With no formal training in fashion but with an avid interest in adding an inquisitive dimension to it, Benjamin Vorono and Samuel Kientsch founded the menswear label Braille in London in January 2009. Hailing from the US and London, the two bonded over their shared appreciation of the cultural and natural worlds and decided to join forces to bring together their backgrounds in Sociology and Graphic Design by using a unified creative language.
Their foray into fashion started when the duo realised the difficulty in finding clothes that they could relate to, causing them to set out to design garments for themselves. Eventually, this led to the creation of Braille and the launch of their first collection (named ‘A Gentle Wake’) in February 2010, which was picked up by independent boutiques Beyond the Valley and Wolf and Badger. Encouraged by this positive response, a few months later the duo launched their own e-commerce site and garnered sales from Hong Kong, Australia and the US.
Braille’s latest menswear collection, for Autumn/Winter 2013, is titled ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!’ and was inspired by the themes of travel and transportation. The collection conjures moments experienced on a road trip to Marrakech, while exploring the French seaside, and during the discovery of Antwerp and its coastal areas.
To reflect such inspiring concepts, the designers started by exploring the potential of print: cotton shirts feature manipulated shell illustrations of psychedelic flowers, whirlpools and a turbulent sea, while a collage printed cotton jersey portrays the dreams of the traveller. Similarly, suits in both a light and dark colour way were developed from a photograph of the side of a boat. In addition to print, the clothes feature a classically masculine colour palette of reds, blues and blacks imbued with a contemporary edge when mixed with touches of matte and shine.
As in Braille’s previous collections, textiles remain the driving force behind the designs, with an emphasis on wool Duffel, Melton, Tweed, coated linen and cotton used in pieces such as the Duffel Coat with butted seams and blanket stitching, two-button blazers with contrasting colours, and an extra-long windbreaker with zipper-controlled volume.