Boots. Tie. Mouth guard. Cufflinks. Shoulder pads. Pocket square. For the players of the Northampton Saints Rugby Club this is the combined uniform of the gentleman’s game. As the club’s official tailor, we’re extremely proud to be dressing them as the gentlemen they are. Both Hawes & Curtis and Northampton Saints Rugby Club are quintessentially British establishments boasting more than 100 years of heritage, so the partnership makes for a perfect match!
We had the pleasure of catching up with six of Northampton’s top players; Captain Dylan Hartley, Cobus Reinach, Courtney Lawes, Tom Woods, Piers Francis and Harry Mallinder on the pitch before they took to the spotlight. Except this time it was not to perform in shirts and shorts but to be suited and booted for the official campaign shoot.
Hawes & Curtis has crafted bespoke suits for the Northampton Saints team and the brand film reflects how “preparation is key” both in fashion and sport. These two worlds are not as far apart as we might at first think; preparation and design are vital for creating tailored garments in the fashion industry, in the same way that professional athletes train and prepare for big events. Head of creative for Hawes & Curtis, Ben Rodgers, explains the message behind the brand film: “It is designed to give an insight into what goes on pre-match. From the changing room preparation, to the build-up in the tunnel and ending on a floodlit pitch – it’s cinematic yet authentic.”
Captain Dylan Hartley shared his preparation tips for the big shoot: “You have to prepare your match bag and I always make sure I pack my boots, my mouth guard, my contact lenses and my wash bag. All of these things are essential. It's a similar process for a photoshoot; I made sure my suit went to the drycleaner and polished my shoes.” Hartley even joked that a photoshoot was mentally more difficult and exhausting than a game with all the waiting around!
For Northampton Saints, Hawes & Curtis has created a special collection of luxury cotton shirts, silk ties and bespoke suits, together with smart cufflinks and tie pins. The grey uniform incorporates the Saints’ emblem and their distinct green and yellow colours. The suits are designed with meticulous attention to detail to ensure a luxurious look and feel - even the hanger loop is green and yellow. The concept behind the design is smart sophistication; it was important that the players were able to wear Hawes & Curtis for all occasions. The players were also involved in the design process themselves, choosing between design options and giving feedback.
Hawes & Curtis has fashioned the players to look and dress the part of a gentleman’s game. Captain Hartley believes that “as a team we have to be seen as one. By all wearing the same uniform, we portray togetherness.”
Hawes & Curtis Head Designer, Kate Regan, works tirelessly in her design to provide a flattering fit for every customer. The Saints flanker, Tom Wood, comments on the importance of a well-fitted suit when he says, “fit is the most important thing. It's hard to buy suits that fit for rugby players because our bodies are all different shapes and sizes. We don't fit the size norm. A tailored suit that is properly fitted makes a big difference.”