7 Things I’ve Learnt: Hamish Tame
7 Things I’ve Learnt: Hamish Tame

7 Things I’ve Learnt: Hamish Tame


Hamish Tame’s journey from intern to creative director of Le Specs spans 18 years and multiple roles. In that time, he’s helped build the fashion-forward sunglasses brand as we know it today. Here, he shares the key things he’s learnt along the way – and his advice on finding the right pair for your face…

Enthusiasm never fails

In the early days, starting as a marketing intern, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed – and I don’t think I’ve ever lost that enthusiasm. I was always hanging around the design team, showing interest in products and suggesting, “Wouldn't that be cool in white?” When an opportunity to work more closely with the design team came up, I jumped at it and began helping to design one of the first Le Specs collections after our rebrand. Prior to this collection, we’d sell around 300 units of a style, but a style I designed for that collection sold around 17,000 units. You’d see it at every music festival at the time. After that, our CEO came to me and said, “You work in design now – what’s next?” From there, my progression happened naturally, but with some serious hustle.



The learning experience is continuous

Regardless of what you know – or think you know – things constantly change, evolve and grow. Over the years I’ve watched several brands stick with a stance of, “This is what we do and we aren't changing that.” It doesn’t work. A big part of my learning experience has been moving away from thoughts like, “How do we make stuff sell?” I’ve moved on to a more fluid and creative space of thinking, so we can grow with our consumers and their changing needs and habits. 


Always be curious

It’s one of the things I pride myself on. I was always asking questions, always wanting to understand how various aspects of the business worked, whether it was merch planning or production. That’s how I was able to plug gaps in my knowledge, moving from a marketing role to something more creative and strategic. Just this past week, I’ve learnt a lot by simply sitting with buyers to understand what their KPIs are, so I’m not just pushing a range for no reason or creating a bunch of stock that won’t sell.


New perspectives are vital for staying inspired

Simple but effective, I find that stepping away from the ‘fashion’ of it all really helps. For example, hanging out with family and my mates is inspiring as most of them are in very different industries to me – they’re anything from builders to school teachers. I love hearing what they think about the products I’m working on. 


Be unapologetic

It’s a motto I follow, especially when it comes to my own style – which is probably why Elton John is one of my icons. Elton does his own thing and doesn’t follow trends. That’s what I want to emulate – though I still often feel under or overdressed.


Collaboration breeds creativity

It’s probably one of my favourite parts of my job. We collaborated with Adam Selman who is Rihanna's tour costume designer. He didn't have a brand at the time – we just thought he was cool and talented – but from it came a really special collection. You can always tell if brands and people are naturally coming together or if someone’s just paid a lot of money to whack a logo on the side of something. Fortunately or unfortunately, we’ve never been in a position to do that, so our collabs have always been about working with partners who are slightly left of centre to create something cool, unexpected and different – but, at the same time, true to us. 


Back yourself

This is a piece of advice I always give young creatives. I spent a long time unsure if my ideas were good enough. It took me time to understand that, just because something doesn't exist, doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. Don’t be a bulldozer, though. Have good ideas, but listen and take suggestions on those ideas from others. This is the best way to work with a team. 

And finally, Hamish’s advice for finding the right sunglasses…

First and foremost, you can wear anything if you wear it with confidence. If we want to get into the nitty gritty though, the rule of thumb is to find balance. If you have a round face, avoid round frames and opt for something more angular. If you’ve got a square face, avoid square frames and go for something with more curvature.

See more at LeSpecs.com

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