Meet Martin Parker – a British designer and co-founder of Yorkshire-based menswear brand Cut & Pin, former head of design at Pure Collection, senior designer at British brands Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Next Group PLC, and worked with well-known British designers including Betty Jackson and label Preen. He has been collaborating with Gobi Cashmere since the launch of Fall/Winter2021, Spring/Summer2021 collections, such as ‘Expressionist’, ‘Chalked’, ’60’s Mod’, ‘Ethereal’, ‘Riviere Chic’ etc. We invited him to Mongolia to meet in person and show him the very roots of our production of authentic Mongolian cashmere. Here lies a short interview with Martin on his journey through the Land of Cashmere.
We were headed out of town to visit a Mongolian herder family, the first time for Martin. Even though he had had a long, difficult flight he was cheerful and excited. Along the way, he narrated the following lines:
“When I hear the word Mongolia, the first thing that comes to my mind is cashmere, probably because I worked in the cashmere industry now for several years. Mongolia is known for being called the Land of Cashmere. I have been to inner Mongolia, but never the outer. This is my first time. You know, coming here is fantastic and seeing this today, coming out into the countryside, seeing the mountains, this is very interesting. Because obviously, London is the city you can't see much of the nature, it's great to come out and see all this beautiful landscape.”
“When I was a kid, I wanted to become a train operator. But I chose a bit different path - a fashion designer. I am also a big fan of music, thus I wanted to become a singer as well. But I can't sing. Music, fashion, art, and film - I like to go hand in hand with each other. I always have been good at art. I always enjoyed art but didn't know what to do with it. So, after I graduated high school, I went to art college. At the time, my tutors recommended I went to the fashion college and I did. Never looked back since! “
What is your personal opinion about Gobi Cashmere?
Nothing, just the quality of cashmere. Especially after seeing the providence of cashmere today, where it comes from. From goat to the garment and considering design aspects to this cashmere making timeless pieces.
What's the best way to know what customers want?
That's a million-dollar question! You can't know, you can only guess. As the purpose of the designer, you soak off every information, what's going on culturally, musically, artistically, and spot the trends. My job is to predict what customers want, which can be tough. Hopefully, we get it right.
What is your vision about Gobi Cashmere?
I want Gobi Cashmere to become more international, thus taking it to the next level, making sure that the designs fit everybody in every country and each of the customers.
What do you say about our company branding?
The biggest trend of the moment is inclusivity and diversity in fashion. I think the way that you present collections is very important, how they make photoshoots and the models you are using to reach each customer around the world. The Gobi should look into future campaigns and marketing. Everything is about being inclusive and that is represented by the models that you choose. Maybe not necessarily professional models, you know maybe the people you find on the street.
The day after our trip to the countryside, we went to the Gobi factory, one of the fully integrated cashmere factories in the world. He was personally acquainted and involved in the step-by-step processes. For Martin and the factory workers, it was a fresh breath of air.
For us, our quality and style must meet global trends and standards. Therefore, we’ve been working together with international designers because our cashmere has to be accessible for everybody in every continent in the world. Gobi Cashmere’s designers try to keep up with the fashion trends and we’re happy to exchange ideas and thoughts with Martin. He also visited the Online Office, where more than 80 young professionals are working hard to make it possible and convenient to distribute our products to reach everyone in the world.
“I spent 5 days with Gobi Team, they were an absolutely welcoming fantastic team, working for an amazing brand. The story and promise of Gobi Cashmere and the actual scenes are not different in any way. How the Gobi produces from goat to garment is incredible. It’s a wonderful journey how they can manage the whole process and seeing for the first time, actual herders and goats were something new and unforgettable to me. The Gobi got such a huge potential and taking things to the next level, moving to the global market without a doubt. I am happy to contribute to this operation.”
” Coming to this beautiful land of blue sky, and meeting Mongolian people, who were very kind and welcoming, was an unforgettable experience for me. I would love to come again.” – said Martin before he got on the plane back to London.