Earlier this year I was introduced to a guy who was bringing out a new lifestyle brand. The introducer was Matthew Comer, a man who knows his brands, and the introduced was Anthony Kaye, the man behind Horsebird. The name was instantly intriguing and so when invited to the launch party I made sure I went along to see what it was all about. This is what I found…..
Originally conceptualised in 2012 by founder Anthony Kaye, Horsebird has grown from a nickname into an idea into a lifestyle brand. While hanging out with friends Kaye acquired the nickname “Horse-Bird” due to certain facial features highlighted by his peers; the horse because of slim facial features and the bird due to a larger than average nose (beak)! The nickname stuck. Already into design and fashion while designing his own ‘chanel’ tees the nickname came to mind and the question “What would a Horse-Bird look like?” needed answering. 10 minutes later and a makeshift logo had been born. Work carried on until the logo you see today had been finished, personifying the values of the brand. Originally planned as just a small run of t-shirts for close friends, the idea expanded as people wanted to see more, thus polos, caps and jackets were added to the collection.
But seriously, WTF is a Horsebird?!? Made up of the Horse and the Common Wood Pigeon, these two beasts represent the people wearing Horsebird. A Chinese proverb describes the Horse as: “Exciting and extroverted, vivid and animated, the Horse is the life of any party he attends. He is bursting with energy, always looking for the next place to kick up his heels and hang loose. He entertains friends and strangers alike with his humour and appeal.” Similarly the city-dwelling pigeon: “Pigeons are incredibly complex and intelligent animals. They are one of only a small number of species to pass the ‘mirror test’ – a test of self recognition.” Put the two together and you have vivid, animated, complex, intelligent – The Horsebird.
So out of a nickname has grown a brand that also tells a story. “Horsebird represents Generation Y on their journey from adolescence to maturity, providing classically designed, timeless items made to last through the ups and downs of post-pubescent life. Influenced by 60’s British mod sensibilities and the American college campus, Horsebird embodies the disillusioned and carefree youth, both sides of the Atlantic“. The first official campaign for Horsebird, taken by Matthew Comer of course, is a visual representation of what it means to be a Horsebird and communicates the ideals that the company was built on. Completely monochrome and on the backdrop of where the brand was formulated, right here in sunny Manchester, the images are simple and strong. Three guys from different parts of the country with different backgrounds. Each character appeals to a different group; you’ve got the skater, the party-boy and the modern man. Despite their difference in interests they are tight. They are Horsebirds.
The signature piece is the black on black varsity jacket with real leather arms, wool body and satin lining. All dedicated Horsebirds own a varsity and wear it with pride. They are meant to be worn together in a group, doing away with the worry of accidentally wearing the same thing as your friends. It’s the opposite with Horsebird, you have to wear your jackets with your friends. Already around the UK there are stories of Horsebirds bumping into each other wearing their jackets and automatically connecting. You want to be part of this club….you want to be a Horsebird.
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