To us, this is new-generation London,” says Charly Jacobs, head of design at Blackhorse Lane Ateliers, as we survey the brand’s converted 1920s factory in Walthamstow. Large windows flood light into the room populated with machinists, who busily cut and stitch strips of rich indigo denim. In the far corner, founder Han Ates chats to prospective clients, while Pedro Passinhas – who runs the supper club that occupies the factory by night – fires up the ovens in his adjacent kitchen. Down the corridor, leather craftsman Jonatan Staniec is putting the finishing touches to a new wallet and textile designer Katherine May is examining her latest crop of Japanese indigo, grown on the local allotment. Visiting the operation, it becomes clear that the label ‘business’ or ‘factory’ isn’t enough to encapsulate the broad vision of Blackhorse Lane Ateliers, which has become a hub of creative energy and community-based enterprise in an unlikely corner of north-east London. 

Oct 23rd 2017
Lois B-E

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