Which came first: the gentleman or his cufflinks?
Alice Walsh and her clean designs have us believing it’s the latter.
A Tom Dixon alum, Walsh stumbled into the field of men’s accessories when she was preparing for her wedding; no matter how hard she searched for a pair of simple, honest cufflinks for her fiance to wear on the big day, she couldn’t find them.
For Walsh, a cufflink line was the perfect answer to a market void, and also provided a fresh vehicle through which to tell stories about industrial manufacturing, her longtime passion.
London-based Walsh couldn’t be in better company for finding men’s fashion inspiration. “What is more quintessentially British than the cufflink wearing gentleman?” she asks.
Growing up, Walsh was always infatuated with the British army uniforms her father wore. “One one hand their style is extravagant, tailored, and steeped in tradition, and on the other innovative, technical, pragmatic, and utilitarian,” she says.
Walsh also cites multi-disciplinarians Bruno Munari and Thomas Heatherwick, and the Bauhaus movement as philosophical role models for her work.
Photo above: Button from a British Army Uniform (Left), Bruno Munari Bali Table Lamp (Top Right), Thomas Heatherwick Spun Chair (Bottom Right)
More than just adding spiffy touches to a dress shirt, the deliberate material and forms used in each Alice Made This collection depict its unique manufacturing technique.
For example, to portray the traditional precision metal turning process with which her first collection was created, Walsh designed round, flat discs in stainless steel, copper, and brass -- exactly what engineers would produce using the same equipment.
With every new collection, a different set of honed factory skills is explored, and then reflected in its design.