The company name is Windsor and Sparrow. My goal is to use fabric made in the U.S. and clothing constructed in the U.S. This is what drives the heart of the brand. It has a lot to do with not forgetting our heritage, without being dependent or dwelling on the past. I keep notebooks on my ideas of the brand as I think of things and one thing I wrote beneath the name was poor kids with a royal heritage, "humbled royalty" (this is just for the mood of the name, I don't want a slogan). I imagine a kid from the street finding out he's an heir to wealth and wisdom.
When I think of the brand I think of these keywords/phrases: cerebral, clinical whimsy, off-core component, high concept with a low profile, imaginative, sporty and accessible with a component of high class versions of classics like the blazer. There's a serious consistent look that I have developed, the importance of inner and outer garments. For example, a collared shirt made of cotton worn under a collared shirt meant for outside made out of nylon. The clothing must be both rugged and refined.
I am really inspired by the artist Rodin. When his name is mentioned, these kinds of descriptions come up: "concreteness of flesh, suggest emotion through detailed textured surfaces, let every part of the body speak for the whole, surface modeling, observing forms from all angles." He's complex, he's a naturalist, he's real and I like that. I think of design in a similar way.
First of all, I love sparrows. I would like to see that referenced in the design somehow. A wing, bird in flight. It can't look cartoony and it can't look fake. It is a menswear line, but I will include a limited womenswear line because that's where I like to play with strange ideas. It has to look masculine but be applicable to womenswear. Navy is important. An oatmeal color, yellow ochre (not too spicy) is very important. However I get tired of things easily so I want something that will last (navy however, is something I believe in).
I realize I have a lot to say, but above all I'm looking for simplicity and almost an understatement. Like a breath of fresh air. I sent a picture of a black bottle with a table. I think even that is a little too much. I think, that as the line changes from one season to the next, the brand design should be able to look neither too bold or too quiet.
About the name…I suppose it’s ironic and really doesn’t have much to do with the American ideal of the clothing but this is where the contrast between rugged and refined comes in. “Windsor” automatically brings up thoughts about royalty and “sparrow” I feel has the opposite effect. To me a sparrow is one of the lowliest, most creatures. Personally, I like the balance, I like the tone and people always respond well to it. A lot of people say something about it sounding British, which I like because even though the brand is American and uses American materials, it can appeal abroad and therefore makes it more versatile.
– Kiara Walker, founder Windsor and Sparrow