Hayden Christensen partners with RW&Co. for new menswear line
Actor Hayden Christensen is seen wearing items from the Hayden Christensen for RW&CO. collection. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-HO-RW&CO)
Lauren La Rose, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, March 27, 2014 7:40AM EDT
TORONTO -- While he was "bitten by the design bug" long before landing a fashion line, it wasn't until Hayden Christensen partnered with RW&Co. that he truly understood what it meant to translate creative vision into clothing -- down to the most minor detail.
"The first time they brought out the 10 booklets of buttons or button options, I was a little overwhelmed," recalled the easy-going actor in a phone interview from Montreal.
With one collaborative line to his credit, Christensen is a design newcomer no longer. In fact, he was so enthralled by the initial experience that the Vancouver-born star is reteaming with RW&Co. for yet another menswear collection.
The homegrown retailer enlisted Christensen -- best known for his role as Anakin Skywalker in the "Star Wars" prequels -- for its first collaborative fashion effort which hit stores last November. The 20-piece collection was inspired by time the actor spent on his Ontario farm during the festive season. His new summer line for RW&Co. is due out in May.
"It was just a natural progression," Christensen said of the transition to warm-weather wear.
"Obviously, you're designing with a different climate in mind, but still, you're just trying to think of things that you just think are cool and design pieces that you want to wear. So from that perspective, it was a strong sense of continuity."
This time out, Christensen is channelling influence from his homestead tinged with a taste of the tropics.
"I'm very much affected by my surroundings," he said. "I was back and forth between my farm and spending some time in Barbados -- which was appropriate for getting into the summer mindset -- so I guess those two places were sort of what informed my decisions a little bit."
Christensen said the lightness of the fabrics, including some of the linens used in the line, were "definitely motivated" by the kinds of clothes he'd wear while down south. But it's his farm where he said he gets inspired and feels "most creative."
"Some of the colour palettes are still very organic," he said. "The line still does feel very different than the winter collection, but hopefully not too different."
Christensen's self-described laid-back, casual style is reflected in the largely relaxed range, showcasing a subdued palette of mostly muted shades, including variations of pale and dark greys and blues, along with khaki and splashes of rusty, reddish tones.
Beyond the button-down chambray, striped and printed shirts, coloured denim and stretch cotton pants, the line is dominated by athletic-inspired apparel -- a key fashion trend for this year's warmer-weather style. The drawstring shorts, nylon windbreaker, crew-neck tees and striped sweatshirts seem equally suitable for breaking a sweat or a casual day out, with items adorned with noticeable yet delicate additions, like striped trims or contrast-coloured pockets.
"I guess sort of the fundamental driving force was designing clothes that were really comfortable and that would appeal to a broad range of people," said Christensen.
Heeding to his own style mantra, it is the most basic of basics -- a lightweight hoodie -- that Christensen counts among his personal favourite pieces in the new collection.
"Some of the trim details on the pockets and the cuffs are then tied back in to the fabric on the hood," he said. "It's just really sort of subtle detail that makes the piece a little more interesting, and that's a hoodie that I would wear all the time."
Christensen said he counts Canadian rock icon Neil Young as one of his style idols, and gravitates toward those with a similar fashion sensibility. Still, he said he has "great respect" and appreciation for the refined work of high-end designers. He recalled being invited to events by fashion design heavyweight Tom Ford when he was younger, and said a few people in the fashion community who have "kind of embraced me" and been "very generous."
But whether Christensen seeks to add more bullets to his burgeoning fashion resume after his initial forays into design remains a question mark -- at least for now.
"I don't want to project myself too far in the future. I'm really kind of enjoying the collaboration with RW&Co. right now," he said.
"But you know, I've got the bug, so we'll see what the future brings."
The Hayden Christensen for RW&Co. summer collection will be available on May 8 at RW&Co. stores across Canada and online at www.rw-co.com, with items in the line ranging in price from $29 to $99.