Tuesday 11th August

| BY Paul Toner

London Latex Specialist Hanger is Looking For A New Leader, And It Could Be You

For those who tuned into Netflix’s Next in Fashion earlier this year, you’ll be well aware who Claire Yurika Davis is. With her witty London-charm and devotion to sensual dress, the designer was a stand-out in a crowd that included fellow Brit Daniel W. Fletcher and Angel Chen, hailing from China. Back on her home turf, she was the founder and creative visionary behind Hanger – the sustainable, latex specialist brand she founded back in 2013. Yet despite the show’s pretty impressive grand prize of $250,000 and a chance to design an exclusive collection with Net-A-Porter, Davis spent her days on the sunny shores of LA contemplating the closure of her brand entirely.

“It was the first break I’d been able to take from the brand in a long time, and it was relatively soon after my father died so I was suffering from mild exhaustion,” says Davis. “Having the physical distance from my work and my world immediately felt amazing, and I knew that closing the brand was something I would begin working towards.” This may come as a surprise to fans of the label, which has garnered a cult London following in recent years. Dressing the likes of activist Munroe Bergdorf and singer Rina Sawayama in the past, Hanger’s hot and steamy pieces – which include skin-tight pencil skirts, laced-up flares and enflamed bras – have offered a much-needed respite from the prim and proper fashions that have dominated the catwalk in recent years.

“I have taken it as far as I possibly can! Money, exhaustion, stress – running a business on your own can be very lonely, and it’s a lot to take on one person’s shoulders if you’re not careful of how to manage that,” explains Davis. The designer’s swan song from the label happens to be her 10th collection, “10’s represent the endings of chapters, so it does feel particularly fitting,” she says. Dubbed Sayonara Slutz!, the collection is actually inspired by the ‘Slut Dress’ the designer created on the first episode of Next in Fashion. “I wasn’t planning on doing a collection around it at first, but later realised that there couldn’t be a better final collection that something super slutty,” explains Davis. “All Hanger collections have an element of practicality in them, and for this one it is the strap-on brief. It’s the perfect mix of practicality and sluttiness.”

Though this is not the end of Hanger, but a brand new beginning. Davis is looking to pass the brand onto a new leader. What credentials is the designer looking for exactly? “Honestly I’m very open minded!” she admits. “The main qualities I’m looking for is someone who has an actual original thought, idea, or way of thinking. In a world of echo-chamber repeats and remixes, I know it’s hard to find but I know those minds are out there! Secondly it must run along the same path as Hanger in centring people of colour in all instances, and be fun!”

Fans of the brand, don’t be alarmed – Davis has no plans on leaving the fashion industry for good anytime soon. She is currently in the process of setting up a new business endeavour which will help people add more purpose to their role in fashion, and create a more conscious narrative surrounding consumption. She’s also began reading tarot cards, which she describes as “the most natural progression” she’s made in a long time.

Letting go of a business you’ve built from the ground up is no easy decision. Yet Davis has no particular expectations of her future successor. “This is essentially a book in which a chapter is ending and the rest of the book is unwritten, and it’s not mine to write,” she says. “If I’m able to choose a successor, what they do with the brand is their decision alone. I would be happy to see anything that helped the new successor fulfil or step into their purpose, however that may be.”

You can send your pitch to be the next leader of Hanger here.