Over the past decade, Fairfax & Favor has evolved from being the romantic dream of a couple of enterprising schoolboys into a large-scale, upmarket boot manufacturer with its finger on the pulse of country fashion.
We have so many exciting things happening at Fairfax & Favor at the moment. We have launched lots of new products as part of our biggest ever SS21 [spring/summer] collection, which our customers and wholesalers alike are loving.
We are also very busy preparing for the AW21 [autumn/winter] season, where we will be expanding our collections again and introducing new styles—the men’s collection will see a few new additions, too, which I am really excited about.
Up to anything new?
We are planning to open a shop in Stanford, up in Lincolnshire, in September, which is really exciting for us. It will be our second shop—our first one is in Holt, Norfolk. We are hoping to announce the exact location soon, so watch this space. We are also busy planning photoshoots for next season and even designing pieces for the following year’s collection and beyond. I am really excited to be expanding our product offering and delving into markets we haven’t yet explored.
Do you shoot? If so, why? And what?
Yes, I shoot often. I grew up shooting with my family as a young boy and it’s something I have never stopped and don’t intend to stop any time soon. It’s just such great fun and I really enjoy the social element of shoot days—along with the competitive aspect, of course! I am lucky to live in Norfolk, where we have such great access to shoot days and as there are so many other great shots around I am constantly learning from them.
Aside from fashion and shooting, what are the loves of your life?
I love travelling and going on holidays to new places—even more so after the past year we have had. In particular, I love skiing, for similar reasons to shooting; I love the social side but even more so the active, competitive edge that it brings to a holiday.
Naturally, I should also say creating and designing footwear for our customers, too. I love my job and I am so lucky to be involved in designing both versatile country footwear for both men and women, but also more lifestyle pieces that you wouldn’t expect from a traditionally country boot brand. This year we launched sliders, espadrilles and even a wedge heel. I love seeing our wholesalers and customers’ reactions to the new products, making it all worthwhile. In 2017, we won a shooting industry award for our Explorer boots. Getting recognition for our designs is so rewarding.
Which other fieldsports/shooting businesses or organisations do you most admire, and why?
The Country Food Trust is a business I admire. It produces food pouches made from pheasant and venison that it distributes to those living in poverty. It’s a fantastic initiative and both myself and Fairfax & Favor are huge supporters. Some of the stats on the trust’s website are really shocking and I think it’s great that they aim to deliver protein-rich and nutritious food to those who need it most. It’s a great way to showcase the good that the industry can do.
In your opinion, what’s the biggest threat facing shooting today?
The shooting and fieldsports industry has always faced threats but one thing in particular is game not going into the food chain. As mentioned above regarding The Country Food Trust, there are many people in need of food and we need to ensure it is used correctly to ensure we are doing our bit and not creating more of a problem.
What can the government do to provide more support to the industry?
It’s simple—don’t stop it! If the government could recognise the huge loss the economy would suffer if the shooting industry—and all other associated businesses—was lost, this would be a great place to start.
When you take a break from the business, what’s your favourite shooting read?
Honestly, I don’t have too much time to read but something I will always make time for is The Field. It has always been a favourite of mine. I’ve read it for years—there is always a copy on the coffee table.
And the best bit of kit you ever bought?
My favourite purchase is without question my Le Chameau wellies—I don’t know where I would be without them. When you’re out in the field all day, your comfort depends largely on your choice of footwear and I think that Le Chameau boots are great quality and have all the necessary technical requirements for a day’s shooting. Come rain or shine, they never let me down.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself or your business that we might not know
Fairfax & Favor started out selling bouncy castles—this was mine and Marcus’s first venture into business together. However, we soon realised that it wasn’t viable and started to design and manufacture shoes and boots—and have never looked back. The two couldn’t be more dissimilar, could they?
If you could only eat one kind of soup for the rest of your life, what flavour would it be?
This is a hard question… but it’s got to be chicken.