On the face of it, First Principals clearly is a Fashion Company: Fashion Companies make clothes - First Principals makes clothes - it follows that First Principals is a Fashion Company. However, Fashion Companies are also often associated with an additional set of values and behaviours which we, as First Principals think differently about.
Lasting over ephemeral
The very essence of fashion is temporary. When something is fashionable, it is “hot right now”, and this comes at the expense of what was "hot yesterday". Fashion companies anticipate the next fashion and will adjust their offerings to align with those predictions. Rather than allowing the ebb and flow of what is fashionable dictate the products we make, at First Principals we make clothes that align with our core aesthetic values. We believe that elegance and style are qualities that transcend what is fashionable. Clothing built upon these foundations remains wearable in all fashion climes.
Product over lifestyle
Fashion companies are masters at leveraging the power of the brand. Customers buy certain clothing because they want to be associated with a brand and thereby make a statement about their lifestyle. Hopefully this reasoning applies to First Principals as well: you (the customer) believe in our values and by buying and wearing our products you want to be associated with us and what we stand for. However, we diverge by offering a different reason why you want to be associated with us.
Many fashion companies draw their appeal from factors that are not directly related to the products they sell. They will rely on celebrity endorsement, symbolize wealth or promote a certain identity (e.g.: being a surfer). Depending on what logo is printed on a T-shirt, the exact same physical product could be made to fit any of these requirements. At First Principals we want our products to be the differentiating factor: what they are made from, how they are made and who they are made by (not forgetting what they look like of course...).
Making and community
The most important reason First Principals is not a Fashion Company is that making is our primary activity. Most Fashion Companies are happy to outsource the making process to distant countries and to personnel they do not even employ. To us this is unthinkable. We believe that making is a core human activity that is extremely rewarding: both to the one who makes and to the one who purchases. Making fosters a sense of usefulness and belonging to a community of others who make. Because we care deeply about what we make, we believe that the customer will be rewarded for their purchase with a superior product.
First Principals is a company that makes clothes, not a Fashion Company.