Looking for something? Search Away?

Close this search box.

Bridging Artistry and Luxury: An Exclusive Interview with Clare Haggas

Discover the world of Clare Haggas: where British artistry meets luxury fashion.

In the realm of fashion and artistry, there exists a remarkable synergy, where creativity blossoms into breathtaking pieces that not only adorn the body but also tell compelling stories. Today, we have the privilege of delving into the captivating world of Clare Haggas, a visionary artist and the founder of a brand that seamlessly marries British heritage, exquisite design, and environmental consciousness.

Clare Haggas, driven by an unbridled passion for painting, embarked on a journey that has not only redefined luxury in the fashion industry but has also become a beacon of hope for those seeking inspiration and resilience in their own lives. Her remarkable scarves, adorned with her original artwork, are more than just fashion accessories; they are vibrant canvases that narrate tales of her personal journey, her love for the British countryside, and her unwavering commitment to both artistry and the environment.

In this exclusive interview, Clare opens her heart to share her artistic evolution, her commitment to sustainability, and the profound impact her brand has had on individuals worldwide. Join us as we step into the enchanting world of Clare Haggas, where creativity meets purpose, and fashion transcends into art.

What inspired you to start your brand, and how has that initial vision evolved over the years?

I’ve always had a deep passion for painting, and each silk accessory, starting with the very first one I created for myself back in 2017, features my original artwork. However, it was during a critical turning point, while I was in rehab, that I realised the integral role art played in my recovery and life. My paintings primarily depict native British birds, flowers, and wildlife, all of which are emblematic of the British countryside. Thus, a fundamental and unwavering aspect of this brand is our commitment to creating everything as locally as possible, paying homage to the British nature that continues to inspire our brand.

Your brand takes pride in its authentic British identity. How do you infuse British elements into your designs, and why is this important to you?

At our core, we are genuinely British. Each of our designs resonates with the beauty of Britain, from the lush countryside to the vibrant wildlife. Every stroke of my brush captures tradition and nature, celebrating game birds, hunting dogs, and equine pursuits. Incorporating British elements is a way to honor our heritage, preserving timeless traditions against a silk backdrop, almost like windows opening onto our remarkable countryside.

The meticulous attention to detail in your scarves is remarkable. Could you share some behind-the-scenes insights into the rigorous process of creating these masterpieces?

The journey of each accessory begins with vivid and intricate artwork, often combining multiple paintings to achieve the perfect level of detail. For each original piece of artwork, I typically begin with a sketch of a bird, animal, or plant, sometimes based on exceptional photography or something I’ve encountered on the farm or in the garden. I have a fondness for watercolor pencils, so I invest considerable time in building up each piece to make the colours as vivid as possible, occasionally using acrylic paint as well. Once the original painting is complete, it undergoes digital scanning, and we dedicate weeks to adjusting colors, contrast, and brightness to adapt them for silk. The scarf design then comes to life, featuring flowers or wildlife from my other paintings, with the specifics varying depending on the scarf’s size.

Your commitment to not raising the RRP of the silk range despite increased production costs is admirable. How do you balance luxury with affordability, and what motivates this decision?

While prices are currently rising across the board, from packaging to materials, and with the introduction of the more expensive double-sided silk, I believe it’s essential to pass on these costs to the end consumer. This ensures that even during challenging times, they can still indulge in a touch of luxury.

The Spring/Summer 2023 Collection introduces double-sided scarves, a first in the UK. What inspired you to innovate in this way, and what challenges did you encounter during the development process?

As a luxury brand, my aim has always been to provide the highest quality products to my customers. Silk scarves are versatile accessories with numerous ways to tie and style, but it often requires skill to conceal the white underside of a single-sided scarf. I wanted everyone to effortlessly wear these pieces without investing hours in learning how to tie them, which is why I was driven to create double-sided scarves. Over the past two years, I dedicated my efforts to developing this new printing process, which presented its share of challenges. Achieving perfect silk penetration, ensuring colors do not bleed, and maintaining vibrancy on both sides proved to be a technical challenge on such delicate fabric. However, the time and effort invested were worth it, as the new scarves offer stunning versatility and eliminate the need to conceal a white underside.

Each piece appears to tell a story. Could you share the inspiration behind one of your favorite designs and the emotions you hope it evokes in the wearer?

In Spring 2024, I will be unveiling a new design that is particularly close to my heart. “Soul Mates” and “Watching Over Me” are two paintings dedicated to my late husband, Will, who sadly passed away in late 2022. Many believe that robins, featured in “Watching Over Me,” and swallows from “Soul Mates,” are spirits returning to visit us. I combined these two pieces into one design to pay tribute to Will and offer something to my customers so they can feel their late loved ones are always with them.

How do you ensure that your brand remains sustainable and environmentally responsible throughout the manufacturing process?

I have always prioritized working with local artisans, and every silk accessory is crafted by a local company, reducing our carbon footprint as much as possible. By fostering a circular economy, we ensure that our scarves are timeless and enduring, reflecting our commitment to both artistry and the environment. Additionally, my love for endangered birds and wildlife is reflected in my artwork, aiming to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote their conservation.

Your scarves are known for their vibrant colours. How do you select the colour palettes for each collection, and do you have any personal favourites?

Color is a defining characteristic of my art. The palette for each collection draws inspiration from the ever-changing hues of the British countryside, reflecting the seasons and wildlife. We blend vibrant tones and often include contrasting borders to make elements of the artwork stand out. Choosing these palettes is a meticulous process, with each shade evoking emotions and storytelling, while also considering the season of the collection. For Autumn/Winter designs, I often opt for warmer, nature-inspired tones like deep forest greens. In Spring/Summer, vibrant colors such as bright blues or the turquoise of summer seas may take center stage, and occasionally, neon hues find their way into my designs. As for personal favorites, I must say that navy is incredibly versatile, suiting most skin tones and being suitable for all seasons. It’s a timeless and classic color that effortlessly complements other shades.

As a founder, how do you balance creativity and business acumen to successfully grow your brand?

This brand has always been a celebration of artistry, resilience, and recovery, mirroring my personal journey and resonating with those who appreciate unique, cherished pieces and a brand that stands for something deeper. Balancing creativity and business acumen involves nurturing my creative vision while strategically aligning it with customer preferences. I maintain a close relationship with my followers and customers, seeking their input on preferences, changes they’d like to see, and even suggestions for future designs.

Your scarves are cherished accessories for many. Could you share a heartwarming customer story that exemplifies the impact your brand has had on people’s lives?

I receive countless personal and heartfelt messages from customers daily, and when I attend various Game and Equine shows, customers often approach me with their stories. At this year’s Cheltenham Festival, a gentleman from the United States traveled a long way to meet me. He shared how my openness about my recovery journey on social media had inspired him to overcome his struggles with drinking. He is now over two years sober and proudly wearing one of my iconic pheasant ties. It’s incredibly humbling to hear stories like this. Many individuals dealing with addiction fear judgment, discrimination, and social isolation. My goal is to have a positive impact on my customers and followers, not only by bringing joy through accessories but also by using my platform to be open and honest about addiction.

Collaborations often play a significant role in brand growth. Are there any dream collaborations you’d love to explore in the future?

I would be honoured to collaborate with a high-end luxury fashion house. As a devoted fan of Gucci, I couldn’t think of a better match. Creating a silk scarf featuring my artwork with such an iconic brand would be a tremendous honour.

Your designs often capture the essence of British culture and nature. How does your personal connection to your heritage influence your creative process?

My designs are a direct reflection of my deep connection to British culture and nature. My personal heritage plays a pivotal role in shaping my creative process. Growing up surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of Gloucestershire, experiencing the rich history, and living in the Lincolnshire Wolds have all enriched my work. When I moved to live on my beloved Will’s Lincolnshire farm, he encouraged me to view nature from a different perspective, urging me to engage in activities like shooting, fishing, and observing the diverse wildlife that exists there.

The fashion industry is constantly evolving. How do you stay ahead of trends while maintaining the timeless appeal of your brand?

We have evolved organically, prioritizing our core values of luxury, heritage, and longevity over chasing fleeting trends. My main focus is on maintaining our signature look and feel while incorporating subtle updates, often through color palettes that align with the season.

What advice would you give to aspiring designers and entrepreneurs looking to build their own authentic and successful brand in the fashion industry?

I believe the key is to embrace your unique voice and vision. In such a competitive market, authenticity is paramount. Nurture your true passions, and when you encounter challenges, refocus on those passions as they will motivate you to persevere.

Our readers love to travel. What destination is at the top of your bucket list?

Bora Bora is probably at the top of my list. The dazzling lagoons and skies there would provide a fresh perspective for my artwork. Bali also looks absolutely amazing. I’ve never been to either place, so gaining inspiration from different cultures and experiencing stunning natural landscapes is definitely at the top of my bucket list.

Where can people find out more?

You can find more about our brand and explore our collections at www.clarehaggas.com.