Friday 27th November

| BY Paul Toner

London Calling: Robyn Lynch is One of Our 10 Menswear Designers to Meet

On March 23, Boris Johnson put the UK into a lockdown unlike anything we had ever experienced, in order to protect the country from a health pandemic the majority of us had never witnessed before. A mere two months earlier we’d barged through bustling crowds at London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM), our knees brushing up against each other as we sat tightly packed into narrow rows within busy venues dotted across the capital. Totally unaware of the storm brewing in the distance. This was to be the last LFWM as we knew it. As the global fashion schedule came to a standstill in the face of Covid-19, the British Fashion Council took the opportunity to rethink the seasonal calendar entirely. Moving forward, London Fashion Week would become one gender-neutral platform, and its first iteration would be solely digital, held this past June. 

Many London designers – not long out of university and entirely independent – didn’t have access to a studio, never mind physical resources, during lockdown. Instead, each faced the task of steering the codes that have shaped their brand thus far into uncharted waters, a URL unknown. Some crafted virtual-reality exhibitions and made capsule collections from deadstock, others decided not to show at all. So we spoke to the talent behind 10 of the city’s most promising brands to find out how they approached a season no one could have imagined. 

It seems everyone got into their cycling during lockdown, didn’t they? But the Irish designer Robyn Lynch took that obsession one step further. “Cycling clothing has been a point of reference for me as early as my MA collection, and I am such a fan of the design and technicality,” says Lynch, who graduated from the University of Westminster in 2018, before showing under Fashion East for two seasons.

Luckily for the designer, before the world went into lockdown, she had begun talks with cycling specialists Rapha about working on a project together. The result was a 12-piece capsule collection that was unveiled during London Fashion Week Digital back in June. Each look was created in lockdown, made from deadstock and returned Rapha garments and surplus fabrics leftover in Lynch’s studio from previous collections. With her signature Aran knits spliced with Rapha Lycra separates, the entire collection of one-of-a-kind hybrids was snapped up by Browns, which will be exclusively selling the collection from today. Get on your bike and get down there next week.

Before the world went into lockdown, what did you have planned for your SS21 collection?

“I was just about to apply for New-Gen support, so I was hoping to gain that and show again during June. I was planning another presentation as opposed to a catwalk. I really enjoyed planning the AW20 presentation and definitely learnt from a few mistakes, as it was my first one. I was looking forward to doing another one after learning from the first.”

What did a day in lockdown look like for you?

“Normal! Coffee and work. My housemate was a schoolteacher in a hub school, so she was also still at work every day. It felt very normal, to be honest.”

How do you hope the fashion industry changes in a post-Covid world?

“For me, it will give me the confidence to do what suits my business model best. And not to feel the constant pressure of keeping up what I thought was the standard norm. If I want to only do five looks from now on, so be it. It makes so much more sense!”

Top image by Anna Stokland. You can shop Rapha x Robyn Lynch exclusively on Browns here.

Taken from Issue 52 of 10 Men – COMMUNITY, BELONGING, UPLIFTING – available to purchase here.