A superior knack for selecting the best in sartorial menswear, Rob Ferris is one of our head buyers at Harrolds. With years of experience in scouring the local and international fashion circuit for the latest and greatest in mens’ garments, Rob has a keen eye for distinguishing what makes ‘legacy’ labels and noteworthy newcomers alike.
So with the deluge of new menswear additions set to arrive in our AW21 wardrobe, we sat down with Rob to discern exactly what a buyer’s role entails each season.
From the reliable to the revolutionary, Rob combs through menswear’s most prolific makers to watch (and worship) for winter dressing. Suit up and strap in.
Rob has a keen eye for distinguishing what makes ‘legacy’ labels and noteworthy newcomers alike
Harrolds Buying Director, Rob Ferris
Harrolds Buying Director, Rob Ferris
A much-anticipated arrival for Harrolds this year is Jacquemus. What does the brand mean and embody to you? Why the coveted cult-status?
Simon Porte Jacquemus speaks directly to his consumer, a rare trait for an accomplished designer and one of the key reasons behind the success of his cult namesake brand. He runs his Instagram like a mood-board showering his 3.5m followers with images of his colourful, sun-drenched life which is covetable yet relatable. And that’s essentially what the brand is all about. The Jacquemus launch is a very exciting brand partnership this AW21 season and will pave the way for a new array of exciting Vanguard designers that we’re welcoming to the Harrolds family.
Seoul-based We11done is bringing faraway street-style here to Harrolds’ halls. What is the allure of the label?
We11done, pronounced “well done”, designs modern reinterpretations of bygone silhouettes. The Founders Dami Kwon and Jessica Jung are highly regarded in their native Seoul after launching their boutique Rare Market in 2014 housing a selection of curated international designers. Kwon and Jung collections are athleisure and streetwear-inspired, merged with shapes that reference the 1990’s and early 2000’s. You’ll note subtle nods to Korea that are felt through the nostalgic shapes and embellishment throughout their garments. Endorsed by some of the biggest names in music like G-Dragon who has a cult following with our clients, the brand is warmly welcomed at Harrolds adding a strong design aesthetic and further edge to our contemporary emerging designer department.
Walk us through the buying process this season. What kind of trends, materials or brand initiatives were you watching out for during the selection process?
We go into the market with an open mind, a lot of the trends become naturally obvious designer to designer whether it be a seasonal colour palette, print technique or genre (like workwear silhouettes). Given Australia’s location and climate, we must consider the weight and construction of all garments to make sure we stay seasonally relevant. There’s a movement among all brands to be more conscious of manufacturing techniques and methods which is, in essence, a trend itself. While reusing, recycling, and regenerating destock fabrics and materials to be more environmental and sustainable, brands are quick to point out these garments and this is something our clients are considering when making a purchase. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Marine Serre for SS22, a brand where regenerating fabric is at the forefront of every move.
A stalwart exclusive in our Collins St store, Dior is never going out of style. How is the legacy fashion house staying relevant to the modern Harrolds man today?
Under the direction of Kim Jones not only has he made the Oblique print more relevant than ever by using the house signature across all categories, but it also retains relevance by merging the print with artists or brands Dior has collaborated with. This can be seen from AW20’s Stussy collaboration to LA-born and NYC-based artist Kenny Scharf for AW21, through to the latest collection launched in partnership with Travis Scott’s brand Cactus Jack for SS22. Jones has been strategic with his collaborators, leaning on Stussy streetwear edge, Kenny’s bold colourful works and Travis Scott’s iconic status. All of these artistic odes are helping Dior grow in status, rendering lifelong followers on the brand eternally engaged.
What will you be dressing in from the menagerie of menswear arrivals for eveningwear?
Depending on the occasion. Alternative tailoring from Thom Browne, shrunken silhouettes to oversized tailoring for Maison Margiela, or more conventional fitted suiting from Tom Ford.
And for the office?
Lots of jersey mixed with tailoring and denim. My picks right now include Maison Margiela, Acne Studios, Jacquemus and Craig Green.
For off-duty weekend dressing?
My weekend and Monday-Friday dress rarely differs, but I’m also embracing Thom Browne running clothing as an addition to my gym wardrobe.
Shop Rob’s selects now at Harrolds online or in-store, or stay tuned for the next releases he’s teased. Patience, as they say, is a virtue.