What is Howler Reserve? A Q&A With the Designers Behind It
Posted on November 2, 2022
In case you missed it, we just launched Howler Reserve, a limited collection of elevated garments that will be made in small batches from the finest materials. Why did we say garment? Why Reserve? Because this collection is made with high-end fabrics, custom weaves, and refined finishes. Reserve garments are very limited, and each style most likely won’t be made again—making them rare. In short, they’re special, with a high focus on quality and design.
We asked our apparel designers Sasha Lamb and Barrett Dudley to put what this collection means in their own words.
How did this collection come to be?
As a design-driven company, we’re always obsessing over the details to make rad pieces. And like any business, we have to sometimes make concessions on items we really want to create, but won’t work at that moment for some reason. Kind of like a “nice to have” over a “need to have,” I guess? As designers, we keep a dream booklet of sorts—textiles we keep coming back to, buttons we think are super nice, patterns and embroidery we love but need to execute at the right moment. We had been looking dreamily at a number of beautiful fabrics, cool buttons, and had some things we wanted to try. We had an opportunity to capitalize on some of our long-standing ideas and wanted to shake up expectations for what Howler can be. That's how we got to (and named) Howler Reserve: an ongoing collection bringing projects we really love to life. Expect a Reserve collection in future seasons. -Sasha Lamb
Why would you say this collection is elevated from the status quo?
Saying “elevated” seems a little odd since quality is at the center of everything we do here at HB. So, it’s safe to say that EVERYTHING we make is elevated. But, in the case of Reserve, we really went to the next level by using premium materials for every part of every garment. We did not use blended fabrics. We created custom embroidery. We tried buttons we’ve never used before. It’s basically the equivalent of a chef’s special at a restaurant. The other offerings are still top notch. It’s just that these are a little more special. -SL
How do you decide on what buttons go on different garments?
While we have a leather-bound book of rare buttons (jk, it’s not bound by leather), we get inspiration from all sorts of sources. We watch trends, we order pieces that we think look cool, we look at iconic styles and pieces to understand what types of buttons were used at that time. We take inspiration from the rugged gear we wore growing up, and look at classic surf and skate styles. All of these things inform what we eventually end up choosing. Sometimes we’re looking for tonal options, sometimes contrast (like in the Cebar). -Barrett Dudley
How long does it take to develop a piece from inception to “available for purchase?”
12-16 months. Seems crazy, but with development and shipping times as they are, you have to be pretty on top of these things. We definitely get some shorter lead times for smaller collections like Howler Reserve, but we still have to plan for fabric development (especially because these are specialized/custom fabrics) and shipping times with buffer time built in. So the pieces in this collection were developed and dreamed up in 2021. -BD
What’s next for Howler Reserve?
This will be an ongoing collection, a place for us to advance and expand the boundaries of our designs. You can expect to see some new materials, styles, and pieces made for jungles of all kinds—even the urban one. -SL
Ready to get fancy? Shop Howler Reserve now.