The Adelaide Review speaks to the two men behind new brand TY-LR Man (designer Joshua Davies and brand manager James Williamson) about the label’s debut menswear collection.
The TY-LR Man formula is simple – a considered and clean aesthetic with contemporary styling. The new label to come out of the expanding Australian Fashion Labels group, TY-LR Man is set to fill the much-needed gap in Australian men’s fashion.
There is a sense of luxury in the debut collection’s fabrications, a conscious decision from the initial concept, as brand manager Williamson explains. “We were keen to deliver an elevated level of product with a considered approach taken to each individual piece, as this reflects both our aesthetic and personal taste in clothing,” Williamson says.
“Each fabric we chose we wanted to make sure embodied this sense of elevation.” Davies adds: “We definitely sourced far and wide for our first range: shirting from Japan, wool suiting from Italy as well as leather from India and Denim from Turkey. The colour palette remained fairly tight, conservative even (being a new label to market) but I think that actually proved as a service to our general aesthetic, in keeping a coherent luxury feel throughout. I like the slight nod to the 90s, the dorky height and volume of the trousers, but paired with a double monk-strap shoe. It’s kind of the TY-LR way, a tuxedo paired with sneakers for instance. Juxtaposed, understated; just cool.”
With Davies’ father working in apparel and specialising in technical outerwear for skiing and the outdoors, moving into tailoring straight after school was a natural step for the designer. “I have a fairly entrenched appreciation of fabric,” Davies says.
“As a result, I think it’s organically become the building block around the majority of our ideas here at TY-LR. When it came to watching my father develop product, it was all about the fabric’s functionality. He’d hate to hear it, but for TY-LR it’s all about the hand-feel and the texture.
“I want someone to pick up a TY-LR product and see something they didn’t six-feet away. It can be the slub in the fabric, a faint stripe or texture. This idea of using fabric as a focal point of design – incorporated with a focus around cut and finish – enables us to produce on trend, as well as re-interpretations of classic shapes, with a modern, TY-LR approach.”
For Davies, fabric is definitely a focal point and will always be the starting point with a new collection.
“Colour will trend, and moodboards contribute to inspiration, but if your fabric is off, your idea will never translate,” he says.
Originally working with UK brand River Island, Williamson made the move to Australia to join the Australian Fashion Labels family. Reflecting on the differences in culture between the two countries, he notes how the lifestyle in Australia is more balanced.
“I feel like Australians take pride in their craft, while also valuing their time spent outside of the work environment,” he says.
“This is obviously a difference I am more than happy to adjust to! I’d say the biggest challenge for me has actually been the language barrier. I come from the North of England, so despite both countries speaking English we obviously have very different accents, names for most everyday objects and different phrasing. I’ve often found myself saying something only to be met with a confused face!” Every day is different for the TY-LR Man team. Williamson explains how the two work together.
“Josh focuses on the product and design concept of the garments, while as brand manager; my role is more focused on the overview and architecture of the brand, including the buying and planning sides to the business.”
Set for a February 2016 release, Davies describes the intention to establish TY-LR as a solid brand name that will grow organically.
“I’d like TY-LR to establish itself as a brand synonymous with effortless style, and well-made product at an attainable price point. I’m sure we’ll delve into other areas as we grow, but for now I’d be happy with that brand association. Saying that, a collaboration could be fun.”
Williamson: ”As the brand grows we’ll look to explore other accessories that complement and complete the TY-LR brand. Footwear is a personal passion of mine so I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before you see something from us.”