Behind The Brand: Herschel

  • Style
posted by Chris Donald

The new Herschel Supply Co. range is looking fresh and we had the chance to catch up with the two main men behind the brand. Co-creators and business partners Jamie and Lyndon have been the key to keeping the Herschel aesthetic stylish yet practical and innovative since its inception.

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Hey guys, thanks for chatting with us today, so how did Herschel come about?
When we decided to start Herschel Supply we both had sales roles with large fashion and lifestyle brands. We were always at trade shows being exposed to what other brands were putting out and saw a hole in the bag and accessories space.
When you’re on the road as much as we are, bags and travel accessories become a large part of your day to day. We saw an area in the market that we could really improve upon by bringing a brand to life that was interested in storytelling. We didn’t think there was a brand exactly like Herschel Supply yet and there should have been one.

Herschel is a very distinct name is there any meaning or history behind that?
The company was named after a town where three generations of our family were raised in Herschel, Saskatchewan, Canada.  As kids we would visit Herschel a lot in the summers and it was always a special place. We would spend hours exploring the countryside and experimenting with different games. It signified endless opportunities for experimentation for us when we went to start the brand.

I understand that you guys, Jamie and Lyndon are involved in two different design aspects of the brand and products, can you tell me about that?
While we do have a formal split for reporting purposes with the company, we share all aspects of decision making. Lyndon heads up Sales, Operations and Finance, while Jamie oversees Design and Product. Marketing is the one aspect of the company that is formally shared between us both.

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How did you find both of these design aspects working together?
We just had a really good understanding of our strengths. We didn’t try to be clones of each other or work on top of each other. The scenario played out really well. It came to be that we were both more knowledgeable in certain areas and we applied this to the business to help build the brand, covering more ground with our expertise.

Which did you find to be more important to Herschel as a brand the aesthetic or the functionality?
It has to be a combination of both. First and foremost, brands need to stay innovative to stay relevant. Being design driven – not necessarily trying to reinvent yourself each season, but looking at how you can stay ahead and not get too comfortable after success.

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Herschel has become a prominent brand over the last few years what do you attribute to Herschel’s rise in popularity?
From day one we’ve focused on consistent and great storytelling. Being consistent in our message and our product offering has helped us take ownership over a space that was a bit forgotten in the style of retailers we were selling too. We were also able to come out with the right product at the right time to an undeserved market. We brought stories to life with the product we created and it resonated with people.

During Herschel’s conception what kind of associations and reactions did you want to see with Herschel products?
We wanted our product to have a timeless aesthetic. To take a classic silhouette and modernize it by adding the right features and functionality.
The first collection was received with overwhelming success and we had the pleasure of delivering product to some of the world’s best retailers.
Looking back, it was still small in the grand scheme of where we are today. But at the time we were really taken aback by the initial success of the product.

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Are there any collaborations or projects you are currently working on?
We have a couple partnerships coming out in the next few months that you’ll see hit the market in July. A headwear partnership we’re really looking forward to and a continuation on some multi-season partners we worked with in Spring 2016.

What’s the next step for Herschel? Any future endeavors?
We want to continue to innovate and bring unique ideas to life across the accessories market and other categories. We continue to get better at what we do every single day and we never want to stop improving.

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Shop Herschel here…