London – London-based fashion designer Daniel Gayle is stepping out from behind fashion and into the spotlight to focus on sustainability.
His label, Denzilpatrick, is based in Peckham, South London, and releases two collections a year. He works exclusively with scrap fabrics, vintage clothing and recycled materials such as leather, polyester and lace. He uses a company based in Dartford, also in south London, which takes industrial waste leather and turns it into compost that can be bought in tins, meaning 96 per cent is recycled.
Producing low volumes meant that the price range was set higher than the high street brands, but Cashmere sold out, so that didn’t change the order.
“We pushed him to have more fun with the idea by doing cash briefs for the spring and they sold out, placing an order with a shop in Ibiza,” says Gayle, who started his career in Jonathan Saunders’ cutting room. Victoria Beckham, Philip Lim, Kenzo under Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, and Felipe Oliveira Baptista.
Accessories are a small part of the brand that Gayle expects to maintain consistency as ready-to-wear grows. For decoration, he discovered a small community in Peru and Ecuador that grinds and paints the tagua fruit.
Because the business is growing so fast, starting in fiscal 2022, Gayle will move away from its direct-to-consumer model and take on its first stockist, a deal he declined to name because the deal is not yet complete.
Previously sold directly through Denzilpatrick’s site.
In an interview, he said that he always wanted to start his own brand, “But I always had imposter syndrome. Growing up in a normal working-class family, I didn’t think these things were just for me to take on,” says Gayle, who trained as a ballet dancer at the Urdang Academy in Covent Garden.
He named the label after his immigrant grandparents, Denzil and Patrick, who moved from Jamaica and Ireland to London respectively, because he didn’t want the narrative to be about him.
“I wanted it to be a little piece of me so that everyone could see that there was a story that was bigger than mine, and it was a clash of the two cultures,” he said.
In the early stages of brainstorming what a brand could be, he began questioning the way the fashion system works and thinking about how he wanted to focus on sustainability, reducing waste and looking smarter. At the same time, he wanted a “fantasy level.” I was 13 years old once, and I still explore all those feelings inside of me.
Gail is adamant about producing two collections a year, and does so with the help of her art director husband James Bosley, whom she met at a print studio in Brixton during his time with Jonathan Saunders.
He said his designs are about finding the missing puzzle pieces in a man’s wardrobe and his ultimate goal is to create a Denzil Patrick uniform.
“It’s about focus and adjustment. There are things that we started in the first season that we are constantly improving and that we have improved in the third season,” he said, adding that adjusting the style of the outfit was of great importance to him.
Although Gayle’s heart – and business – are in London, he presented his last two collections in Paris, and continues to show in France, which he still believes is the best platform to promote his brand.