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Henri Lloyd launch their Fremantle range in London

by Mark Jardine 30 May 04:00 PDT 29 May 2019
Henri-Lloyd Lead Designer Jonas Olsson © Mark Jardine

Henri Lloyd is back. On Wednesday night in London at The Army Gym, in Covent Garden, the new team behind the iconic brand showcased their new Fremantle range produced in their own dedicated European factory to a select group of retailers and journalists.

The most noticeable points of the Fremantle range are simplicity combined with premium materials and innovative features. A durable, light-weight collection aimed at the inshore keelboat and sportsboat sailor.

I spoke with Jonas Olsson, who is the Creative Director for Henri Lloyd, about the influences and philosophy behind the Fremantle collection: "I wanted to create a collection that people would instantly recognise as Henri Lloyd. We started with a blank sheet of paper, but we felt people needed something they could recognise from the past, but also make the design very modern."

With the materials, Henri Lloyd have chosen Gore-Tex Pro, simply the best on the market, which Jonas said was an easy decision to make for a premium product:

"I really like the feel when you're wearing it. It slides easily against your mid-layers and is exceptionally comfortable. It has the best breathability and waterproofness on the market today."

The Fremantle design is very distinctive with the two blue stripes and single orange stripe, harking back to the early Henri Lloyd designs but also with its own individuality. Jonas explained how they came about the design:

"It was our CEO Magnus Liljeblad who had a meeting in the old Manchester offices and took a bunch of photos of past Henri Lloyd gear. I saw one photo of a product that was based on the gear Dennis Connor wore when Stars and Stripes won the Americas Cup in 1987 in Fremantle. It was a stunning design and I remembered it from a previous Henri Lloyd collection and thought this would be a good starting point."

Henri Lloyd may have previously been more associated with the offshore market, but the Fremantle collection is firmly performance focussed and aimed at the day-sailor keelboat market, with lightweight and flexible products.

"We know there's a bigger potential in this market, and the people who are involved in Henri Lloyd now are more into this kind of sailing. I always believe you should choose your direction according to where you have the passion."

There are a few nifty features on the jacket, such as the spray guard (similar to a snow guard on a ski jacket), breeze clip and detachable hood. Jonas ran us through these design elements:

"Our UK Country Manager Graham Allen came up with the idea of the breeze clip. We tried the jacket on and didn't really understand the spray guard. He was first a bit hesitant as it was more like a snow skirt, but when he tried it he thought it was a great functional feature what's more you could have the jacket open to help with ventilation! He then suggested that if there was a higher button then you could have your jacket open without it flapping around."

The detachable hood design is all about getting rid of the bulkiness and stiffness in the neck area.

"It's all about comfort,", explained Jonas. "If you're a comfortable sailor then you're a happy sailor."

Ross Partridge, Performance Sales Manager in the UK, said of the collection:

"I've been on and off boats for the last 20 years and racing for the past 15, so have known the brand man and boy. I've always had a fascination with the brand, and when I saw the collection, I was almost relieved that the new team had got it so right. I'd seen designs from sketchbook all the way through to final product, following the journey all the way though and I believe even on the detailing they've got it exactly right for what a keelboat sailor is looking for today."

Find our more about the Fremantle collection at www.henrilloyd.com.

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