Dean Newton discovers Nu Blvck an exciting new accessories brand shaking up the fashion industry.
The traditional business models of the fashion industry have been robustly challenged in recent years; from Burberry’s decision to sell direct from the catwalk to Stella McCartney’s ethical business model. It’s clear that change is afoot and one Scottish startup doing things a bit differently is Nu Blvck (pronounced New Black), a high-concept accessories brand based in Glasgow and making waves globally.
Andrew Vincent and Becca Flory’s business works by connecting emerging fashion designers with expert artisans to create limited edition, luxury accessories that are made to order and sold exclusively online. “We think our model brings the designers and artisans closer to our customers,” says Andrew. “They’ll be made to feel very much part of our brand with our customers hearing the stories of all involved in designing and making our accessories. It’s taking transparency to new levels and our customers love it.”
Even more uniquely Nu Blvck has a policy to only manufacture once a product has actually been bought, and by selling their accessories in strict limited quantities. Not only does this mean the customer is buying an exclusive, quality product but it helps to support the artisan makers who don’t have the mass production facilities of fashion factories. “We want our brand to be known for high quality, unique, stylish accessories but also for putting people at the forefront, reducing waste and for more ethical trade,” explains Becca.
Makers include the likes of Di Gilpin, who, from a bothy studio in Fife, has created an internationally renowned name for herself as a knitwear maker, even creating pieces for Kanye West’s Paris show and producing limited edition designs with Nike. Another highlight of Nu Blvck’s makers roster is Kalopsia Collective, textiles artists turned micro-manufacturing facility, pushing the boundaries of production with a combination of traditional methods, innovative ideas and ethical goals.
Exciting business models and fantastic makers mean nothing though, unless the designs are up to scratch. It stands to reason that you wouldn’t be reading this article if the designers had missed the mark here and it’s true, the first two collaborators, Hannah Louise Baxter and Ruth Williams, have each created something quite special. The collections comprise a range of belts, bags, purses and scarves which represent a superb prelude to what could well be a new movement in the fashion world.
photos: Aleksandra Modrzejewska
styling: I’ll Be Your Mirror
hair: Christopher Hutton
make-up: Madeleine V Brown
model: Georgia Garry at Model Team Scotland