A clothing brand with soul will always reflect the personality and style of the founder and, I guess, this is true of our brand at Universal Works.
In late 2008 Universal Works was born, with the Autumn Winter 2009 our first collection. My work life reads like a description of the company's DNA – an early career in the Midlands, firstly as a sign writer, actually painting lettering before it all went vinyl, then in the local coal mine which, brought an understanding of real work wear, then, through fourteen years at Paul Smith, an elegant English sartorial element was added. A further five years at Maharishi brought my love of street wear into the mix.
Universal Works aims to mix the great British clothing heritage with a modern, more international feel – wearable; sustainable and affordable; clothes that reflect the personality of the owner; real honest menswear that defies the trends and whims of fashion. The ideas come from a humble blue-collar background but one that knows how to dress well and live well.
We want a brand that offers great fit and great quality at a fair price; a collection that can be stylish in an understated yet confident way; a collection about great shapes, great utility and great design, but never about overdesign. I want it to be universal in its appeal and easy enough to work for men in everyday settings at work and play.
While the move to mass production in the fashion industry has meant low priced, yet standardised, but often, good quality product, somewhere along the way it lost its soul. I want to craft clothes with love and soul and care.
We are an independent, small company and are happy and proud to be both. We approach all our work with passion and a sense of humour.
David Keyte – Universal Works