To kick off the new year in style, we had a sit down/stand up/walk about a bit meeting with the super talented Jake Wigham from his highly respected namesake brand - 'JAKE'S'. Specialising in made to order tailored shirting, Jake is the founder and owner who lives and breathes his brand daily and as well as some friendly links and connections between our two brands, he also shares a lot of our core beliefs and ways of working.
So, over a piping hot cup of tea in the surroundings of his East London studio, we had a casual chat to find out a little more about his background and the plans he has in place for the continued organic growth of JAKE'S.
Jake wears his worn in Woodford Desert Boots in Sand Kudu suede with Toffee stained sole. A style personally chosen by himself that matches his deep roots in music and style, playing to his appreciation for an everlasting classic!
At Crown Northampton we know JAKE’S as a made in England tailoring brand, but you’ll be new to many of our customers so please can you give us a brief summary of your growing business and what it is that you do yourself?
Jake’s is a made to order menswear brand focusing on mid century Ivy League and Jazz styles. All products are currently cut, made and finished in house by me and my apprentice Albert. I started Jake’s out of necessity after my previous work as a Savile Row trouser maker dried up due to the pandemic.
Tailoring’s a very skilled and precise profession. How old were you when you first knew that you wanted to learn bespoke processes and can you remember what first sparked your passion?
I was a Bricklayer up until the age of 21, I got totally sick of that profession and decided to do an Art Foundation. Hi n the course my tutors steered me towards craft based practices. I’ve always had a huge passion for clothing and subculture. When they mentioned about the Bespoke Tailoring degree at LCF I thought “sod it, I’ve nothing to lose”. I never thought I’d get on to be honest but was pretty chuffed when I was accepted.
Your products are individually made to order and made in England like all of our footwear. How important are those two elements to your brand and business model and what does Made To Order and Made In England mean to you?
I’ll be honest, it’s the only way I can afford to do it! I’ve no financial backing so it’s all done off my own back. The success of each product determines the next. I’m very lucky to have supportive and understanding clients.
I think made to order is where all brands should be looking to as it’s a much more sustainable and personal way to do business. No stock, no waste abs a product made specifically for you, what more could you want!
When it comes to planning ranges and adding new products, where do you look to for inspiration and what are your design and sourcing processes?
I just want to make the type of products that I myself would like to wear. Long lasting and timeless pieces that you can really beat in. I test the hell out of my products for weeks or months before launching to make sure they’re the best they can be.
I’ve a bit of a back log of products I’d like to produce but I’m taking my time and making sure they’re all just right.
Your shirting’s very popular and you also offer a selection of accessories. What’s coming next and what’s your ideal, overall vision of where you see JAKE’S in the future.
My end goal is to have a small atelier. I’d like to offer a full range of shirts, accessories and tailoring options. I’m a long way from that goal but I’m just building it up little by little.
If I’m going to expand the business and my range, I do need to start outsourcing some of the production in future as I just don’t have to time to juggle marketing, sampling and making all of the products.
When we asked you what style of Crown Northampton Shoes you wanted for the shoot, you instinctively went for our Woodford Desert Boot in Sand Kudu Suede. What made you choose the Woodford in that colour and material and what’s your verdict on them so far?
Honestly, I love them! I’ll admit I was a little precious with them to begin with. I’d only wear them on nice dry days, but recently I’ve been caught out in some of the mad weather we’ve had abs they held up great. The kudu suede is something else!
Desert boots were the obvious choice for me as they’re a design classic and I just knew they’d work well with my current wardrobe.
Finally, if you want to tell us about any interesting projects that we haven’t covered or give any shoutouts to any of your favourite brands or designers then now’s the time!
I’ve got a little collab shirt coming out by one of my favourite illustrators, Dick Carroll. It’s a homage to all of out favourite American shirt makers of days of yore. All shirts are stamped and numbered and it comes with a signed abs number print by Dick.
I’m a bit of a vintage head so don’t buy much modern stuff to be honest. If I had to pick two current brands it would be AWMS and Reference Library. I’ve not taken off my AWMS beret since getting it a few weeks back, it finishes off every outfit so well. And I’m due to get a set of sunglasses from the reference library soon so pretty excited about that. Both of these brands share a similar ethos to Jake’s. They both want to create clothing and accessories that tell a story of the culture that influences the product, rather than just making something for the sake of it.
Thanks for your time Jake. Very much appreciated!
You can view all of Jake's products here
Photography - Alex Natt
Shop the full Crown Northampton Stitchdown Collection here