Ian Paley is the man behind Couverture & The Garbstore, one of London's coolest stores and brands. It's their mission to stock the sorts of independent labels that are hard to find and dedicated to the craft of making quality goods. MANUFACTURE Magazine sat down with Paley and talked to him about how he got started, lessons learned, and the state of production.

On modern designers...

You look at 90% of the menswear designers today and hardly any of them can cut a pattern, they were not taught it. They just look at other people’s designs and try and change a pocket here or a seam there. They call it ‘product design’ but they’ve never learned to cut and see how things fit. Only when you’ve done that can you come up with something new.

On his most important business lesson...

I saw how much bigger operations operate and what it takes to achieve stuff in a management structure, which is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned — how to manage properly. You can have the best idea in the world and the perfect market but if you have the wrong management in place then things will stall and get misinterpreted.

On the future of sportswear...

Well, we are now at the back end of the ‘heritage boom’ in menswear so the obvious knee jerk reaction will be for everything to go very technical and neon (laughs) because people crave the most different thing. The heritage scene is a very grown up and considered thing now, but when everyone is making good product things become boring. Anyone can spend a grand on a bench, some cotton and some thread and knock a few items of clothes out but the really interesting stuff is in the technical market, not many people can laser cut fabric!


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