In the latest of our regular series of interviews with modern-day adventurers, explorers and entrepreneurs, we sat down with Farer wearer Lauren Yates, the multi-talented writer-editor-designer (and more besides) of Ponytail Journal.
'I'm Hong Kong-born, Thai-Australian raised, and Chinese-British blooded. My favourite item of clothing is my B7 sheepskin jacket, made in Scottland given to me by my buddy Nigel Cabourn, and my favourite classic car is a Toyota FJ40. I'll have one in cream, if you're offering. And if I had a personal philosophy on life it would be to live the funnest life possible.'
So says Lauren Yates, by way of an introduction. As anyone who has visited her Ponytail Journal or shopped her W'menswear clothing brand will tell you, Lauren is a woman with a passion for design, colour, stories and adventure. Each shines out of the work she does. She's certainly making a good fist of living the funnest life possible.
'Ponytail Journal is my brainchild of the last four years, a site that breathes life into my passion for the arts and for the talented people out there making great food and clothing, or making a difference to our natural world. Ponytail Journal focuses on editorial, stories and video, and we use each to tell our online community about passionate and well-made things and about the ideologies and beliefs that drive them. It's an exciting project and it's evolving and growing all the time.'
After assembling a loyal following around her Journal it's no surprise that Lauren then moved into creating products herself. W'menswear - a playful term coined by Lauren for her own personal style, and now the name of her brand - mixes vintage and contemporary style, menswear and womenswear, and beautiful textiles and ephemerality with functionality.
''W'menswear' sprang to life three seasons ago now, when I started to materialise ideas into tangible items that the Ponytail Journal community could finally get a feeling for. The brand started off selling wholesale to like-minded stores who spoke the same language as Ponytail Journal. The reaction so far has been incredible.
'I find so much beauty and wonderment in things that were created with purpose and good research. When we design and produce W'menswear, we do a heck of a lot of research into the history of clothing within the last century. Right now I'm looking into the Vietnam war period, and a rad lady that comes to mind is the American war photographer Cathy Leeroy. There's not much on her but from the few pictures I have sourced, she carries herself beautifully in her 'Nam gear.'
Globetrotting in Style
An adventurer at heart, busy though her professional life may be, Lauren is still committed to travel and exploration. A recent journey to Holy Island in Lindisfarne is about to be followed by a trip to Tokyo and various points across India in search of fabrics for her Spring-Summer 2018 W'menswear collections.
'I really want to duck down to Sri Lanka and go for a surf in the south too,' adds Lauren. 'I've heard there are some really nice point breaks down there for a logger like me and the food is incredible too. Closer to home, I'm due another stay at The Gore Hotel just behind the Royal Albert Hall. It's where amazing musicians used to hang out in the past, and the details everywhere - from the Penhaligons kit in the bathrooms to the antiques in the hallways - are amazing.'
Favourite Farer Watch
And so the time arrives to ask Lauren the all-important question: which is her favourite Farer watch?
'I've really gotten cozy with my Stark. I've had it for about a year now and I love its size and smart-looking face - and it's certainly much more reliable than my vintage Vietnam-era W70 from 1968 that loses 10 mins every week...'
Follow Lauren's latest adventures on Instagram.