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Meet Hugh Simms of HUGH SIMMS in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hugh Simms.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My life as a fashion designer started when I was twelve when my lovely grandmother sat me down on her Singer sewing machine and taught me to sew. She handmade uniforms for our family’s restaurant Phillip’s Crab House and I fell in love with the entire process from sketch to finished garment.

I went on to study business and design at Cornell University in New York and start my first brand a vintage t-shirt line called Hugh London. Despite some success, I decided to step back and attend fashion school to hone my craft to create the brand I always envisioned.

This sounds like a cliché movie line but it’s true, I packed up all my bags, left everything, and moved to Hollywood, California to follow my dreams. I graduated from F.I.D.M. (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) completed a few apprenticeships and started the Hugh Simms Brand with two Cornell friends who specialized in finance and marketing.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road has not been smooth but I’ve always been prepared for that. I knew if I focused on creating unique, high-quality products, that were true to my style then everything would eventually fall into place.

My first collection for the Hugh Simms brand was a huge success. It was a unique patchwork neckwear line that was carried by some of the top boutiques in the country including Fred Segal, Kitson, and Atrium NYC. We quickly gained a celebrity following, seen on television shows and received amazing print and online press.

That collection, however, was quickly knocked off by the top brand in the world and their executives implemented bullying tactics on us.

I immediately became obsessed with making products so unique and with a level of craftsmanship that mainstream brands would be unable to knock off. This started my journey into becoming a blacksmith and leathersmith to accompany my fashion design skills.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with HUGH SIMMS – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The Hugh Simms Brand was started in 2012 for the “rugged gentleman” and everything is handmade in Los Angeles. We create neckties, bow ties, pocket squares, leather goods, among other men’s accessories along with bespoke menswear.

We are known for making heirloom-worthy products, everything in limited edition, no mass production, and never rereleasing believing in exclusivity over conformity. Our staple black denim necktie and bespoke leather belts showcase a resurgence in American craftsmanship.

I use multiple disciplines (fashion design/leathersmith/blacksmith) to design and create many of our products. This allows us to control all aspects and create something that is a true original. Our tools are composed mostly of antiques from the 1920’s, as I believe this adds a history and soul to each piece.

The pride of the brand is our loyal customer base, their emails, and social media posts as they share their journeys and adventures with our products around the world.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
To make it as a fashion designer you need to be in Los Angeles, New York, or London. I knew Los Angeles had the fashion district and great manufacturers along with good weather.

If you stay humble, find your core group friends, and can quickly identify the liars/phonies it’s an amazing place to live. There’s always something to do, always a new place to go, any activity you want to do, any band you want to see, and some of the greatest talents, are all here.

My favorite spot for drinks and dinner is Yamashiro restaurant along with the endless amounts of speakeasies.

A huge perk of living in Hollywood is I get to train regularly at the most successful boxing gym in the world Wild Card Boxing Club run by the greatest coach of all time, Freddie Roach.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Richard Guaty, Tory McCarthy O’Leary

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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