting.
J: There is no typical day. Our roles cover many areas and involve a lot of travelling; we have a team in Japan and spend a lot of time exchanging ideas and information. Alongside the main collection we both work on various consultancy projects as well as spending a great deal of time on our fast-growing personal tailoring business. I love the design process and evolving a collection out of nothing together with our great team. Visiting galleries and museums is a bonus which I don't experience as often as I should! I always make sure I get to shows at the Tate and Serpentine.
C: We have a huge archive dating back 30 years; I've found it can be quite interesting referencing my earlier work from a new perspective.
Lunch C: It depends which side of town we're in for meetings. If we're east we usually head to A Little of What You Fancy on Kingsland road or the White Rabbit off Dalston Square. If we're in Soho then Groucho and Blacks are always good.
Afternoon C: Half of our team is in London and half in Tokyo, so we're back and forth between the two. The process is complicated but it produces a much more dynamic collection each season. We've always had a strong appreciation and respect for Japanese craftsmanship, there’s a great understanding of other cultures and a thirst for technology, modernity and traditional craft.
J: Before moving into our new studio, we were in Shoreditch for 30 years. As a result of this and because a significant part of the fashion industry is now in Shoreditch we still often end up having lunch meetings in the area. A Little of What You Fancy is a firm favourite, we also enjoy Rochelle and The Clove Club.
Evening C: I live in Notting Hill and my girlfriend is an interior designer so our place has a very distinct aesthetic that reflects her style. My books and art collection are submerged in her world - fortunately we share very similar aesthetics.
J: For dinner, Islington is not short of good eating places. After a long day we often end up at Bellanger (newly opened by Corbin & King of The Wolseley), Primeur or Trullo.