Jack Wills’ summer collection is inspired by exploration, as seen through the eyes of adventurous young people travelling around the world, from the 1950s to today. Our designers came across the story of the road trip of a lifetime; six graduates from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge set themselves the challenge of driving from London to Singapore (and back again) in 1955. This expedition, dubbed The First Overland, took them on a journey that wouldn’t be possible today – through Europe, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand and Malaysia – and it is what gave our designers the perfect starting point.
Thus our summer collection, some of which is exclusive to the Middle East, is imbued with a spirit of adventure, featuring designs that reflect both practical, expedition-worthy travel apparel and more decorative, striking pieces, influenced by specialist craftsmanship and fabrics found in different countries across the world.
Our designers intended to reflect the juxtaposition between a practical, modern-day explorer style and elements of adventure, that have been woven into the ‘British traveller look’ over the decades. Lightweight shirts and chino shorts reflect the climate in which they’re intended to be worn and Madras shirts – a classic checked fabric of Indian origin – add colour and a preppy twist to the range. Sand and navy tones are key to this look, as are garment-dyed, washed-down fabrics.
As we travel further east, colours become more vibrant, often given a bleached-out wash to indicate fading through regular wear in the sunshine. The hero pattern of the season, used on products throughout the collection – from shorts and tees to swimwear and flip flops – is a vivid tropical print, designed in-house by our team to evoke an exotic, beach-side or jungle setting. For women, delicate embroidery and lace detailing add to the richness and femininity of the range; for gentlemen, brand new graphics, prints and embroidery feature across sweats, polos and T-shirts.