Written by Menswear Style in Brands on the 12th March 2020 / 0 Comments
Cutting his teeth at his father’s engineering business, Jamie Lundy has always learned the hard way. Now the owner of technical outwear brand 7L (Seven Layer), Lundy is making his own waves with a collection of garments that have functional design, performance and an effortless style. Originating from Manchester, 7L is a brand with innovation and technical manufacturing at its core, producing some of the most technically advanced and luxurious outwear garments available. The seven layer system allows the wearer to layer up, or down, according to environmental conditions and inspired by the US Military Generation III Extended Climate Weather Clothing System (ECWCS).
Life has been an interesting ride for Lundy. At 16 he was spotted by a Manchester model agent and whisked off around the world to be photographed by the likes of Mario Testino, alongside elite models including Kate Moss and Stella Tennant. After a couple of years travelling, Lundy decided the world of modelling was not for him, returning to the North West and employment with his father.
“I was only supposed to have a summer job with my old man working on the shop floor, but it kind of lasted 25 years!” He became, by his own admission, a bad welder and moved on into the design department, where he excelled. “My father and uncle were great designers and artists, I must have some of their genes as drawing, design and creativity seem to come naturally”. After a spell of illness and depression Lundy found a new hobby in photography which led to 7L. “It was through photography I came across a new brand called 7L. A close friend asked if I would help them out with some product shots. I was instantly amazed. The design, fabrics, manufacturing were next level. I was looking for a new journey and this was it.”
With an attention to detail that has been manifested over years of working within a safety critical environment, Lundy found that his background was actually more relevant for this new venture than he perhaps first thought. "Attention to detail, quality products, value for money, sustainability, the environment, are in my DNA, so moving from one great product to another was quite straight forward. It has taken 2 - 3 years to rebuild the brand and bring 7L back to market, but it’s been really worth it.” Now, 3 years into living and breathing the brand, Lundy believes he has finally worked out the path ahead for 7L. “I’d like the brand to grow organically, staying true to its 7 Layer System Military DNA,” he says. “Because of its technical fabrics, design, colour palette, 7L can be used in many different environments, by many different people and for many different activities.”
With the ‘New’ 7 Layer System philosophy, Lundy has brought a fresh, exciting, yet confident and professional image to the brand. “Attention to detail, quality, delivery, value for money is what I bark on about all day. But the older I’m getting the more relaxed and chilled I’ve become, which I think everyone at the brand and the brand itself is benefitting from. I surround myself with a young creative team and some fantastic designers that help bring my vision to life.” Speaking of 7L’s target market and customer feedback, Lundy adds: "We want our customers to wear and love our products, knowing they have value for money. I’m sure we will receive some constructive feedback in our first few seasons and we of course welcome that. This will allow the brand room for growth and to constantly improve our products time and time again.”
With the obvious challenges in establishing a brand within today’s retail environment, Lundy remains focused on bringing the heartbeat and character of his home city, Manchester to the make-up of the 7L brand; Key to that, the style of jackets inspired by vintage military. "Over the past few years, I think we’ve struggled as a city somewhat for an identity. After the 90s, with the demise of the music scene, Manchester slowed down with the Northern Quarter clinging on to its character and culture. Now, as I walk the streets, I feel something happening again. It’s coming back in a big way and with the city’s new investments with our two big football clubs, new bands emerging - it’s great to see and be involved with.”