INTERVIEW: British Trouser with Portuguese Flare: Meet Tom Cridland

Tom Cridland is eponymous founder of mens' trouser brand Tom Cridland. The young 24 year old, has designed trousers with a slimmer fit, that are made in high quality fabrics - cotton, wool, or cashmere. The bright and vivid colours - Chili Red, Electric Blue, Pink Panther - reflect the vibrancy of Portugal where they are made by hand. There are also the more orthodox colours - Blue and Stone. 

Bold colours and in a slimmer cut.

Bold colours and in a slimmer cut.

 

Tom is now in the process of raising funds via Kickstarter such that he can formally launch and more importantly to American readers begin distributing his trousers in the US. We have not had the chance to review the trousers, but hope to do so as well as speaking with Tom. In the meantime, head over to his Kickstarter page and buy a pair

We sat down to speak with Tom below:


LC: Tom, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to make trousers?
TC: I was logging 90-hour weeks in finance, working for one of Britain’s oldest firms, when I decided to leave to work on Tom Cridland full time. I was tired of two things: expensive “designer” trousers that were made cheaply and uncomfortable slim fit trousers. We spent a year developing and ergonomically testing a cut that looks elegant but feels as comfortable as a straight leg one. We found a supplier of premium fabrics. We then decided to sell direct to our customers and not via retailers, meaning that we’re able to offer luxury goods at wholesale to them. Tom Cridland was founded out of my love for well made, durable clothing and, of course, colour.

LC: You're 24, how'd you decide to take such a leap?
Before I decided to leave my job in finance, I had already assembled my team. It is filled with experienced designers, clothing manufacturers and talented graphic artists. Working with them on something this exciting was an easy decision to make.

LC: From inception to now, how long has your journey taken you?
TC: I first came up with the idea in January 2014. I immediately registered Tom Cridland as a company and got to work. To develop by brand, I had to apply for a small government loan and present my idea to a panel of five judges. They liked the idea and financing the conception of Tom Cridland was therefore a relatively smooth process. It’s been a whirlwind 12 months, but with wonderful reviews online, being stocked at the amazing Wolf & Badger, meeting distinguished fans of my brand such as Nigel Olsson of Elton John Band, and now a Kickstarter campaign that’s going well, I feel like we’ve been successful so far.

LC: How and why did you end up producing your trousers in Portugal?
TC: My mother is Portuguese and I have been coming to Portugal many times a year since I was born. Portugal has often overlooked in Europe but it has beautiful cities, stunning landscapes, a rich cultural heritage, delicious food and wine and a long history of producing well made clothing and shoes. The quality of the fabric and craftmanship is as good as you’ll find anywhere in the world. We went travelling round rural Portugal to find our suppliers and the scenery on that trip actually ended up inspiring the colours of our first eight designs. 

LC: Where can someone purchase your trousers today?
TC: We sell direct to our customers via our website, www.tomcridland.co.uk. As of February 1st, you’ll be able to try some on at Wolf & Badger in Notting Hill in London or buy online at www.wolfandbadger.com. For now, however, I’d suggest pledging on our Kickstarter page where the trousers are discounted: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1765241578/pants-by-tom-cridland

LC:  Can you share with us your plans to be in the US? 
TC: We plan to open a small pop up shop in Los Angeles, from where we will launch the brand in the US.

LC: What's next for you and the brand?
TC: The next move for us will be our new collection of trousers in wool and cashmere. Some flannels, some cords, all with in the Tom Cridland signature cut and all featuring our unique colours and designs.

LC: What brands or products inspire you and your team?
TC: Our business model is inspired by the likes of Harry’s, Warby Parker and Greats Brand. We make luxury products and deliver them to our customers without the usual markups from the middlemen. Product wise, the closest brand in spirit to ours would be the sunglasses makers, LA Eyeworks.