A Lover of Hoods, Technical Jackets & All Things in Between
For our next Jacket Fanatics feature we caught up with the self proclaimed lover of hoods, freelance writer & technical outerwear enthusiasts, Ali George Hinkins.
“Dedicated ramblings about technical apparel, Japanese brands and workwear” couldn’t really explain what Ali George Hinkins is all about much better if it tried. Working as a brand consultant & a freelance writer for the likes of eye_C magazine, Subukara, Sevenstore, HHV & This Thing of Ours, Ali’s product & industry knowledge of the technical outerwear world is second to none. A lover of hoods, technical jackets & all things in between Ali George Hinkins is, in a nutshell, what our exclusive Jacket Fanatics series is really all about it.
So first of all give us some background about how you got into the technical outerwear circuit and where the passion really came from?
It’s always hard to give a condensed version of this because I always leave bits out by accident but I’ll give it a shot! I’ve always had some interest in clothing and footwear since I was younger, whether that was looking at what shoes people were wearing on the carpet in primary school or browsing through Karrimor walking boots in Sports Direct. But, I think for technical wear specifically it came from discovering Massimo Osti’s work like Stone Island, CP Company, Left Hand and Levis ICD+. My perspective really changed when I read Andrew Bolton’s The Supermodern Wardrobe and discovered The Westminster Menswear Archive. It’s hard to quantify the impact these two sources had on me and my outlook but I attribute a large portion of my style, knowledge and fascination with functional wear to them.
From there, it’s just been a continual trip down the rabbit hole of technical and performance-oriented design. I’m an all-in kind of person when it comes to interests of mine so I’ve just gotten deeper and deeper into over time.
Where are you heading for your next Instagram shoot and can we expect plenty of hoods?
For this one, you’ll have to have a coordinated media response which is restricted by NDA’s and secrecy. I work with a close team for editorials and we’re looking to ramp things up in the next few months outside of the space we usually work in. We’re not looking to pigeonhole ourselves in one space so we are expanding into different directions, but there’ll always be a tightened hood here or there.
The whole outdoors/Gorpcore aesthetic has become massive in more recent years, where do you see the scene going as far as technical outerwear is concerned?
With any luck, no more use of the word ‘Gorp Core’ haha. That aside, I’m looking forward to seeing the boundaries of innovation pushing when it comes to lightweight and functional outerwear, as well as seeing the use of kinder methods to the wider supply chain. I’m going to be keeping an eye on some exciting labels like BYBORRE, 7L, Boyagis and CCP, to name a few. Nearly forgot but Jean-Luc and ROA! Buzzing to see their Autumn/Winter collections.
If you had to name 3 of your top pieces from your own outerwear collection what would they be and why?
Firstly, I bought this Uniqlo equivalent of a Patgonia Retro X and it gets a crazy amount of wear during colder weather. It was like £40 and it has really earned its place in my wardrobe. The next two are a bit more technical. Next up has to be the 3L Crystallo Jacket by Wanderlust Vision and then the Klattermusen Mithril Softshell jacket. They both just play a perfect role in my wardrobe for all-year round functionality.
If you could get your hands on one particular jacket what would it be?
I recently let go of a so-called grail of mine, the Tumi Travel Jacket, which I bought and sold back to my good friend, 300700 Store. I think I enjoy the idea of the chase more and I didn’t justify owning it so I thought it was best to let it go to a better home! For now, I’d love to own the Nike x Undercover Gyakusou Series 1 SL Fabric Mix Dart Jacket, just an incredible piece of design. Too many to list 🙁
What do you do in your spare time when you aren’t shooting editorials, writing for retailers or brand consulting?
Besides reading, not a whole lot really. Like a lot of people in this industry, whether it’s healthy or not, I’m pretty committed to my work so there isn’t a whole lot to it outside of this. I’m fine with that, though. My partner and I love travelling, good food and drink and tattoos so I’m not a complete clone.
Finally as this series is all about jackets, what are they key ingredients for the perfect piece of outerwear?
Something lightweight, fast-drying, an element of modularity and ergonomic. I’m not really asking for much, am I? My partner said at least 20 pockets, waterproof and a removable insulating liner for versatility. She’s onto something there..