Prince Charles has teamed up with British design duo Vim + Omi for a sustainable fashion line, having provided nettle from the gardens at Highgrove for their clothing.
Speaking to People magazine, Omi says that the idea to collaborate was Prince Charles’s.
The partnership began, quite mundanely, over tea. Prince Charles was hosting an event for the British Fashion Council and Vim + Omi were attending as designers when the trio got chatting about using the nettles in design.
“It was actually his idea to use nettles from his estate and turn them into clothes. And what do you do with a suggestion like that? It was almost like a challenge for us!”
He added that the prince ”casually said that he had loads of nettles if we wanted them. We thought it was a nice gesture and then next thing we knew we were at Highgrove with his team harvesting nettles over two days”.
The collection, featuring ten pieces and called Sting, will debut later this month during London Fashion Week, at a runway show at the Savoy Hotel. Vim + Omi say that the Victoria & Albert Museum has already expressed interest in acquiring a piece for their permanent collection, and they’re fielding offers from other museums as well.
“It’s nice that they will have a piece in their archive permanently for public viewing,” Omi said about the V&A. “The public will be able to go and see and realize that ‘Wow, this is what you can do with nature.'”
Omi also spoke of the process of working with Prince Charles’s team at Highgrove because “they know so much” and said it was very humbling.
“It became a learning process for us both. The way his estate is run, it’s mind-blowing to think that these ideas were implemented 20-25 years ago. He really knows a lot about gardening and the environment.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Omi said that they have a lot in common with Prince Charles and their approach to sustainability.
“There is a synergy between how we look at the environment. It’s nice to have the opportunity to harvest from Highgrove. The association with Highgrove gives the ideology that we have about the environment a wider push.”
Omi also revealed that Prince Charles has been sending along encouraging notes throughout the design process, and that they plan to give him pieces to celebrate the collaboration.
“”The thing we learned about working with someone with of the status of His Royal Highness is that he is really well informed. You would think someone who is so high up wouldn’t necessarily have all these cares and concerns for the environment, so it’s quite humbling.”