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Countryside Fashion

PUBLISHED: 17:22 11 September 2014 | UPDATED: 09:42 12 September 2014

Phoebe wearing the Rebecca Shift Dress (£62.00) with the Sienna Silk Dress (£198.00)

Phoebe wearing the Rebecca Shift Dress (£62.00) with the Sienna Silk Dress (£198.00)

Archant

Somerset brand Henry Hunt this year celebrates its fifth anniversary. Gemma Clapp talks to designer Phoebe Garlick about how the stunning Blackdown Hills influences her work

Merging unique high fashion designs and quality local fabrics, without the price rocketing, is no mean feat, but is something that 24-year-old Phoebe Garlick is extremely passionate about. It’s no wonder then that her fashion brand, Henry Hunt, is going from strength to strength both here in the South West and further afield.

Established online in 2009, Henry Hunt showcases Phoebe’s love-affair with the West Country landscape and scenery thanks to her upbringing deep in the Blackdown Hills near Buckland St Mary. The inspiration from the countryside has lead to exciting and diverse womenswear and menswear collections, making Henry Hunt a highly sought after brand that has featured in publications such as Vogue, Elle and Country Life.

“The Somerset countryside is part of who I am, so it definitely inspires my collection and the brand,” explains Phoebe.

Henry Hunt is one of few brands based in the area, which is one reason why Phoebe is so keen to stay true to the fashion label’s roots. She also has no plans of ever relocating the headquarters, which are currently in an office at home in the Blackdown Hills. “Our Somerset roots make us unique so we want to keep everything based here,” she says.

Having said that, Phoebe does have aspirations of opening Henry Hunt stores across the South West.

“We’re currently trying to get a pop-up shop in Bath, with a view to making it permanent if it goes down well. Bath definitely reflects our brand image, so it’s the perfect location for us.

“We’ve also got fashion shows across the country coming up and, in the back of my mind, I have a vague plan to open a shop in Exeter within the next few years. We’ve got a really good customer base there already and it would be great to branch out to other areas of the South West.”

A key part of the business is keeping it British – as her mother, Jane Garlick, who assists Phoebe in running the brand, says: “Phoebe feels very passionately about keeping to our roots and keeping the ‘British’ in ‘Fine British Attire.”

The garments, which are all designed personally by Phoebe, are made locally in Somerset where possible, and all of the Gold Label products are manufactured in the UK.

“I would describe Henry Hunt as British, stylish and wearable,” Phoebe says. “It’s an accessible brand: clothes with a fashion edge but easy to wear.”

This wearibility and high fashion mix are what is making Henry Hunt a definite brand to watch for the future. n

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