During London Collection: Men 2015, which was held in the English capital from the 11th to the 15th of June, 5 STYLE had the privilege to be invited to the designers showrooms and have a look at the new collections of clothes and accessories for the new season.
There we spotted a very stylish brand of shoes: Augustus Pili. We were so impressed by the work these guys did that we decided to ask a few question to the founder: Jalil Rahman, a very inspiring man.
Can you give us a short introduction about your brand?
Augustus Pili is the reincarnation of classic English craftsmanship in colour – both in complexion and in character. I am a self-taught designer and have worked for numerous British brands in my career. The Augustus Pili brand was born from the thought ‘what if British craftsmanship could be reborn today?’
The Magnus is the signature model of the collection, a classic Oxford shoe with modern lines and vivid contrasts designed in a way that is comfortable with blasphemies of style, be they fabric or colour. The Magnus range is proudly handmade in Northampton, England by master craftsmen. Each pair undergoes 200 unique processes before they are ready to be sold.
The Nelson is our signature sneaker model. It too is handmade and designed with the same principles of modern lines and vivid contrasts.
What were your inspirations for the collection?
Our designs are strongly inspired by the past but not constrained by it. This season, Autumn/Winter 2015, the inspiration was retro comic book covers, utilising the unique colour combinations to guide the collection.
For next season, Spring/Summer 2016, we’ve been looking into nature. I was inspired by trips to the Natural History Museum and pioneering British naturalists from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries who would travel to the tropics and return with intricate drawings of fantastic flora and fauna.
The inspiration for this collection is birds of paradise. Imagine: what if a beautiful bird of paradise could be reincarnated as a classic British men’s’ shoe. We previewed the collection at London Collections: Men in June 2015.
Who would you say is your target customer?
In terms of a target customer for the brand, we are interested in interesting men doing interesting things with their lives. Self-starters and initiative takers. It could be a social enterprise, it could be start-up. It could be a quest for self-improvement. It’s not too important what it is. What are you passionate about? What can we learn from that? We are interested in meeting those types of people as we too pursue our passion. That meeting point is an inexhaustible well of inspiration and motivation.
What can we expect of Augustus Pili in 2016?
It’s not quite time to talk about our works in progress but please watch this space. I was fortunate enough to be awarded the British Footwear Association’s ‘Accelerated Development’ mentoring programme for 2015. I am working closely with the CEO of a large British footwear company this year and so we have very strong expectations for our plans in the pipeline for 2016 and beyond, both creatively and operationally. We are currently selling well through word-of-mouth, including bespoke editions for certain clients who embody our vision but we intend to launch our global e-commerce shop AugustusPili.com later this summer.
What one tip would you give to those starting out?
Perseverance is key; when I first started the building blocks of this company I came across a hugely inspirational quote that has remained with me: “For all men their movements are towards the highest ambition. But rare among men are those who persist”.