It seems like half of Australia is abroad right now. Your every second email is swatted away with an automated “Out of Office” reply. The recipient is either sipping cafe au lait on a cobblestone street in Paris, or perhaps riding bicycles around Lake Como. For those of us left behind, Sydney label Haulier is bringing the lustful romance of a European summer to our shores with its current clothing collection. The label’s unisex spring/summer 2022 ready-to-wear line is a postcard from the golden age of travel – and it’ll be released September 8.
Sydney designer Jeremy Hershan launched Haulier in 2020 with one product: a simple all-purpose tote. The instant-classic bags are crafted with selvedge canvas and premium leather handles, and they’re built to age with its wearer.
“I sought out very specific ways to make the bag,” Hershan tells Broadsheet from a construction site in Sydney’s Paddington, which is soon to become Haulier’s flagship store. “I wanted it to have that timeless feel and to feel like an heirloom that gets better and better with time.”
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His commitment to quality led him to Europe. “I found these very specific looms from the ‘60s that happened to be in Portugal,” says Hershan. “I weave the fabric to a certain width and the bag is literally folded in on itself so there is no waste.”
It’s this sartorial precision that Hershan has spent his career perfecting. The RMIT University alum was the creative director of RM Williams, and during his tenure he set up bases for the iconic Australian label in London and New York. Before this, he had cut his teeth among some of the best-known names in fashion. A stint in London had him working on Savile Row at heritage tailors Gieves & Hawkes (where then-apprentice Alexander McQueen is fabled to have etched the words “I am a c*nt” in the lining of a jacket intended for the Prince of Wales), then spent time on Regent Street at luxe British fashion brand Aquascutum, before moving to Dunhill. There he worked under the creative direction of John Ray, who had worked with and then succeeded Tom Ford as menswear designer at Gucci before joining Dunhill.
Hershan launched Haulier’s debut clothing collection last November and has used the golden age of travel as inspiration – the ‘50s and ‘60s, a time when travelling by plane was to indulge in glamour and luxury, a special occasion, and when a plane ticket was a keepsake and photos ended up in hardcover albums not as an Instagram “dump”.
Designed to accompany the centrepiece tote bags – and to be worn with harsh tan lines acquired in the Mediterranean sun – the range gives a nod to Hershan’s days with heritage menswear. There are smart blazers you’re encouraged to dress down; striped button-ups with matching shorts offering the comfort of outdoors-appropriate pyjamas; and an indigo blue velvet open-collared shirt (yes, with matching short shorts) best worn poolside like an off-duty rock star.
There are also many nods to sportswear, like the cotton mesh motocross T-shirt made from a fabric of Hershan’s own design. Most mesh materials are typically made from polyester, but he was determined to find an alternative. “I went to great lengths to develop a mesh that’s natural fibre but feels like sportswear,” he recalls. “It’s got that kind of lustre and sheen, almost.”
While sportswear and time-honoured tailored styles may seem an unlikely combination, Haulier’s late collection marries them as if it were an obvious pairing. “There’s definitely a sort of timeless aesthetic … inspired by elements of sportswear and military, then fusing these elements together.”
Haulier’s flagship store is slated to open in Paddington soon. “I’m bringing a sort of ’70s airport theme to the design, but through a really modern lens,” he says. “The fittings, lighting, it all nods to the glory days of travel, which in my opinion, were the ’60s and ’70s when celebrities were travelling without stylists – they just had incredible style.”
Haulier’s 2022 spring/summer collection is available now. The flagship store is slated to open in Sydney’s Paddington on Thursday September 8.