Martin Franklin is the man behind Foxhall, a London menswear brand founded in 2009. The focus is on outerwear: Tailored, technically innovative and made in Portugal, Italy and the UK.
Where did your career start?
I started at Procter & Gamble in South Africa. They recruited me out of university and I thought it would be a good way to learn marketing and business and to travel the world a bit, and it was all three. I asked to move to London in 2000 and that led to working on the Vidal Sassoon business, which ended up being a 10-year project for me and was probably responsible for sparking my interest in more creative pursuits.
What led to you founding Foxhall?
I started to get bored with corporate life - I really hate politics and the more senior you get the more political it is, and also being removed from what really drives the business. I knew I always wanted to start my own brand and the idea for Foxhall came together around the time I had an opportunity to leave P&G. I thought the idea and strategy for the brand was really strong and did quite a bit of research to confirm it, I still had a really corporate approach at that stage.
Has the Foxhall man evolved since the company started?
No, not really. The man I had in mind when designing the brand is the man we’re designing for now, we just got a lot better at understanding what he wants and delivering that. He’s a smart urban guy, mid 30’s and up who wants a stylish wardrobe that’s progressive without being slavishly trendy. It must meet the needs in his life - work, social, active, smart. Our goal is to meet those needs better and better each time.
Why is London the perfect city for new menswear?
London feels like it’s at the forefront of everything that’s happening right now and it’s a very liveable urban environment. So it’s a good place to be designing menswear for the urban man.
What or who inspires you?
Personally I love architecture and cars so I’m quite happy wandering a city and looking at the steel and glass rising up from the pavement and the steel and glass sitting next to the pavement. I’m inspired by people with a strong creative vision who have realised something magical - Vidal Sassoon, Walt Disney, Frank Lloyd Wright.