Bills Restaurant started off as a tiny fruit and veg stall and has know turned in to the massive restaurant group it is today.
In a three part blog series, the Journey of a Bills shirt, from initial ideas and construction to the finished product will be explored.
Speaking to co-director of Bespoke Textiles, Katie Young, she tells us how the journey of the Bills shirt began.
How did you work with Bills first come around?
Katie: Bills first contacted us after seeing the work we had done for the Soho House Group (Creating aprons and napkins for Pizza East, Chicken Shop and other Soho House Group establishments) and soon put in an enquiry.
What were the very first stages in the journey of a Bills shirt?
Katie: Bills wanted to see some ideas from us, to help them decide what would be the best and most suitable look for the brand. The shirts they had before weren’t great and were uncomfortable for the staff to wear, and they only had men’s shirts, the women had to wear unflattering and stuffy men’s shirts!
We started to experiment with fabrics that used spandex, man made and cotton fibre, to create a shirt that could be breathable, durable and easy to care for.
Bills were really keen on having shirts that represented the brand and its style, shirts that were timeless but with a twist. Bills have classic dishes with a modern twist, and they wanted the uniforms to reflect this.
How did you source and create the Bills shirts fabrics?
Katie: The fabrics for the Bills shirts were sourced in a mixture of a ways; from UK suppliers and factories but also from a family run businesses in China, which I have worked with for over 15 years, we really trust their ethics and values, and we also enjoy working with them. We started off by sourcing fabric in the local markets of Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong and in Shenzhen, China, as it was close the to factory and we wanted to see what was available close by. From swatches of the fabric sourced, a design was built that was individual and exclusive to the client; we honed down the check for the shirt, scaling it down to create a micro check, which gave a slightly more modern feel to a standard gingham check. Bills were quite particular with what colours they wanted for the shirts, charcoal instead of black, off white rather than white, but we were happy to create something that was unique to their brand. Once the colours were complete, a new fabric was created. The final swatches were woven up in a mill close the to china factory.
After we had established and created the initial swatches, we put all of our ideas together on a mood board and presented them to Bills.
In the end Bespoke Textiles were chosen over other Workwear Companies because we were the only ones to come up with something that was fashionable but also kept up with demands of a high performing restaurant uniform.