Liam Hodges is the Kent born, Royal College of Art educated contemporary menswear designer worn by Drake and internationally stocked, currently making up one third of Fashion East’s MAN contingent. In his latest role, he takes on the part of Hook LDN ambassador.
“They got in contact and we just had a meeting,” he explains to Clash of this new appointment, “(We) got on really well and talked about what we do; it just made sense. The glasses are really nice and well made, so it was a bit of a no brainer.”
While you might not be familiar with the brand in question, that soon will change. The latest offering from Fabris Lane’s portfolio, Hook LDN is an eyewear label that prides itself on its accessible price points, high quality and contemporary aesthetic; out to fill a void they reckon ‘aspirational young consumers’ – the youth luxury market, if you will – need filled.
Founded by Zak Biddu and designed by Holly Carpenter, the debut campaign boasts styling from Clash Fashion Editor Lola Chatterton, while photographer Bella Howard made her directional first with an accompanying video, below.
And then there’s the ambassador programme, of which Liam is part. The Hook Council is in place to support and nurture new creative talent, everyone has been chosen, so Clash hears, “because of their own individual talents in the world of art, fashion, film and music.”
Joining Hodges is Will Street (A&R at Warner), Siobhan Bell, an NTS DJ and magazine publishers Badlands Girls. Unlike at least one of the others, this is Hodges’ first time sitting on a council, and it’s been fun he reckons; “you get to meet some really exciting people.”
“It’s a small world,” he later offers of his acquaintance with his fellow ambassadors, none of whom he knew personally but all of which he was aware. It’s this sense of community, the knowing a name, a vibe even, if not yet an actual personality that the brand presumably hoped to tap into with their picks.
“Glasses give an air that says serious and invisible,” a would-be receptionist states in Régis Roinsard’s French title, ‘Populaire’. Obviously she’d never dabbled in 21st century face furniture (the film is set in 1958): ever since Carri Munden suggested that “people are realising it’s ok to be a nerd,” and Young Fathers’ Kayus remarked, “Before you wouldn’t have seen people rocking glasses in the way they do now” in a Guardian article circa 2009 (here), glasses have been a statement as much as an essential.
Before that of course there was Buddy Holly, David Hockney and Jarvis Cocker (for some reason if you Google ‘famous glasses wearers’ 97% of the faces staring back at you are male), but it’s in the last six years that the market for strong specs has really picked up some pace.
A full time wearer, Liam admits that even today it can be hard to pin down a pair that meet the desired criteria; in the same way that you might seek a decent hairdresser, spend years in search of a good bra or forever be on the hunt for the perfect jean, an optician that produces something suitable isn’t easy.
“It takes a while to get used to a new pair of glasses,” the designer adds, “(I) used to only have one pair until I’d break them and have to search for another I liked; it can be quite a long search. But when you find a pair you like, you just know,” he giggles, noting the ‘Parklife’ style as his particular Hook LDN fave.
With Harvey Nichols recently acquiring exclusive stockist status on the frames (aside from the Hook LDN website, naturally), the brand is on track to secure a prominent place in the hearts of bright young things, optics and sunnies wearers alike.
Words: Zoe Whitfield