Mr. Porter Talks With Margaret Howell, One Of The Best Women Designing Menswear Today

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Complex Original

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This line sums up everything you need to know about Margaret Howell: "Ms Howell is one of Britain's most quietly influential arbiters of style." Howell, and her clothes, are quiet. They're smart, simple and timeless. They're not basic, but they're not over-complicated either. And it should come as no surprise to find that they're a perfect reflection of the designer in this piece by Mr. Porter, focusing on Howell and her design philosophies. She also collects pebbles?

Howell has been designing menswear since the '70s. Amongst the many, many, menswear labels that have launched recently, that is a fucking lifetime. She started with a line of men's shirts and eventually opened a workshop that supplied wholesale to places like Ralph Lauren and Paul Smith. Her philosophy is much larger than "seasons," opting for the pieces she wanted to wear at the moment. That seems to be a big piece of being a designer, especially these days—we're buying more into the taste of the designer than the actual market. Today, 40 years later, Howell's designs remain some of the most signature, understated pieces in menswear. Between her signature line and MHL, which is comprised of more practical, workwear-y gear, she's focused on keeping her clothes functional, not just luxurious. And it's working. She's easily one of the best women designing menswear, and has been for a long, long time, as Jon Moy will confess his love for the gawdess at the drop of a hat.

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