Founded in late 2013, Settlers Stores offer a beautifully fashionable clothing range that is perfect for the outdoorsy man or woman. Bringing to mind those old black and white photographs of adventurers and hunters who were always so immaculately dressed. For the modern traveller, the range of products available not only facilitates adventure but inspires it. Co-Founder Zara d’Abo explains.
“Nathalie Sergent and myself founded the company after we met while living in Kenya in the late 90s,” Zara explains, “I was a TV producer working across East and West Africa and Nathalie had a clothing business in Nairobi. It was very successful and sold to the likes of Donna Karan and Barneys in New York as well as the local market.”
The pair of them joined forces and wanted to make clothes for people who loved being outdoors but did not want to compromise style for function. Settlers Stores was born. Now in the UK, Zara and Nathalie are still as involved in their brand and their store as they were at the start. This is not merely business as usual, this is a passion.
Zara says, “Tweed was our starting point as it is such a brilliantly appropriate fabric for this climate and we make clothes for people to go on safari in a British context whether that is glamping, camping or festivals.”
Zara explains that they work with a pair of mills in Scotland to create their clothes, “One on Harris and one in the Borders,” she says, “We design some of the tweeds and get them woven exclusively for us. The batik linings are printed in Holland, and mostly shipped to West Africa, where it is known as Dutch wax.”
Interestingly, she points out that as the prints are constantly changing it means that every piece from their collection is effectively a limited edition.
Everything is manufactured in the UK. Patterns are designed, and samples created all in the shop and workshop in Frome and they also work with two workshops in London for additional makeups.
Many of the styles are reinterpretations of design classics such as the box pleat skirt, the lady’s trouser suits and the men’s gilet. Zara and Nathalie also regularly look further afield for inspiration.
“One of our best sellers is based on a Kashmiri robe called a Pheran,” Zara says, “This is a unisex, unisize, multipurpose robe that doubles up as a coat, dressing gown or dress. It is short enough to stride in, warm enough to be outside in and waterproof enough to brave the elements!”
Zara explains that while their garments may not be the cheapest available, they are handmade to last a lifetime. And to help this along they do offer alterations and repairs for existing customers should they need an item adjusting.
“After all, people do change shape.”
Indeed, building a solid relationship with the customer is everything and Zara is proud that they have a band of loyal customers who seek them out and always come back for more.
And what can be expected for next year’s collection?
“We have a bigger collection of summer clothing in Dutch wax prints coming for next spring and summer,” Zara reveals.
AVERAGE PRICE RANGE: £250-£450
ADDRESS: Settlers Stores Ltd, 5 Cheap Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BN
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 01373 455044