Hayden Cox launches her first clothing collection on MR PORTER
When I first met Hayden Cox, it was at Halcyon House, where the surfboard maker and good man had just been named a new member of the MR PORTER Style Council. Fast forward to 2022 and the Australian designer has come full circle with the luxury online retailer, with the launch of his first-ever clothing collection now available on MR PORTER.
It’s just another notch on a belt of accomplishments for the 40-year-old who’s been able to turn his unique surf-inspired aesthetic and designs into a range of items – from paywear in collaboration with Westpac Bank ( long before your rando cousin talked Dogecoin or NFT at family dinners), to artwork with Daniel Arsham and even a line of furniture. But clothes are something that’s been on his mind for nearly a decade.
“It’s been a vision, or an idea, to move into this category for the last eight or 10 years,” Cox told ICON. “It took this time to consider the category in the way we wanted to approach it. There were definitely a lot of things we needed to build on as a brand and as a designer.
“But the journey from the day we sat down and said ‘okay, we’re going to design our first collection’ was probably about 18 months ago.”
Dubbed Acetone, a nod to the materials Cox uses to craft its surfboards, the first-season collection is a mix of surf, active and laid-back utility pieces that, in Cox’s words, are designed for purpose. multifunctional. This ability – to easily change locations and scenarios – was important to Cox, as it was something he himself demanded of clothes from his own wardrobe: “I really feel like a lot of my personal style is woven into it.”
Cotton jersey shorts, sweatshirts and track pants feature an almost imperceptible color gradation to create a washed-out effect. Shell pants made with technical fabrics offer crisp casual outfits as alternatives to your standard chinos while being both wind and water resistant.
Minimalist in design, functional in purpose, it surprisingly lacks what some might describe as an archetypal surf aesthetic – no overdone graphic prints, no garish colors, no sunsets or waves. Which again reflects Cox’s personal style. If you ever meet the man, he’ll be wearing some variation of a black uniform. On the contrary, the designs are clean, veering into austerity if there were no subtle details that ground the collection.
“I wouldn’t even call Haydenshapes a traditional surf brand,” says Cox. “There are pieces in the collection where fit and cut are key, and there’s quite a bit of tailoring involved. Then there are more technical pieces that have an element of performance, like our board shorts .
Buttons made from recycled fiberglass foam collected from surfboard construction waste were handcrafted in Cox’s Mona Vale workshop for use on Japanese twill garments, while personalized leash
Plug-inspired metal hardware provides the beach-life nuance that marks the brand’s heritage.
Keeping these shades subtle, and ultimately wearable, was an important part of how Cox approached creating his first collection.
“I like versatile clothes. I like to dress simply and be able to wear it all day and have it translated at night. Or be in a pair of swim shorts that may work during the day but be able to swim in them afterwards. This kind of multi-functionality, versatility in designs and also a trans-seasonal feel is important.
The first Haydenshapes Acetone collection was launched exclusively on MR PORTER.