The brains behind London-based brand 6876, Kenneth is an old friend of the Hip Store. As part of their Hip Selects series they decided to sit down for a chat, and talk about the forthcoming collaborative team-up with Japanese brand The Fourness. a new solo project from.
Taking its name from psychotherapist Carl Jung’s ‘Four Functional Types’ of the psyche – a theory whereby personality traits can be measured through Feeling, Intuition, Thinking and Sensation – The Fourness is all about bringing together casual and formal styles, rendered in premium fabrics. It’s the work of celebrated Japanese designer Kazuki Kuraishi.
As part of the partnership, there’s an updated version of a 6876 archive MDC jacket (from ca. 2007) that’s been manufactured from high-density, all-weather cotton in Japan, and features underarm vents, a studded detachable hood, reverse coil coated zips, and interior mesh pockets.
The collaboration’s shirting includes the Modulo, a new 87 per cent cotton / 13 per cent flax style that’s equipped with two front flap chest pockets, a notched front placket and a modernist angled crossover back yoke – perfectly representative of the 6876 aesthetic.
As well as that, you’ll find an updated version of the 6876 Kerb shirt, first released in 2013. The new interpretation incorporates two chest pockets with angular and accentuated pocket flaps and dual branding on the pocket’s edge, and is expertly crafted in Japan from 100 per cent cotton.
Then there’s the Jacques, a reinterpretation of a technical pullover originally produced in 2003, made in Japan from 100 per cent polyester micro ripstop.
It’s a collection that seamlessly fuses 6876’s rich heritage of design with The Fourness’ ultra-modern vision and masterful Japanese craftsmanship.
Hip caught up with Kenneth of 6876 to discuss the collaboration, NWA and getting to work with good friends.
You’ve known Everton since the early 90s, when you’d watch Arsenal games in your flat. Your relationship obviously extends beyond just clothes…
You just get on more with certain people in a work environment; sometimes it’s more natural, relaxed. When I was at Duffer, we had a close relationship with Hip; and now that we’re both running our own businesses, there’s this mutual understanding of what it takes to do that – a kind of respect that’s always been there.
Ultimately, you can’t always explain these relationships; there’s just always that shared experience that you notice, even when meeting after a long while of having not seen one another.
Everton once told a story about how you recited the lyrics to NWA’s ‘Straight out of Compton’ while taking him through a Duffer buying appointment – are you a hip-hop fan by any chance?
The weird thing is I have no memory of this but will take his word for it! I have a pretty wide taste in music so the answer would be yes. With hip-hop, though, it feels like those times are gone. I always try to move forward with music, finding new artists to listen to etc.
Explain the partnership with Kazuki Kuraishi / The Fourness. He’s also worked with Neighborhood and Adidas, why 6876?
Kazuki visited the studio in London and – I think – enjoyed the uniqueness of the space. He asked me what was in all the boxes on the shelf and I told him it was my archive, from 1995 onwards.
He asked if he could have a closer look and then I could see immediately how much he loved the product and the ideas behind it. So, after that, he suggested reinterpreting classic 6876 styles in Japan and, from there, the relationship grew.
Sometimes Kazuki reinterprets our archive styles and other times I design entirely new product but he never fails to add his unique know-how.
This season’s shirts that are sold at Hip are all handmade in Japan – why is that?
All of the products we make with The Fourness are made in Japan; that’s part of the attraction for 6876.
Can you tell us about the limited-edition footwear collaboration with Veras and The Black Project?
The Black Project was a reaction to so many people asking us to replicate what we were doing with Kazuki so I thought, OK, let’s do it but to keep the Japanese product exclusive, we’ll only make black products.
It was important for us that there was a natural and believable fit with those who collaborated with – we didn’t want to the Black Project to appear like a series of random exercises in creating product, and I think we managed to do that. It’s been great to work with younger, up and coming British brands. Similar to my relationship with Hip and Everton, I’ve known Veras’ founder Neil Morris for years. In fact, I wrote the letter to the Prince’s Trust for Drooghi magazine way back when.
You have a very talented family. Your wife Nancy is a respected stylist; tell us a bit about her and your son’s love for football…
Nancy is a force of nature both at home and at work – she works hard for big brands and in very high-pressure situations. But the best thing about her is that she’s very down to earth and humble.
All of the children have their own unique talents. I was a little wary initially of Lloyd being involved in organised football as it’s one of my passions, but he genuinely loves it – so as long as he does, then great!
Kenneth wears Brigada rodeo leather shoes from 6876’s exclusive collaboration with independent Welsh shoe label, Veras. Featuring grade A materials and deftly crafted in Spain, only 150 pairs of this style have been produced. You’ll find them at Hip, one of only five carefully selected global stockists. Available May 1st.
See the full hit here.