The Story Behind Our Color Palette
January 30th, 2015
Every detail in our garments is designed with specific intention.
Gemini's button holes are laser cut because the clean edge makes it so much easier to put the shirt on. Doppler's pocket closures are magnetic so you aren't stuck fumbling with snaps while you're wearing gloves. And our color palette? There's a specific thought process behind every hue we offer. We sat down with our design director, Jarlath Mellett, to learn more about the color selection process and how's been able to build out a palette that's completely mix-and-matchable.
Jarlath (right) in the studio with Gihan
"We’re not just producing one-off garments.
"We’re creating an entirely new performance wardrobe intended to replace a lot of what's already in our target customer's closet. So that's where we start – with the pieces he wears the most: the dress shirts, the chinos, the T-shirts, the sweaters. We study these contemporary classics from every angle so that we can be sure we’re staying true to the aesthetics he’s come to depend on as we reinvent them for future-forward performance.
"This wardrobe rebuilding process has to start from the ground up. So we zero in on the core classics first, asking ourselves, 'What's the number-one staple in our customer's wardrobe?' It's a dress shirt, so that was our first focus. In order to blend into this guy's closet, the shirt needs to look like the others, starting with its color. That's when we determined the most classic yarn dyes – blues and whites – then designed our iterations accordingly.
"In picking our colors, we'll ask ourselves, 'What's the color that always looks great?'
"Then we ask, 'What's the perfect version of that color?' We want to be sure we're using colors that are appropriate for the type of garment in question. In choosing colors for our chino, for example, we consider the traditional spectrum of khaki, navy, and green, then ask, 'What's the best navy, or khaki, or green right now?' We need to be thinking of these shades in a fashion vein – they should be modern, current. But most importantly, they should be exactly right. Because otherwise, what's the point?
"Once we've found it, we'll consider how that color reacts to material and fabric, and then how it works within what we're building for our customer's wardrobe. Whatever we're doing has to match what they already own. Because we want them to be able to integrate as much Ministry of Supply into their wardrobe as possible. It's the same reason that our colors are wearable year-round.
"Before we finalize a color, we cross-reference it with the rest of our palette to make sure it blends in. Each hue we use has been carefully thought out for effortless mixing and matching. Our clothes are intended to look great together. The combinations are failproof.
"But we're also a fashion brand.
"So once we've rebuilt the foundation of a guy's wardrobe with the classic blues, whites, greys, and khakis, we'll slowly introduce seasonal colors to keep things modern and current. A cadet green chino, for example, that a guy can mix with his year-round staples. Because while consistency is great, a wardrobe should also be well-rounded, with pieces here and there to change it up.
"Over the course of time I've done a lot of different colors, but I keep coming back to tonal monochromatic.
"I love playing with shades and textures. Right now, for example, I'm wearing grey slim sweatpants, a grey longsleeve shirt, and a grey Mercury sweater. While everything is grey, the layers are broken up by their varying textures and heathers. We could have gone ahead and developed a solid sweater, but I wanted that texture that heathering provides. So we put a great deal of effort into tracking down a yarn that would uphold our performance technology, but could also be heathered for the great textural contrast.
"My inspiration? Our customer.
"I imagine him as this great guy who's moving forward in his life. He isn't stuck in a status quo – he's his own person. So it's not about the clothes, but the person wearing the clothes. Clothes are what allow his personality to come through."