Knitwear designer Mark Fast launched a collaborative range with hosiery brand Jonathan Aston this week, the first in what the brand said would be a long-term partnership.
Comprising seam-free bodywear and hosiery, the collection features three lines – Double Vision, Scramble Knit and Honeycomb – each with up to five styles. Retail prices range from £35 to £45 for bodywear, and £15 for hosiery.
“It’s all about quality and styling,” Fast explained. “You can wear them as underwear or outerwear, and they are really well made, high-quality pieces. They will incorporate pink and orange hues, which are ideal for layering.”
According to John Roskalns, managing director of Melas Group, which owns Jonathan Aston, the company will target its existing stockist base, which includes John Lewis, House of Fraser and Topshop, as well as looking to add more stockists.
“We’ve had a lot of interest from well-known stockists before the collection has even been shown,” he said. “On the basis of Mark’s name, retailers know the collection is going to be good.” Roskalns added that the collaboration would not be a one-off venture.
Fast, whose previous collaborations include Topshop, Christian Louboutin and Pinko, said the Jonathan Aston collaboration had given him the resources to “create and push new ideas”.
“For me the starting point was technology,” he said. “I’d seen some of the lace techniques that Jonathan Aston had been using and thought about what I could bring to the table in terms of design.”
Fast also spoke of his desire to make his designs “more accessible” to women through the high street. “Obviously there’s the higher end of the spectrum and that will always be there, but at the other end there are customers who want to have that something special in their wardrobes too and can’t always access it,” he explained.
Fast added that in tough economic times, customers would still want to be able to afford his designs. The benefit of the pieces in the Jonathan Aston collaboration, Fast said, is that they are multi-functional as well as purse-friendly.
The collection will be available for delivery from August.
Jonathan Aston was founded in former textile hub Leicester in the 1960s. The brand was acquired by the Melas Group in 2002.
Fast, who is Canadian, studied at Central Saint Martins and worked with Bora Aksu and Stuart Vevers before setting up his own label.