This week’s brand feature is on denim-heads Flying Horse, the small yet humble denim brand located near central style-hub Carnaby Street. With photos snapped by Joe Harper and words from the Flying Horse team themselves, I hope you’ll enjoy the spotlight on the lifestyle brand who lives by the motto "busy doing nothing" - definitely not the case after seeing these guys at work!
For those who have backpacked before, your first step in the store provides the instant feel of travels. Whether it’s the layers of washed and distressed blues, draped across old trinkets and detailed wood-smelling woodwork, the South-East Asian vibe is to say the least, noticeable. David Rix, one of the brand’s founders, had spent most of his time travelling the world before coming back to the UK to create Flying Horse Jeans, and it’s great to see that kind of inspiration stuck with him to create even the most novelty of details, such as each shirt coming with a free rugged Thai-like bracelet attached to the label. As you journey through the store, ogling at the jeans and shirts displayed across the walls, you’ll be able to find a stairwell near the back of the shop which leads to the studio; a hub where the Flying Horse team are hard at work, clad in Flying Horse denim.
Shop aesthetics aside, the brand have emphasised on the lifestyle side of fashion. While they aren’t trying to be the next big thing on the catwalk, they’re pushing their strength of their knowledge of denim to create solid and formidible products to compete with the heavily-saturated denim market. For those unaware, denim has always been lingering in the forefront of wardrobe staples. Everyone wants to invest in a good pair of jeans, and have that occasional denim shirt for when they want to look cool and trendy. This year, it isn’t just having that piece of denim in your outfit; it’s more about understanding the origins and all of those buzzwords such as “selvedge” and “raw”. Luckily, Flying Horse seem to know their stuff, unofficially dubbed as “real denim-enthusiasts” who seem to know everything and anything about the stuff.
Talking about the actual product itself; I’m wearing the Raw 44 jeans in the above photos. Raw denim is essentially denim that isn’t washed after production, which means that over time it eventually changes colour and forms patterns unique to the wearer, almost as if the jeans were telling a story. Matt, the graphics designer behind Flying Horse, will gladly show you his blue hands from wearing their new raw range - reinforcing the lifestyle element of the brand; jeans to be worn, worn and worn some more. They’re also selvedge, which refers to the finishing edge of the fabric, and in this case that means securing the stitching further to decrease chances of the fabric unravelling. This is shown by the red detailing on the jeans (shown below) which can be seen when the cuffs are rolled up. Flying Horse have gone steps further to show their appreciation for selvedge denim by adding minor details in the form of a “selvedge tag”, to the back pocket of the jeans and the sneaky pocket inside the front pocket (aka the watch pocket).
The fit is good. As vague as that sounds, it’s one of those shops you can walk into and know that if you’re looking to purchase a 32 waist, you can try a 32 waist on and it will actually fit, which many will appreciate struggling to fit into say a 32 from Topman. They also come in slim fits, but from what I understand there are no skinny fitting jeans available. I’ve never been a huge fan of extra-tight denim, and the classic look of having a standard-fit pair of jeans, with a wide cuff to show off both the selvedge detailing and the ankle of your boot, is a great, clean look.
The jeans certainly have a strong appeal in the current market filled with denim fanatics. I’ve always loved the denim shirt but it’s only been recently where I’ve started to wear the thick ol’ jeans again, probably in preparation for the colder seasons. Those looking to invest in a pair of jeans should definitely drop by the store and take a look at what’s in stock. If you’re looking to try something safe, there are still the washed and distressed variants which won’t turn your wardrobe blue with dye. If you want to try something new however, pick up some raw jeans. The team will be on hand to answer all your questions with regards to washing instructions, as well as style tips concerning rolling of the cuffs. And if you’re looking to complete the look, there’s the classic white henleys, and the yarn dyed shirts, which come in a variety of distressed-looking patterns on very soft, comfortably fitting fabric. Accessories? Well they’ve also got the chunky brown belts and leather bracelets which have a feeling of quality to them as opposed to what litters the highstreet these days. All-in-all, a packaged brand that’s deliberately rough around the edges; it definitely makes a change from the denim giants towering the market.
Check ‘em out on social channels Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, where they keep that washed, lifestyle effect with them throughout. Finishing with a quote from the bossman himself, I hope you liked the read.
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously, we like to have a bit more fun than the rest of the denim brands. That’s why it’s a light-hearted lifestyle brand as opposed to a straight jeans brand. But – we still take the product very seriously, and we want to get that across” - David Rix
- Mr. Boy