//By Aleks Cvetkovic//
When I first starting chatting to Adam and Charlotte, the dynamic duo behind The Worker’s Club, it struck me that between them they’ve accomplished a hell of a lot in a relatively short space of time; not just in building TWC, but in all they’d done beforehand too.
Moreover, they’ve not really made a fuss about their achievements, like some other designers do. As with many independent makers who’d much rather spend their time sketching designs or visiting factories, I think Adam’s a little too modest for his own good. So, I’ve taken it upon myself to appropriate the brand’s journal to give you a little context.
The Worker’s Club came into being thanks in no small part to experience gained through Adam’s previous design work. We pick up the story in 2013, when, after a few years working under a succession of different creative directors at Dunhill (including John Ray, Richard James and Kim Jones), Adam wrapped up his role as Head of Design in search of something new.
In fact, a tip-off from a colleague gave him a head start, and he began to moonlight on his first freelance design gig while serving notice at Dunhill, which is fitting, because said gig was with Arianne Phillips, the costume designer for Matthew Vaughn’s cult movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, the first of the Kingsman trilogy. “I was something of a double-agent, ironically,” Adam says. “It was a very fun time. I consulted on the movie’s tailoring design and it was a surreal experience being on set; fitting Samuel L. Jackson and sitting with Michael Caine in his trailer.”
This three-month whirlwind not only led Adam to work on the following two movies, but also to his next major project. Matthew Vaughn’s original vision for Kingsman was to create a stylish movie that audiences could shop, and he needed a retail partner to make this happen. Mr Porter took up the challenge, and so Adam dived headfirst into designing the first exclusive Kingsman collection with Mr Porter; collaborating with the likes of Drake’s, Turnbull & Asser and Cutler & Gross to create unique product that was true to the film’s design.
“When we started on the first collection, Mr Porter didn’t have an in-house design team, so it was very full-on; I was on the phones ordering bulk fabric with a calculator most of the time. It really was like setting up your own label,” he says. Moreover, Adam’s done this for Mr Porter not once, but twice. In 2017, he conceptualised, designed and sent Mr Porter’s first own-label collection, Mr P, into production. Grounded on the idea of well-made, wearable staples, the collection has since grown to one of Mr Porter’s largest and most popular product lines.
All the while, his plans for The Worker’s Club were slowly taking shape. Adam spent months worth of evenings and weekends configuring what the first TWC products could look like with Charlotte, exploring where and how they’d have them made. ‘The Works’ outerwear system was the brand’s first cornerstone; a technical shell jacket with a detachable hood, into which either a quilted bomber or detachable wool gilet could be zipped for year-round wearability. “We wanted to give our outerwear the same attention and thought that fashion brands will give to an entire seasonal collection,” Adam says. “We deliberately wanted to start with investment pieces, rather than treat TWC as seasonal fashion brand.” True to form, The Works outerwear system remains a popular staple in the TWC wheelhouse today.
It also caught the attention of Mr Porter’s buying team. “When we were ready, we showed The Works jackets to Mr Porter,” Adam tells me. “Almost out of nowhere Mr Porter said, ‘okay, we’ll buy the lot.’ That was another surreal moment. Subsequently, we found ourselves building out and self-funding a growing collection. I had a denim pattern I’d be working on as a personal project, so our jeans came next and we grew the brand from there.”
Nowadays, Adam balances his time between working on TWC and design consultancy for other much-loved British brands. He’s the creative lead behind Connolly England’s ever-popular Driving Collection, fulfilling Connolly’s promise to provide gentlemen with taste “everything but the motor”. If you haven’t checked Connolly out, you should, it’s exquisite. In the autumn the first collection he’s designed for legendary rainwear-maker Mackintosh will hit the shelves, inspired by the brand’s extensive archives in the brand’s Scottish workshop.
All this is worth thinking about when you shop with The Worker’s Club. It’s proof that you’re supporting a designer who knows his stuff, and who’s worked across a variety of different products and categories. When you stop and think about it, you can sense this breadth in TWC’s collections. Everything is purposeful and has a reason for being; designed to complement the other elements in each drop, whether denim, shirting or outerwear.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that all this design experience adds up. Today, The Worker’s Club really does offer, as Adam so often says, “the perfect balance between form and function.”