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In Conversation

Haaning and Htoon

Published by Annabel Arrowsmith | In Conversation, Fashion, Conversations
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At London Fashion Week this season, we saw Scandinavian fashion come out to a great response. The minimalistic and clean approach to fashion from that part of the world is becoming a phenomenon in our industry and looks that echoed its classic qualities featured in collections from designers worldwide.

While having a nosey through the Scandinavian exhibition at LFW I spoke to two designers whose collection really spoke to me, Marianne Haaning and Min Htoon. London-born Htoon and Scandinavian Haaning are the dynamic design duo that combine the edginess of London with the simplicity of Scandinavia to create their brand, Haaning & Htoon.

A traveller myself, their mantra “Those who wander aren’t always lost” makes perfect sense. Their brand philosophy; to fill the need for luxury travel products for real women at good prices. The result; a sophisticated, confident and strong look. Or as they like to put it, “The New Classic”.

These two, although not entirely new to design, are new to us. After experiencing immense success in their home market they have decided to share their secrets over here in London. The new collection is amazing and is designed more for our market by incorporating items such as capes that are less practical in Scandinavia but are perfect for London.

After meeting Haaning & Htoon at Fashion Week I was intrigued so caught up with them to find out a bit more about what compelled their extension to London.

Describe your own style and how you relate it to the brand.
Marianne – Scandinavia simplicity.
Min – British heritage meets rock. I believe a pair of skinny jeans is essential for any woman's wardrobe. I always push for a more British edge. Marianne comes from a more conceptual angle. I come from a male perceptive and Marianne understands what women like to wear.

Why do you want to break into the UK market and what was the push for you to actually do it?
Min – I love the British market and how it continues to embrace the new, yet maintains its identity. From the UK we want to show some real strength on home turf. Coming from Saint Martin’s (Min is a Central Saint Martin’s graduate) there's always a sense making our mark on fashion in London.

Why do you think that UK audiences will relate to H&H?
Min – Scandinavia fashion is feeling so on point now and with the British edge it looks fresh. The response has been great so far.

What’s your favorite thing about the UK?
Min – The pub and Liberties.

Are you thinking about going global?
Min & Marianne – Most definitely! We aim to become a house hold name.

Do you two deal with the business side of the brand or do you get outside help?
Min & Marianne – We do get help with logistics and accounting because it’s impossible to do everything. But both of us have a strong understanding of business. Every detail from cost of a button to the best way to export our product is tightly controlled by us.

Describe your experience at LFW.
Min – Loved it! From meeting editors from Italy to important buyers, it has been a very positive experience and great to be involved in something so positive.

What are the best/worst things about working together?
Min – It's impossible to sneak down the pub let alone call in sick!

When’s the new collection out? (I’ve got my eye on a certain dress!)
Min – August.

What would be your words of wisdom to any budding designers out there?
Min – You have to love fashion! And be nice.

And nice they were! It was so great to talk to Haaning and Htoon and feel the enthusiasm and passion for their art through their conversation. It made me excited to see such revolutionary fashion coming from a part of the world that, up until recently, wasn’t really thought about in the fashion industry. These guys have arrived, and they’re here to stay.

For more information about Haaning & Htoon, check out their website www.haaningandhtoon.com.

Fresh from university, Annabel writes for two online fashion magazines and her own fashion blog.
Category In Conversation, Fashion, Conversations
Tags haaning & htoon