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Ford Vignale Lifestyle two men in front of a house and two red buses going by

TIME IS THE JEWEL

SARTORIAL STREET STYLE

Londoners Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford are the driving force behind a British fashion brand famed for mixing sartorial elegance with urban street style. This father and son team are also ambassadors for Ford Vignale, which gave us the perfect excuse to pay them a visit.

Ford Vignale Lifestyle two men sitting at the table in The Clove Club

Norman Road: a quiet street in a multicultural part of north of London called Seven Sisters. There’s nothing to indicate that fashion brand Casely-Hayford has an office here – apart from a shiny black Ford Mondeo Vignale outside it. Through an enormous garage door, we enter the spacious studio where Joe (60) and Charlie (30) work. It’s only the second time father and son have met this week. They’re coping with crazy schedules and working on various projects. Each day brings a different story. “This morning, we unexpectedly received an email from Japan that a big, prestigious department store there is interested in opening a pop-up shop of our brand,” says Joe, who established his international reputation as a fashion designer in the mid-1980s. It’s a great opportunity and they’ll discuss it over lunch today in the Clove Club, a restaurant highly praised for its effortless design and modern British cuisine and owned by a friend.

High-end skills

Joe learned his craft in Savile Row, the London street famous for bespoke tailoring and clients such as members of the royal family and the UK prime minister. Joe still employs many high-end English tailoring skills in the collection but he combines them with modern street style. This blend of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary tastes, also key values for Ford Vignale, was at the heart of a collaboration that now sees Joe and Charlie as ambassadors for Ford Vignale.

Ford Vignale Lifestyle box with a shirt and a sketch of clothes' design

Slowly does it

Casely-Hayford clothing is being sold in exclusive boutiques all over the world. Joe and Charlie have ambitions for their own store but are in no rush. Charlie: “We’ve seen a lot of brands come and go. We’re not really up for making the same mistake. It takes decades to develop a [fashion] house. Just think about the big fashion houses who have been around for centuries. The kind of fashion we are developing isn’t necessarily about being fast-paced – although that’s what many people associate fashion with.”

What luxury is all about

Joe agrees: ”Our brand is about longevity. Of course, we are subconsciously influenced by trends and I think it’s important to reflect on what people want, in order to have market presence. But I think my style transcends fashion. A lot of items I wear appear to be classic, but they are actually contemporary. Take the collar of this jacket: it looks simple, but you really need cutting skills to create it. People are seeking out forgotten crafts more and more. This is what luxury is all about for us: allowing a craftsman the time to make something really beautiful. That’s an important element of modern-day luxury.”

Ford Vignale Lifestyle two men walking down the street and a rack with coats
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