A fleeting meeting with... Mark Hogarth

A Fleeting Meeting...

Mark, the Creative Director of Harris Tweed Hebrides, holds a unique passion for the fabric and its roots; he can detail you full the history at the drop of a hat, inform on the great poets and actors to have worn the famous 'Clo Mor' (that's Big Cloth, in Gaelic) and even tell you which yarn shades make up a distinct colour with a quick glance. But his enthusiasm doesn't stop at tweed—travel, rooftop gardening and a firm addiction to finding the perfect tracksuit are just a few of the topics he opens up to us about... 

I draw inspiration from a wide variety of places and people. I was fortunate enough to travel extensively throughout my twenties, when I made a bit of money modelling, and had the freedom to choose when and where I worked. This would be punctuated with backpacking trips to places as far flung as Tahiti, Brazil and Mozambique. I became interested in the flow of colour and pattern between people and their built environment. These concepts of form and culture were embedded before I had a deeper interest in art and fashion.  I have always been fascinated by history and I think the two decades that book-ended the Second World War are very influential to my sense of style. They were both filled with hope, albeit for very different reasons, and this was reflected in the styles of the day. 

My sartorial guilty pleasure—the noble tracksuit. I have two classic tracksuits (Le Coq Sportif and Adidas) and I am in the hunt for a third—probably by Sergio Tahini or Kappa—I love the classic Italian sportswear brands of the eighties. It is a ‘suit’ after all which is to say—in its most liberal definition—a matching pair. A good tracksuit can be both comfortable and elegant but there are limitations on where you should wear it. 

Mark wearing one of his classic tweed tracksuits.

I’m most comfortable in smart casual which can be one of the hardest looks to master and is of course open to interpretation and definition. For me it is about the overall aesthetic so you may have a crew neck merino sweater on but pair it with pleated trousers and ‘ice white’ casual shoes or loafers. This style has a functional utilitarian dimension but if the cloth and design are right it can be luxurious too. 

I couldn't do without at least one well-fitting Harris Tweed blazer—Quelle Surprise! This is a versatile must-have wardrobe essential that will last a lifetime. I have several but my midnight blue & sky blue chalk stripe, and bottle green & brown plaid get the most use as they tie in with my entire wardrobe. Walker Slater has a great range of Harris Tweed jackets that you will wear for years and years. 

Layering up: Mark wearing one of this many Harris Tweed jackets, on an Isles beach.

 I am very passionate about consuming less and have followed a buy less, buy better mantra for several years. I have the same Wrangler and Lee jeans I have had for ten years and I wear my cotton t-shirts until they are threaded. I try to hand-wash as much as possible and I really enjoy this interaction with the clothes—you get to see the details and the difference of well-stitched and well-finished garments. If you want to judge the quality of a piece of clothing then examine it after two years of wear rather than at first wear. If there is any clothing that I am not using then I will put it to a good quality charity shop–like a popular bar or nightclub my wardrobe is now one in and one out! 

I still love to travel; Berlin and Perpignan (south-west France) being my perennial favourite destinations however I do love to discover hidden parts of Scotland and the UK. The Hebrides are idyllic and I drove the North Coast 500 a couple of years ago where I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Sutherland with its glaciated mountains carving serene shapes around impossibly beautiful beaches. 

Gardening is my current venture–I have a very small terrace outside my window which has now become an area of obsession in creating a small but perfect Japanese garden. 

Soup is the perfect comfort food. I have become decent at making several soups. They last several days, guaranteeing that not every visit to the fridge ends up with pasta or chocolate. 

Daily necessities include:  Nespresso coffee (lockdown addiction), cold bath, work (of any description), exercise, soup, chocolate, reading (mostly philosophy) and BBC Radio 4 & Radio 6—but never in this order. 


Outfit (main image): Shetland Fair Isle Scalloway jumper, Martin trouser in navy fine herringbone, stylish 1980s shades - model's own. (middle) Mark's own adidas tweed tracksuit jacket (bottom) Edward Harris Tweed jacket in fawn herringbone.

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