Over the past year you'll have noticed, amongst the neutral tones and minimalist silhouettes of the never-ending '90s revival, zingy pops of colour have appeared here and there on your Instagram feed. An egg yolk yellow cutaway dress; a Kermit green quilted jacket; perhaps a duck egg blue sweater vest. You have one brand to thank for this mood-boosting playful colour palette: House of Sunny. The Hackney-based label, founded by Sunny Williams, has been going strong since 2011, but our need for joyful, serotonin-boosting hues has sent the indie label stratospheric this year.
Unlike many other small businesses, House of Sunny wasn't negatively impacted by the pandemic. With no physical shop fronts (though its South Molton Street pop-up shop last year made waves) and small-batch collections dropping throughout the year in 'volumes,' if anything the brand gained more traction in 2020.
Just ask Kaia, Bella, and Kendall - just a handful of the mega models the brand counts as dedicated fans. It's not just popping colours that's built House of Sunny a loyal following, though. From Dalmatian-effect jeans to psychedelic swirly midi dresses and scenic sunset cardigans, it's the prints and patterns the brand creates that has given the often too-serious fashion scene a much-needed injection of fun.
So where does Sunny get his inspiration? "Right now it's from three things: retro Pam Grier, Disney illustrations and '00s graffiti! It comes from everything I see and feel, from movies, art culture, friends and family." Beyond the Supers 2.0, who else is in the House of Sunny family? Imani, Jessie Bush and Stephanie Broek were early adopters, repping the brand from the early volume drops where items are no so rare they're being sold for ten times the price on resale platforms. "I really liked the Zig Zag jumper from Vol.3," Sunny says. "All of them were sewn by me and I recently saw one for sale on Depop for £1000...I really wish I could get one back."
The brand has kept a steady hand on its sustainability practises from day one, by creating two seasonal collections a year, setting a slower pace to research, course and invent new sustainable fabrics and manufacturing methods, while its pre-order system means nothing is wasted. Priced from around £40 to £250, beyond its cult and kitsch aesthetic, the House of Sunny's success can be attributed in some part to hitting the sweet spot of affordability, much like contemporary counterparts Rixo, Reformation, GANNI and With Jéan. Though the brand's size offering is currently very limited to UK 6-14, its cult Hockney dress is available up to size 16 and it's expanding the knitwear range soon.
So, with 2020 firmly behind us, what's the head of our wardrobe's most spirited brand looking ahead to? "The latest collection is inspired by escapism, dreaming of remote islands, the beauty of a perfect wave, retro beachwear and holiday nostalgia." It looks like brighter days ahead with House of Sunny.