Like many great romantic affairs, Juliette Hogan’s sartorial love child, JHL, was conceived out of a self-serving desire.
“I’m a selfish designer,” admits the celebrated New Zealand fashion designer. “I like to design for myself and my lifestyle, so if I’m lacking something then I’ll try to incorporate it into our label.”
An established eponymous label lining the racks of her wardrobe, Hogan noticed that among the showcase of intricate designs and patterned fabrics there was an absence of basic staples. An idea was born. “For a while the only thing I was buying outside of the clothing we designed was a white T-shirt,” recalls Hogan. “I wanted to develop something that had a uniqueness to it and could be incorporated into our main line.”
So in 2020, Hogan released her first range of considered JHL basics. Six weeks later the collection had sold out.
After the world moved inwards following the global pandemic, JHL’s refined knit basics offered the perfect solution to a new age of conscious and unbound living, where priorities shifted to honest and adaptable design.
Featuring easy-care cotton tees, delicate cashmere tops and tapered tracksuits, the range fuses a luxe lounge style with thoughtful construction. “You can have some great pieces and as long as they are supported by basics you can have a huge variety in your wardrobe,” says Hogan. “That’s where JHL is so integral to wardrobes, as it allows you to get more use out of core staples.”
Before labels touting “ethically sourced” and “circular fashion” became commonplace, Hogan recognised that sustainability was the secret to good design. “It’s always been a part of our business that we need to be kind to our people and to the planet and be conscious of the processes that we use,” she says. “As sustainability has become a greater hot topic it’s exciting for us to spend more time and energy discussing it.”
An antidote to overconsumption and trend-driven design, JHL is a reminder that the best source of inspiration can often be found at home, hanging in our wardrobes. “I get inspired by the previous collections,” explains Hogan.
“I love that about the way I design. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel every time. Each collection is a real evolution of what I have done in the past.”