Faye Toogood remembers her first pair of Carhartt WIP original dungarees, which she’s owned—and treasured—since the ‘90s. “I bought them as a student to wear to art college, wore them into my 30s through all my pregnancies, and now in my 40s I can be found wearing them in my garden,” she tells Surface. “They are old friends: robust, practical, and reliable. They’re ageless, genderless, and a perfect canvas for the way I life my life.” The multitalented editor-turned-designer, whose namesake firm turns out slick furniture and objects derived from pure self-expression, had a full-circle moment when the brand enlisted her to mastermind interiors for its pared-down boutique at Kings Cross in London.
That served as a springboard to design a capsule collection, which now debuts following three years of collaboration during the pandemic. Consisting of two jackets, a shirt, a trouser, an overall, and a T-shirt all made in the label’s trademark organic cotton Dearborn Canvas and Utah Canvas, the capsule recuts archetypical Carhartt WIP shapes and injects them with Toogood’s sculptural panache. She describes the marriage as effortless: “We share a passion for utility, for the robust, for a uniform,” she says, noting the concise color palette of off-white, black, and Hamilton Brown. “We also share a passion for breaking boundaries and looking to create something that isn’t about wearing a fashion label. It’s about quiet, slow, persistent, and consistent revolution.”
To achieve each garment’s distinct shape, Faye and her sister and business partner, Erica, “took Carhartt WIP’s classic pieces and hacked into them” with their own core Toogood workwear patterns. Those one-off hacks are now on display at Spazio Maiocchi during Milan Design Week (through June 12) adorning three giant wire-and-cardboard puppets. “By overscaling the pieces and dressing our puppets, you can really view the shapes and details in a new way,” Toogood says. “The giant metal buttons are like dinner plates.” Toogood x Carhartt WIP launches online today and at select retailers, including Mr Porter, Selfridges, and Dover Street Market.