Best of British: Interview with Alice Made This

Hamilton and Hare - Best of British: Alice Made This Alice Made This is a men’s accessories brand that celebrates industrial engineering, manufacturing processes and raw materials. Made entirely in the UK, signature products include precision turned metal cufflinks, hand braided knotted pins and electroplated copper studs. The perfect addition to a shirt or tie, Alice Made This proves that the devil really is in the detail. 

We spoke to Alice, the designer and founder of the brand, about the unique craftsmanship behind her designs and her passion for British manufacturing.

Alice, tell us a little bit about your brand and why you started.

It all started when Ed and I were organising our wedding. We were looking for a pair of cufflinks and could only find things that were novelty or add ons to an existing brand. We wanted something different and quickly realised that there was a gap in the market for someone to do something fresh with cufflinks.

We are now a men’s accessories brand celebrating British manufacturing and industrial engineering. At the moment we specialise in cufflinks, lapel pins and shirt studs, with each collection being made from a different process that isn’t usually found in fashion design. We use aerospace, Formula One and nanotechnology factories, as well as a factory that casts pieces for the royal family and a rope maker who has an MBE for his skills. My background before Alice Made This was in product and industrial design and since then I‘ve fallen in love with being in factories, seeing the design of a product through from beginning to end.

We love your Marine collection of knotted cufflinks and pins. Can you tell us a bit more about how they are made?

Thank you. They are all hand braided and inspired by marine knots, which determined whether a ship was ship-shape or not. Each piece uses a minimum of 2.7m of specialist marine grade 1.4mm, 16 plait, smooth braid cord. The cord is plaited in Malvern before the pieces are knotted by hand by ones of our three rope makers. They’re something a bit different and a nice combination of hand craftsmanship and industrial processes.

Your designs are made entirely in the UK. How important is this to you?

It’s one of the most important things for us as a brand. The quality of factories is high here and we have the fortune of working with many skilled people who inspire us. We’re very proud to be able to say that we make our products right here in Britain.

What's next for Alice made this? Tell us about your next collection…

We’ve got lots of really interesting things planned over the next few months, particularly the launch of our new ‘Uniformity’ collection. I grew up as part of a military family and have always been inspired by that. After the Napoleonic wars, the military started using simple geometric icons to communicate. We’ve taken and translated those symbols into two new processes.

 One is a military hardware process working with one of the oldest armourie militaries in Britain. These cufflinks and pins are struck in solid gold, solid silver or gold plated brass with low bake enamel. Then we’ve also partnered with a London based Atelier to create a range of military tailoring lapel pins which are embroidered using gold plated and silver wire. We’re really excited about how the pieces have turned out and can’t wait to launch it soon.