Christopher Raeburn, a London-based design-led fashion brand that makes womenswear, menswear, and accessories, is founded in 2012. Christopher uses certified organic materials, recycled polyester and surplus materials, especially military surplus. Sass Brown says Christopher’s aesthetic is a result of his fascination with military materials. He’s also quoted as saying that Christopher enjoys ‘archeological discoveries’.
Christopher’s first collection was for fall 2010 and was made of decommissioned military wool field jackets. Sass explains, “That’s an aesthetic which has continued throughout the entire collection, since that date.” It is very technically sophisticated. It’s filled with utilitarian details. She says it also has some whimsy. His designs are easily recognizable on the streets because of this combination of whimsy & the utilitarian.
The brand is focused on three main themes, or collections types. Remade is a limited-edition collection. Sass stresses, “It’s proudly rebuilt in the UK using surplus materials, products, and artifacts. It’s primarily military uniforms and other utilitarian materials. Parachutes and tents are also included. It’s in their labels.” The second, Reduced, focuses on reworking surplus material. Sass explained that the collection includes deadstock fabrics and other materials that are made in smaller quantities. Recycled is the final collection. It uses recycled materials with a focus in green technologies and pre-existing fabrics. These three collections are the core of the brand’s overall ethos. Sass says, “it’s all about the passion.” He is passionate about remaking, reducing, recycling. We’re talking quality materials that are retired long before they wear out.” Christopher’s recent parachute-made dress is an example of this. It’s a wonderful resource of high-quality materials that have been taken out of service, but I still feel there is a lot of life in them. Sass states, “I think there’s much to learn from that.” He also mentions Sass’s ability to create value in places where we don’t normally look.
Christopher is the darling fashion world thanks to all of his hard work. Christopher has been awarded numerous awards, including the Young Gen award from London Fashion Week that dates back to 2010. He was also awarded the British Fashion Council’s Award for the Environment in 2020.
Christopher is well-known for his many collaborations, in addition to his own brand. He just completed a collaboration with Aesop (the skincare brand), where he created their packaging from reclaimed 1960s aeronautical maps. Moncler, Victorianox and AATB have also collaborated. Their focus was on digitized Baltic printing. Sass says, “he’s always pushing boundaries in terms of collaborations in terms of material and experimentation, as well as processes.”
His appointment as creative director at Timberland has resulted in his unique aesthetic being added to the brand. Sass notes that Christopher has a “phenomenal online presence”. She also adds, “He was well-known as hosting tours of his East London lab store during the pandemic. This included workshops and interviews and discussions.” Christopher believes it is more than just about the product. It’s about creating a community.