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Essential Journal

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From Cask to Coat

We take a closer look at the inspired collaboration between menswear designer, Kestin Hare and Speyside whisky distillery, BenRiach

words by Elliot RAMSEY

For his latest collection, A Summer on Speyside, Kestin Hare has teamed up with the BenRiach whisky distillery, based in the renowned Speyside region of Scotland, to produce five fresh, heritage-inspired garments. All uniquely influenced by the traditional distilling methods of BenRiach and the architecture of the area, this unconventional collaboration marks the celebration of two uniquely Scottish creations.

Founded in 1898 by John Duff, the BenRiach distillery has a rich and varied history, and is one of two remaining distilleries in Speyside that uses malted barley from its own on-site floor maltings. With these distinct methods at the heart of its practice, it is now well known for producing some of the most experimental casks in the area, through its novel and creative approaches to the distillation process.

As a relatively young brand, Kestin Hare was established in 2014 with the clear aim of producing high quality, wearable fashion for the modern man. Part of its mission is to champion the quality and character of UK manufacturing, all the while capturing the quirks and peculiarities of Hare’s native Scotland. Using the finest British, Japanese and Italian cloth, the brand strives to push the boundaries of functional, concept-driven fashion.

Conceived with the landscape of Speyside in mind, the collection follows a pastoral colour palette inspired by the golden sand and green grass found within the area. This is a love letter to the region’s natural beauty and a homecoming, reflecting on summers spent revelling in the charm of its unspoilt environment. Influenced by golfing and fishing attire, the collection takes the best of what BenRiach represents and translates it into a series of garments inspired by history and characterised by a sense of Scottish pride.

Featuring five new garments including the Shop Coat, the Torness Parka and the Traveller Jacket, Hare’s latest collection is produced in conjunction with Dundee-based fabric mill Halley Stevensons, who dye the clothing using traditional techniques to represent the hues of BenRiach’s Curiositas Aged 10 Years and the unpeated four cask matured Aged 21 Years. Also taking inspiration from the distillery’s eclectic whisky casks, Hare has created a digital cask print which is featured on the lightweight ripstop nylon of the Fatigue Short and the Storr Pant.

A Summer on Speyside has functionality at its heart, using water-resistant fabrics to strike the perfect balance between durable fashion and timeless, minimalist design, and as Hare himself notes: ‘We have developed a high impact capsule collection which reflects real depth and meaning to the story’. But, ultimately, what ties together these two uniquely Scottish brands is their common ethos of striving to produce a product as much inspired by history as it is committed to the pursuit of quality and integrity. EJ