In Conversation | Cawley Studios
Cawley Studios is an independent clothing brand, known for using high-quality, natural fabrics and celebrating British manufacturing. Based and made in London, their wares are effortlessly cool and considered, setting a benchmark for functional, timeless British clothing design. Folk is lucky enough to have some of their pieces available in our women’s store at 53 Lambs Conduit Street. We sat down with Hannah Cawley, the founder of the label, to discuss their ethos and where the label is headed next.
When designing a collection, what's your starting point?
Fabrics are usually our starting point. We tend to work with the same fabric mills so at the start of the collection we will get in touch with them and ask if there's been any new developments or stock in. Then they'll come to the studio and show us some of the fabrics they’re excited about. We also work with a lot of mills in Japan so they'll send us fabrics to choose from and we will go through those, making selections of what we think looks interesting and would complement our styles.
What would you say is the best thing about what you do?
There are so many wonderful things that come with having a brand, I would say the freedom to have complete creative direction is, for me, the most exciting thing. Sourcing new fabrics and researching at the start of the season is always a lot of fun.
Why do you think Cawley and Folk are such a good pairing?
We both champion British makers. I think we also share the same love for pieces that are made from really good quality fabrics. Initially, I didn't realise that Folk Women stocked other brands. I think it's a really amazing thing to do. I've taken some of that on board, wanting to champion other people's labels by showcasing objects made by artists on our website. It’s allowed me to offer customers something that is different whilst complementing our label at the same time.
How do you want people to feel in your clothes?
We offer a range of different pieces for different occasions. But our main line focuses on comfort- everyday pieces that you feel relaxed in and could dress up or down. We've branched out into some other worlds now with doing Bridal gowns, but again I think comfort still applies. We want the brides to feel both special and comfortable.
What advice you might give to a young creative wanting to set up an independent label like yours?
I started out by making clothes that I wanted to wear, this is still at the core of the brand. Producing pieces that would make me feel confident and comfortable and hoping others would feel this way when wearing our pieces too. The best advice I can give is to be true to yourself and design pieces you'd like to wear.
Can you tell us a bit about what's coming up for Cawley?
We've just done a collaboration with the William Morris Gallery. We went into their archive, sourced a Mac that William wore while painting, and translated that onto our oilskins. It launched for London Design Festival. We're also moving into a larger studio next week (it's got a roof terrace so we're very excited about that!). We're going to start doing smocking workshops in that new space. You’ll be able to come and smock your own dress and then get it made and you’ll receive it in the post a few weeks later. Look out for that in the coming months, it’ll be pretty magical and Christmassy.
Thank you Hannah!
Cawley is available in store at Folk Womens, 53 Lambs Conduit Street, WC1
Studio photography - Sophie Davidson | Model photography - Hannah Cawley