Palmer//Harding - new vision of shirts

Palmer//Harding label was formed by Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding.

Levi was born in Texas where he studied womenswear and pattern-cutting at El Centro College in Dallas, before establishing a successful designer jewelry label. In 2005 Levi moved to London to study menswear at Central Saint Martins. In 2007 he met Matthew who was in his final year of BA studies.

Matthew was born in London. After completing his BA, Matthew received a bursary from Giorgio Armani, enabling him to continue his education on the MA at Central Saint Martins.

 Matthew Harding and Levi Palmer

- Describe yourself as a designer/label and as a person.
Do you see big difference between these both descriptions?

We are a men’s and women’s designer shirts label. Palmer//Harding aims to infuse emotion finesse and confidence into design, and we design pieces that don’t distract from the wearers natural style, grace and beauty but complement them while still making a statement. We try to avoid all of the traditional design clichés of what a shirt has to be while still maintaining a respect for what is required in a shirt. As people we are just designers with a passion for beauty and innovation, we consider ourselves very lucky to have formed a label that drives our innovative skills while developing a detachment from the ego.

- Why do you choose to create for both women and men? 
- We create shirts for men and women because we both have a passion for both disciplines and it was an organic decision as Levi is from a menswear background and Matthew is from a womenswear background. We design everything together and fuse our interests, passions and experiences into everything we do.

- What was your first created item you where proud of? 
Levi: A reconstructed vintage dress I made my mother for Christmas when I was 9 which she still owns (but doesn’t wear).

Matthew: An understated origami dress.

- Where do you seek for inspiration? 
- The Saatchi gallery, libraries, blogs, conversations with friends and movement of everyday life - you have to be mindful and keep your eyes open everywhere.

- If your clothes could speak, what would they tell? 
- They would speak of emotion, confidence and finesse. 

- What are the basic values for you as for designer? 
- To create beautiful clothes that people fall in love with, which don’t distract from the wearers natural style, grace and beauty but complement them while still making a statement.

- If you have, what is your ideal customer’s portrait? 
- Someone who has a confidence, grace and emotive response to design and understands how to use these attributes to create their own style rather than follow the masses.

- What difficulties you are struggling being a young designer? 
- All of the cliché struggles! 

- Do you need to mach and fight for everyone’s attention?
- We have been extremely fortunate to build a trusted and strong international network which we are eternally grateful for. We are extremely excited to be part of NewGen here in London sponsored by Topshop, and to be nominated for the ANDAM award in Paris which is backed by French Ministry of Culture, the DEFI, LVMH, Gucci Group, the Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, Galeries Lafayette, Longchamp, Only the Brave and Swarovski is such an honor.

- If you can name it what is the biggest achievement in your young career? 
- Having the continued support and advice from a wonderful and trusted network of fashion experts.

- Future plans, dream collaborations and hopes? 
- Our immediate plans are to build our brand organically and enjoy the process. In the future we would love to consult/collaborate with traditional shirting brands to help them and us to explore a wider customer base and a more progressive approach to designing a classic staple. 

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