Blackhorse Lane Ateliers
Photos: Anton Rodriguez
Blackhorse Lane Ateliers are a new London factory that specialise in making simple but beautifully crafted denim.
Having been immersed in the local community of textile manufacturing in East London, Bilgehan “Han” Ates opened a factory on Blackhorse Lane in the 90s and ran a successful business there for over twenty years manufacturing tailored garments for various brands. Disillusioned with the direction garment manufacturing was taking at the time, he decided to pursue his passion for food opening a restaurant business in Stoke Newington - an experience that would fuel his interest in both community values and sustainable, high quality produce.
In 2016, Han founded Blackhorse Lane Ateliers in the original Walthamstow factory that once housed his tailoring business, and began making jeans that could compete with the quality of Japanese manufacturers. An idea that would allow him to combine his tailoring experience with the community and sustainability values that he’d gained from the food industry.
The quality of denim that BHLA are producing is just part of the story. The Atelier employ local machinists and offer shared ownership to each employee. They run regular evening and weekend workshops and house a mix of studios specialising in crafts that range from artwork restoration to fashion design and weaving, they have their own pop-up restaurant with a Michelin trained chef. Restaurant produce comes from a local allotment patch as does natural indigo dye for the denim.
Han and his team have an artisanal approach, where the importance of the right machinery and a perfect finish outweighs washing and deconstruction. It felt a natural choice to work together on two styles for AW17 - our best-selling Bonnard pant will be available in a specially developed 15.5oz denim (indigo and off white options), and a new unisex five-pocket style, Bari, will also be available in the same fabrications and finish.
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