From our Archive:

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As Production Manager for Helen Kaminski and Kaminski XY, Arkin Djemal knows that the devil is in the details (the man has to make sure that every style arrives to store with the correct look and fit – that’s no mean feat when there are over 150 styles a season).  In spite of his technical prowess, he is sartorially gifted (“a gift and a curse in the fashion industry … you can never have ‘off’ days where you sloth into the office.”)  We caught him just outside head office, en route to lunch (“at BARN DOORS CAFE – that’s not a plug!”) wearing HOWE from the AZUAY FINE WEAVE COLLECTION from SS14.  The subtle, graphic pattern of the hat works back with his royal/white check shirt (and the plaid lining of his mac), relaxed denim and suede desert boots. Shades of blue always look strong together – timeless style with a twist.


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Six questions with Arkin Djemal from Helen Kaminski:

Style is … individual.  I put together a look solely based on what I want to wear.

When I’m not at Helen Kaminski, I’m … spending time with my partner, Bev, and my dog Phoenix.  Both are champions.  Seriously.

Of all the places I’ve travelled … I always look forward to coming home.

Working with a creative team … allows me to enjoy the aesthetics of something without always thinking of how it is constructed.

The next thing on my list … is a secret.

What I’m listening to right now … EUSTON ROAD by Eliza Doolittle.  I heard it in a store the other day and I captured it on sound hound (shazam for android users).  Its really catchy.


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A large part of the role that Arkin does as Production Manager involves travelling to our artisan partners to assist in bringing our designer’s vision to life. The most recent of these trips was to Ecuador – visiting the craftspeople who bring the AZUAY FINE WEAVE COLLECTION to life.  “It was great to meet the master craftsmen and women that make our product; the people in Ecuador were so warm and friendly … a few even invited me to visit their homes in the provinces.”  What surprised Arkin most was that the artisans not only worked for a living, weaving the finest grade Panama hats – but that they also farmed (a full-time job in itself), carving a life that is completely self-sufficient.

“Most of the people wear a Panama hat – which they either made themselves or adapted a style to suit their needs and lifestyle.”  It seems that the process of crafting a Panama is not so much a job, but a passion – the people of Ecuador live Panama. “The craftspeople are constantly looking for new ways to innovate traditional techniques to achieve different weave patterns, textures and silhouettes.  Working together with Helen Kaminski, this desire to create something new is heightened – we all know how fast the wheel of fashion turns … ”

One last thing; “Spanish will be spoken to you regardless of how well you understand.”


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