We speak with Arthur Yates of Bruta, the London-based label bringing art and craft back into fashion’s focus
- Who is it?
London-based label Bruta
- Why do I want it?
A unisex brand bringing an element of craft into your everyday
- Where can I find it?
Online and in selected stores worldwide
Who is it? Arthur Yates founded Bruta in 2015 with partner in life and business Phoebe Saatchi, daughter of art mogul and entrepreneur Charles. Unsurprising, then, that with the combined backgrounds of the duo – neither of which is fashion-based – the label sets out to eschew cyclical trends and produce clothes that pertain to the heritage of British art and design season after season. “Bruta was born from a time when I was putting on art shows, while running a white label business supplying high street stores with clothes,” Yates explains. “So I already had an idea of how the production side of fashion worked. I made a decision to combine art and my experience in manufacturing clothes.”
Yates is also an avid collector of vintage shirts, many of which were hand-embroidered (and appropriated by Saatchi for her own wardrobe). This garment swapping later became the impetus behind the brand’s central focus: unisex shirting in cotton poplin and viscose, each incorporating Yates’ hand-drawn designs in stitched motifs and prints. “When I started Bruta I really wanted the hand of the designer to be felt in every piece of embroidery and design,” he says. “The illustrative element in our designs is definitely a Bruta signature.” Three years on, and Bruta remains true to its roots. Alongside branching out into simple yet high-quality outerwear, menswear and womenswear, it is now stocked at Harvey Nichols and Liberty London, where it has held life drawing classes and launched a series of ceramic pots to accompany its designs. In recent months, Bruta developed its own line of ale, titled Brew-ta, in keeping with a very British sensibility.
Why do I want it? “Each season follows a story, idea or theme. This season, I wanted to take British heritage and tradition and reinterpret it in a contemporary playful light,” explains Yates. Said collection is playfully named Anglo Tango, garments peppered with embroideries of Henry VIII’s wives and tartan checks stitched with flora and fauna that could easily be found in the fields and hedgerows of the UK’s countryside. Despite an emphasis on homegrown production and craft, the price points assigned to Bruta’s pieces are very reasonable. At the top-end, a shirt will set you back £160, and a substantial wool and cashmere overcoat hits £450 maximum. Considering what you might normally fork out for a garment decorated with hand-drawn detailing, it isn’t a huge amount. To buy a Bruta piece is to buy an example of wearable art.
Where can I find it? Online, in Harvey Nichols, Liberty, Opening Ceremony Tokyo and in selected stores worldwide.