Renowned for its colourful designs and eccentric patterns, luxury knitwear label Leutton Postle boasts distinctive collections in a characteristic aesthetic. Founded in 2011 as a “labour of love” between long-time friends and academic peers Sam Leutton and Jenny Postle, the brand has since garnered a celebrated position in the realm of contemporary fashion design.
Sam and Jenny met in 2005 while working toward their BA at Central Saint Martins. Similar tastes and like interests in knitwear brought them together, resulting in a collaborative union between the two young designers. “We always liked a lot of the same things and that just grew as we progressed through college,” Jenny explained during an interview with ROOMS. “That being said, we do also have very clear differences in taste.” However, even with apparent individual preferences, the two were undeniably cut from the same cloth. Thus, following the success of Jenny’s MA/ AW11 line – a collection of avant-garde garments adorned with thoughtfully mismatched patchwork – and upon Sam’s return from Shanghai, where she spent time exploring knitwear innovation, the pair set to begin their first joint undertaking: their SS12 Collection.
Featuring intricate, polychromatic patterns, a playful plethora of textures, and asymmetrical silhouettes, the SS12 Collection made its debut at London Fashion Week in September of 2011. While, once on the runway, the collection appeared effortlessly seamless and polished, preparation for the show was anything but. While Sam notes that, “in a very disorganised manner we manically knitted [the] collection” and Jenny recollects the process as “total mayhem,” their debut proved to be a huge success, with big names like Vogue and Grazia taking notice.
Although the label’s exciting debut put Leutton Postle on the map, the up-and-coming duo remained humble and determined. “Showing in London was the biggest extravagance really, and we also did Paris Fashion Week and worked with PR, but we didn’t do anything dramatically different or off the wall to get attention – just knitted!”
And knit they did.
In the three years since its premiere, Leutton Postle has presented five additional collections, each incorporating a unique twist on the label’s characteristic approach: a focus on pattern, texture, and colour. In fact, to Sam, the presence of vivid, saturated colour is just as important to the design process as it is to the finished garments. “While I just love colour, I think I work with colour more that I actually wear it. If you’re looking at colours all day, it’s certain to have a positive effect on you.” Undoubtedly, this colour-centric outlook explains the inexhaustible prevalence of bright hues and vivid tones characteristic of the Leutton Postle label.
In addition to this emphasis on aesthetics, there remains an inherent commitment to quality and extensive attention to detail in their designs. While the label has undoubtedly seen massive success on the glitzy catwalk, Jenny and Sam also pride their garments on their everyday, ready-to-wear possibilities. “We love to cater to all sorts of men and women with different styles. Knitwear is so versatile so people can tweak it to match their own styles.” That is why, in addition to its seasonal collections, Leutton Postle has recently opted to collaborate with accessible brands outside of the fashion realm – the most recent being Kopparberg, a celebrated cider company.
Given Leutton Postle’s quirky aesthetic and Kopparberg’s Scandanavian roots, the two brands teamed up to create a festive, cosy knit jumper. “Kopparberg wanted to collaborate with a knitwear label for their cosy Spiced Apple Cider. It seemed like the perfect fit. The jumper is typically Leutton Postle in that it is patterned and very colourful but with a little twist, as we took inspiration from Kopparberg’s heritage, the town itself, and traditional Swedish knitwear patterns.” Like all of Leutton Postle’s designs, this knit conveys an innovative, re-imagined approach to fashion. Jenny notes that, “it was really fun to work on the deconstruction of the Swedish knit, as it's such a recognisable textile pattern in its original form.”
So, what’s next for the designing duo? In addition to collaborations and, of course, new collections, both Sam and Jenny have been experimenting with fashion film – a feat that Jenny calls “a huge step for us that has really shaped our last 2 years.” Still, not all of Leutton Postle’s planned projects are as fashion-forward or even as obvious. When asked what is next on the agenda, it became clear that the pair is eager and excited to try on different hats. “I’d like to make my own alcohol,” Sam proclaimed. “I have a really good idea, but it’s a secret for now.”
Clearly, Leutton Postle has a thing or two up their sleeves.