I started King & Tuckfield for two reasons. First, because I was obsessed with how denim and merino would shape genderless shapes - from WWII underpinnings to coal mine uniforms – and second because I was inspired by my family's favourite pass time. Ballet. The two things were linked from the beginning in my mind. I was never a good dancer, let alone a ballet dancer, but I was inspired by the intensity of dance, the exploits of my family through the bleak years of 40s and 50s and their impeccable dress sense, alongside the attire of famous dancers from that era.
The past 20 years, however, majority of fashion brands seem to have conveniently passed on the significance of premium material and provenance altogether, while the connection and the human element between the clothes and their wearer has been lost.
Since our launch in 2016, we have been acutely aware of the fact that slow fashion, sustainable materials and a tailoring approach to every K&T product was, financially speaking, worth a little. We consciously diverted from the successful recipe of "safe" shapes and use of widely available material, but instead focused on becoming commercially viable, by making our story, part of yours. A story that begins with my Grandmother (Joan Marion King), and Father (Graham Aubrey Tuckfield).
JOAN MARION KING
My ʻGrammaʼ Joan Marion King, grew up during the Second World War in East London. Amidst those hard years she discovered dance. Imagine her peach slippers running through the shell pockmarked houses of Bloomsbury Square on the way to ballet class, white wool wrap over her shoulders, a leather bag bursting with feather soft tulle petticoats. This love of satin ribbons, the smell of the resin box, the opening bars of the piano accompaniment inspired her to open her own ballet school where she taught her daughters and granddaughters to dance later in life. Our first womens collection launched in Autumn Winter 2016, exactly 100 years after Joan's mother wrote it to her father. This postcard can be found at the back pocket of the Womens jeans and is the main inspiration of the brand.
GRAHAM AUBREY TUCKFIELD
Graham Aubrey Tuckfield struts the streets of Harrogate in his gleaming shoes and perfectly tailored suit, with the keys to his Rolls Royce jiggling in his hand. The car was his prized possession, long dreamt of in the black of long shifts down a Yorkshire mine. Graham worked in the mines before and after the war for over 25 years, but dusted off the soot to follow his true passion; dance, where he soon met Joan's dancing daughter. Stacey's mother. His perfect swagger was thanks to years of ballet dancing from the age of seven and time enlisted as a paratrooper in the Second World War, when he swapped identities with his cousin to make him old enough to serve. His confident walk accentuated by the high-waisted wool pants, tailored and made by himself.