Meet Jarlath, Our Design Director
November 6th, 2014
While our clothes boast some seriously innovative technology, even the most advanced features are nothing if a garment doesn't look great on.
Enter: Jarlath Mellett, our (very) esteemed Design Director.
We hit the jackpot with Jarlath. Former Director of Design at brands like Theory and Brooks Brothers, he's got serious experience on both technical and aesthetic levels of fashion. It was the exact background that Ministry of Supply, as a brand, was missing. With Jarlath on board, our products are more than just technologically innovative garments; they're the contemporary pieces a guy can blend into his wardrobe seamlessly. And that's what really matters.
Tell us a little about your background, Jarlath.
I was born in Ireland, studied fashion at Limerick School of Art, St. Martins in London, and at FIT in NYC.
When I came to NYC, it was love at first sight. I knew this was the place I wanted to stay, work and live. I started as a knitwear designer and wove my way up, eventually becoming the first Design Director for Brooks Brother. It was there that I got my teeth cut in real menswear, learning about tailoring and traditional garment construction, make, and fit. From Brooks Brothers I went to Eddie Bauer, then moved to Theory as Design Director of Women’s. At Theory, I honed my creativity and craft in contemporary sportswear design - specifically, the art of fit and what that means for the body.
After Theory, I took a break from fashion and started my own interior design business, with stores in the Hamptons and NYC. I designed Theory’s flagship stores in London, Paris, and NYC’s Meatpacking District, as well as showrooms for Helmut Lang and Rebecca Taylor. My store in Amagansett was a creative laboratory that changed each year with new concepts, offering curated home collections from all over the world. I also launched my own women's resort collection there, called JM93 (after my laundry number from boarding school).
I’ve always been passionate about helping people grow and find their own creativity. I became involved with The School of Humanity and Awareness in Atlanta, studying there for two years before I decided to wrap up my business up north and move down to Atlanta pursue that path full-time.
I think it's extremely important to take risks and go after whatever life presents. I love this country and all the opportunities it’s provided for me to follow, grow, develop and discover.
Jarlath and Ministry of Supply CEO Gihan Amarasiriwardena
How did you get involved with Ministry of Supply?
Shortly after moving to Atlanta, a friend introduced me to the Ministry of Supply brand. While I had no real interest in getting back into fashion, I still agreed to meet with the founders - and was immediately inspired by their passion, inventiveness, and creativity. I worked on a small project to see if it’d be a right fit, and in the process, I was hooked. Clothing that actually works with your body - and looks great at the same time - is a brilliant combination, and the next big menswear revolution. So being the emigrant that I am, I said, “Okay, let’s jump in.”
What excites you most about MoS, as a brand?
So many things!
- Its position at the forefront of the technology clothing movement.
- The fact that we're revolutionizing menswear by merging cutting-edge technology and fashion.
- Working with such a passionate, creative bunch of people; it inspires me and teaches me something new every day.
- Being part of company that breaths truth into what it develops, and how it will perform. Its mission is entirely genuine.
- The brand’s obsession with exceptional customer service. It’s amazing!
In the design studio at the MOS headquarters
On a product design level, what's in store for Ministry of Supply?
We’ll be completing our men’s wardrobe - so, all the pieces a man would need anywhere any time. Think performance sweaters, knits, chinos, denim, suiting, and outerwear, to baselayer underwear and accessories. The goal is a complete, cohesive clothing system that works together, answering the body’s needs in all environments, situations, and seasons.
What do you see as the future of fashion technology?
I see the merger of fashion and technology as the new normal. The future is already happening!