Freshly landed in stores comes the much researched new AW18 Edmund Hilary collection, which has the backing of his son, Peter Hillary.
It’s a long-time in the making joint venture with the Hillary family and a board of investors – split between the UK and New Zealand, Sir Edmund Hillary’s native country, with UK fashion industry veteran, Dean Batty, as the creative director.
On 29 May, 1953, Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer, Tenzing Norgay, became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest, and this new collection captures the spirit of their adventure. Respected menswear independents Jules B, Le Monde and Union 22 are early stockists of the line for this season.
Headlining the collection is the ‘Khumbu’ classic ethical down filled parka, originating from an iconic photograph of the great man himself while on the Everest expedition. There’s also the ‘Ice Fall’ down jacket, which draws on one worn by Tenzing Norgay during the ascent in 1953. Snowflake and cable knits are other stand-out pieces. Retail prices fall between £50-£699, and are also available at the brand new website, www.edmundhillary.com.
It’s a special story given the familial connection (Peter and his sons are also keen mountaineers and adventurers), plus the new brand seeks to reinforce the initial expedition’s ties with the Nepalese Sherpa community with a proportion of all collection sales to be donated to the Edmund Hillary Brands Trust. The Trust continues to support the 42 schools, hospitals and medical clinics in the Mount Everest region which Sir Edmund Hillary built and ran in his lifetime, as well as various other health, education and business development initiatives set-up subsequently for the people of the Himalayas.
Peter Hillary says the new brand will help ensure the legacy of his father lives on. He comments: “In line with his charitable work, a percentage of the sale of every Edmund Hillary garment goes to support causes that were close to Ed’s heart – helping the people of Nepal, and outdoor activities for young people in the UK, New Zealand and Nepal.”
Although not technical climbing gear, the jackets have been worn by Peter, George and Alexander Hillary on three recent climbing expeditions, as part of their quest to summit the highest peaks on each of the seven continents.
Sir Edmund Hillary’s family recently took to the catwalk to reveal the range of premium heritage men’s clothing that bears his name. Grandsons George and Alexander Hillary, the faces of the new Edmund Hillary range, made their catwalk debut modelling the clothing at the brand’s global launch at New Zealand Fashion Week last month.
Creative director, and long serving industry face, Dean Batty, who’s been involved in the project from the very beginning says: “We are working with some very understanding suppliers who believe in our growth, resulting in bigger production runs in future.
“We believe that we are primarily an outerwear brand and we are promoting a seasonless approach, producing and promoting goods throughout the year – when we feel that the market requires them most. It’s being sold to wholesale accounts and online, and we are currently looking to show in Paris and New York for AW19.”