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Highsnobiety Q&A February, 1 2013

A Conversation with Herschel Supply Co.’s Jamie and Lyndon Cormack

Keeping up with our recent influx of interviews, we had the opportunity to speak with brothers Jamie and Lyndon Cormack of Herschel Supply Co. Founded in 2009, the brothers adopted the name of the small town where three generations of their family grew up.

The company has grown tremendously since its humble beginnings in Vancouver, Canada and its products can now be found in cities all over the world. Take a look below for the full interview and check out their recently released Spring 2013 lookbook.

Why start with bags instead of clothing or any other line of fashion?

JC: When we started Herschel Supply we saw that there was space in the accessories
market for a bag company like ours; a company that was modernizing vintage
shapes and silhouettes. Our goal was to create a sophisticated, utilitarian product
that was simplistic and offered a high attention to detail. Most of the bags in the
market were becoming overly technical and we wanted to be the first company to
offer an alternative. For us, bags are our main focus. Most brands created bags to
complement the line, but we took the opposite approach.

Most of your bags are designed with a rural aesthetic yet are popular among
urbanites, why do you think that is?

LC: Backpacks have roots as an outdoor product. People originally bought
backpacks to go traveling, hiking, etc. They weren’t necessarily created as an
urban product. This is why our bags have an outdoor aesthetic to them. We like to
reference those types of designs. I think that people are naturally drawn to nostalgic
products overall.

JC: At our core, we design simple, functional and great looking bags. Drawing
inspiration from the rural environment, our bags are modernized for the urbanite.
It’s because of this design aesthetic that we feel our bags resonate with consumers.

Where do you draw inspiration from during the design process?

JC: Inspiration comes from everywhere and I mean that in a literal sense. I have the
privilege of being able to frequently travel for work and it is through all the travel
that I find many of my inspirations. That being said, travel is not my only source of
inspiration. I find inspiration everywhere; from contemporary dress shoes to the
unique color schemes of modern bikes. I’m fortunate enough to be able to draw
from the consumer point of view and from a design point of view. To me, great
design will always be appealing.

How do you implement trends with pieces that are designed to be timeless?

JC: Trends can come and go, but a classic shape will remain timeless. We try to
remain consistent with our details. No matter what Herschel Supply product is
being purchased, consumers can expect the same leather detailing, cotton poly
fabric liner, and woven logo patches as familiar details of our product.

How does the design process differ when working with another brand like
your collaboration with Mark McNairy?

JC: In our eyes we see collaborations as more of a partnership. It’s very important to
make sure that the end products being created aren’t overdesigned and can still fit
within the premises of both brands. The goal of partnerships we invest time into are
to elevate both brands in a way that makes sense to everyone involved.

LC: Partnerships are much like a conversation. With Mark, we found that he wanted
to create a bag that a young New Yorker could carry around everyday. When you
take a look at the design, you can see how that process came to fruition in the
finished product. We used a heavy weight cotton canvas liner, Cordura fabric, and
stronger zippers to ensure that it stood the test of time.

Will we ever see a Herschel Supply Co. clothing collection?

LC: “Ever” is a very long time and we would never rule anything out. Jamie and I
are both lovers of design, with clothing being one part of it. We have an amazing
backpack and bag line that we are focusing on growing. The same goes for our line
of accessories.

JC: For us product extensions have to complement our core products. Laptop sleeves
and wallets all work organically with our backpacks and duffels.

What can we look forward to from Herschel Supply Co in the future?

JC: Since our very first season we’ve been adding new colors and new silhouettes
and are looking to continue along that path. Our upcoming Spring 2013 collection
will be our biggest collection to date. We’ve expanded our core line and
experimented heavily with materials and construction techniques for the products
being offered in both the Invitational and Bad Hills Collections.

LC: Moving forward, we will continue to collaborate with the best brands and the
best individuals in the world. We have many interesting collaborations coming
down the pipeline and cannot wait to share them with everyone soon enough.

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