Interview by Heather Buchanan – Images By Daniaal Khalid
There’s nothing more enticing than a handsome knight on a horse. But in the case of London Fashion Week, the fetching designer Jeff Garner didn’t ride in to rescue any damsels in distress (unless they suffered from bad fashion) but to reveal his new line which would thrill even Lady Chatterley. Since starting his brand Prophetik, Garner has given us distinctive, sustainable and eco-friendly fashion for men and women. Think ethical elegance.
His designs have graced the likes of Taylor Swift, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, and Kings of Leon and he has been named one of the top 40 artists under 40 in the US with works in the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery.
Garner is part of the NYE Riding Club that provides lessons and horsemanship in Hyde Park which keeps the tradition of horses alive in London. At fashion week he rode a favorite black Friesian to the runway which came from a friend. Model Freya Prout from Australia joined him on her white mount and it was certainly an entrance.
We had a chance to catch up with the world traveler to find out more about the man behind the label.
After growing up on a horse farm in Tennessee have you always kept horses in your life?
Yes, I have always had horses growing up in Tennessee. I also ride in Malibu at Rancho Sea Air – teaching lessons and exercising while in town. I whip in at Mels Fox Hounds in Tennessee and also play polo both in Sante Fe and in Franklin, Tennessee.
It’s said your dream is to find a lady to jump on a horse and ride into the woods with. Are you a genuine romantic?
I would say yes I am a Renaissance romantic, idealizing the feminine beauty of the lady and the masculine energy of the male connecting on a higher plane than just convenience and financial. I believe any connection is possible if you allow the soul to speak. I also believe if everyone rode a horse today it would be a different world in the terms of how we treat each other.
How did you discover the fabrics, dyes and processes that make your line elegant and eco-friendly?
I have been on the journey of sustainable fashion since the beginning fifteen years ago, pioneering sustainable practices and plant-based dyes before it was cool. Growing up on a horse farm taught me to respect nature and Mother Earth, and doing something I loved, no matter how creative did not justify hurting the earth or poisoning human beings so I had to do things different or stop what I loved doing.
Your designs seem to time travel from the Victorian era to Civil War to contemporary cosmopolitan. What are your creative influences?
Influence-wise it comes from all over, but I love the old days of detail and fit when individuals were defined by what they wore every day, not the constant changing of trends to fit into a societal marketing ploy. Character became fluid in all aspects of life and a man defined by his boots or overcoat throughout the years.
Fans have described your pieces as “rustic fairy tale.” Do you actually have any favorite fairy or folk tales?
I love the “rustic fairy tale” description. My farm is called Fireflys and Dandies! I am always a fan of King Arthur legends.
Where are your favorite places to connect with nature? Are you someone who can separate from your smart phone?
Honestly, I live a really simple life…I have a farm where I ride horses and live in a Sibley Tent three months out of the year, and then I live on the Malibu coast where surfing and ocean energy take over. I enter society when I must, to continue the quest of bringing awareness to sustainable fashion.
What’s your next chapter?
The next chapter is to be written…I leave for Shanghai next to attempt to bring awareness there and then show in LA before beginning a new collection. We just launched our intimates collection www.prophetikintimates.com and we are beginning a more wearable collection as well. Then I might just ride off into the sunset!
For more information www.prophetik.com.