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Discover the fascinating world of Rorke Bader

[Credits: Rorke Bader, ‘Collection 1: Particles in the Void’ collection]


From high-end fashion brands to niche start-up businesses, at Ventile we take pride in working with partners that have the desire and drive to create soulful pieces that get better with age.

Join us for a conversation with Tony Bader, the founder and creative director of Rorke Bader, as we explore the recently launched collection and his distinctive approach to clothing design.


What is the inspiration behind your new collection?

I draw inspiration from many aspects of modern life, particularly architecture and industrial design. I also take inspiration from historical men’s fashion, fine art, and illustration.

I began sewing almost twenty years ago, and I have always had the desire to create a wardrobe that is soulful, elegant, useful, and modern. My inaugural collection is called ‘Particles in the Void’, which is a term that I have heard from physicists referring to the idea that everything in the universe is just particles in a void acting on one another. I’ve heard the act of creating referred to as a process of connecting dots. To me, this collection is the result of me connecting my dots – the particles that fill my void. 


How did you get into clothing design?

Although I have always had a strong interest in clothing, I grew up with the idea that fashion was like something out of ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, and I was a nerdy kid who was more interested in Star Trek than Vogue. 

Around the age of twenty, during a conversation with my father about my future and career I told him that I wanted to start a clothing company; I only needed to figure out what kind of machine was used to make clothing. He stared at me with disbelief for several moments and politely informed me that clothes were made on sewing machines – which was excellent news, as my mom already had one! I dusted it off and promptly traced the pieces to make my first pattern. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I did what made sense to me from a geometric and anatomic perspective.

Upon sewing an initial muslin using the pattern, I was shocked to see that my solution had worked. From that point on I was hooked and haven’t stopped since.  


What inspires you?

I’m inspired by all kinds of things. My brain is always sort of ticking on about clothing and patternmaking in the background, and everything around me gets sucked into that. I’m constantly taking photos, notes, and making sketches on my phone.

I think that the core of what truly drives me is the worn experience of clothing. To me, it’s one of the most truly viscerally emotional forms of expression, second only to music. Few things can change how you walk, how you talk, how you really feel about yourself and how you feel about your body and mind, like putting on one of your favourite garments or outfits.


Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?

This is a bit like asking who my favourite child is. I don’t have a favourite but I’m happy to point out some of the standouts: the Orion coat, which is an overcoat made from Ventile L27 and cut to fit over our leather jackets and overshirts; and the Aera overshirt, constructed from Ventile L24 that features a great balance between being avant-garde, technical, and wearable; it’s casual and elegant at the same time.


What made you interested in working with Ventile fabric?

I have been fascinated by Ventile since I first learned about it – a 100% cotton fabric that is totally weatherproof and with a heritage related to helping save the lives of British pilots in World War II. Although I initially thought it would be hard to get, a colleague showed me a swatch book and I was blown away when I emailed asking to order some and was quickly and efficiently obliged. 

When I received my first order, I fell in love with it. Ventile feels cool and modern. The density of the weave makes the fabrics feel like they are from the future, but the cotton composition also brings warmth. When you run water over it, it almost seems like magic. It just glides right off without the cold and sterile feeling of synthetic performance fabrics. 

One of my biggest ambitions as a designer is to make durable clothing that can last for a decade or more. Ventile’s durability makes it possible to create pieces that can be part of a daily uniform that genuinely gets better with age. It’s been a fantastic resource for me for all sorts of applications; I’ve even made an apron out of it. I think of Ventile as my go-to fabric. 



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