Hollywood Reporter "Five Things We Love From the Hampton+Baker Denim Line"
by Chris Gardner 4/28/2016
The menswear collection can also be worn by women, say friends/founders Robbie Rogers and Warren Alfie Baker.
Newbie fashion designers Robbie Rogers and Warren Alfie Baker have their backs facing Soho House's floor-to-ceiling windows with Beverly Hills shining in the background as they sit next to one another on a recent sunny, spring afternoon. Easily forgiven for ignoring the impressive 90210 view, the two actually have more important business to attend to — fulfilling jean jacket orders for their just-launched line Hampton + Baker.
Rogers looks up from his laptop as Pret-a-Reporter approaches and laughs that their collection — a smart, focused collaboration featuring just five fitted denim jackets to start — is such a passion project that the two do everything themselves. Yes, that means stuffing boxes and filling out postage labels in between their other gigs, Rogers as a soccer star with the L.A. Galaxy and Baker as a celebrity stylist.
"We still look at each other and say, 'Oh my God! It's actually happening,'" says Baker, a onetime model who now works as a stylist to male stars like Miles Teller and Evan Peters. "We have the same aestethic, so we are very lucky to have been able to work on a project together and have agreed on everything — there were no disagreements."
It's true, adds Rogers, who splits his time on the pitch with Hampton + Baker duties. (The company, by the way, gets its name from his middle name, Robert Hampton Rogers III, and Baker's last.) "Soccer is a very physical sport so it's nice to have this outlet," he explains. "We put our hearts into this and hopefully people will enjoy what we've come up with and love the brand. This is just the beginning."
Baker reveals that they've already zeroed in on other menswear categories to add to Hampton + Baker's outerwear offerings, including bomber jackets, should the line take off. But let's not get too far in the future without investigating the present — a collection of five jackets, all named for icons of fashion and featuring Japanese or Italian denim and antique hardware. There is the "Newman," "Cobain," "Delon," "Dean" and "Redford," all seen below and on the website, as modeled by Next Models face Dallas Haupt and photographed by Trever Hoenhe.
Says Baker: "For us, we see this as a perfect jacket for guys to wear in Cannes. It's really crisp, really clean. Because it's white and fitted and very detailed, you can wear it with great trousers and a great shirt. It's very Ryan Gosling or Matt Bomer — we can see both of them wearing one of these."
The below is the only one branded with the label's name, which Baker says is "a throwback" inspired by the 1950s. "This old-school varsity vibe is amazing," gushes the Brit. "This is a quintessential California staple piece. You can rock this and always be comfortable."
"This was our raw, fitted jacket, but we wanted to make it a little different with pops of color, seen by slight embroidery on the back with arrow details," Baker explains of the jacket. "There's some stretch to it, and it would be a great staple for every person's wardrobe. Back in the Paul Newman era, this was the ultimate kind of jacket."
For the fabric accents on this jacket, Rogers insists that the two searched far and wide to find the perfect print. "We actually found it walking around West Hollywood near Warren's house," he said. "This is the most amazing one we could find, and it really catches people's attention. This is definitely a jacket you can wear to work or you can wear out at night with a nice, crisp white shirt." (This one also has the distinction of being the first jacket they sold after launching the line online.)
Rogers admits the light-wash and the embroidered bird make the below jacket one of his favorites. It's also the most unisex, he says. "Men and women have really been attracted to it. It's sleek and slim and can be dressed up or down. It's Candiani denim with Japanese denim contrast under the collar and sleeve. It's masculine and a bit grungy and even spiritual with the embroidery on the back."