New and vibrant to London’s creative scene is Arthur Yates’ label Bruta. Bruta approaches the concept of luxury from a radical perspective, mixing romantic with tender urban London streetwear. Drawing on his past travels and artistic background for inspiration, Yates dives into the worlds of art, history, culture and music to create hand embroidered, elegant, affordable shirts. Looking at the most recent SS16 collection, Yates joins us at METAL in London to unravel his journey and creative process.
Where did you grow up? How did you become interested in fashion?
I grew up in London and the South of France. I have always been interested in fashion – I like the idea that lots of people can own, experience, and wear your little works of art.
When, how and why did you decide to launch Bruta?
I launched Bruta a year ago. I had a business where we supplied high street chains with fast fashion at the same time as putting on art shows displaying my own art. I decided I wanted to bring those two worlds together and create a brand that I was proud of.
What are your values and aims for the brand?
I want to bring a little bit of elegance to everyday dressing. With Bruta I wanted to mix the romantic and tender with urban London streetwear. Having grown up in the South of France and London, I draw inspiration from my background and what I know.
What is your vision on fashion?
People's idea of what is aspirational is constantly changing, and my idea of luxury is to be inclusive and democratic. With Bruta we try and make clothes at an affordable price to allow our youthful customer to indulge in our world!
What are some particular details from the most recent collection?
The SS16 collection, which is currently in stores, was inspired by the Argentinian Gauchos. They are South American cowboys, and with that in mind we started using embroidery techniques used on classic cowboys shirts, which I really love.
What is your creative process?
I usually explore a few ideas inspired by art, history, music or culture. Once I fall in love with an idea I hand draw designs and studies on this topic. I then start sampling this ideas with factories, which is usually where you have to be pragmatic and solve nitty gritty manufacturing issues. In fashion you have to find a nice balance between being creative and creating wearable clothes.
I know that you have a strong background in art. Do you feel that this influences the way in which you approach fashion? If so, how?
I am always influenced by art and artists. With Bruta I have been mostly inspired by post-impressionist and fauvist art, by people like Gauguin, Matisse, Vuillard and Sérusier. I like the hand of the artists to be felt in the designs, like in all post-impressionist art.
Rather hosting a presentation or event to present the collection, you have chosen to host one-to-one appointments with clients. Is there a particular reason for this?
I like to have personal relationship with people who are interested in Bruta. It gives me the opportunity to present the collection more intimately.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to continue to build the range into new product. When we launched with Liberty they gave me the opportunity to paint a mural in the menswear department – I would love to take part in more exciting projects like that one.