Haerfest: Design & Craftsmanship

Accessories have been around for a very long time and from the looks of it, they aren’t going anywhere. Simply put, accessories add that much-needed distinction; they are the determining factor at times. Brothers Dan and Tim Joo of Haerfest, have created a brand with a philosophy that’s truly one-of-a-kind.

Tell us about Haerfest.
We believe that if you put hard work into the things you love, they’ll grow into something great, hence the name Hærfest (the old English spelling of harvest). This label gives us the opportunity to put as much energy as we can into creating the products and lifestyle that we love.

What is the design philosophy behind a Haerfest product?
Haerfest follows a reducible aesthetic, aiming for an understated and urban sensibility.  “Familiar yet unexpected,” is always an underlying direction taken when designing. Using quality materials, balancing proportions, and attending to details, we strive to create modern basics that age well.

Where does the majority of the inspiration behind the brand come from?
Each collection is a gradual evolution from the previous. Brilliant thinkers inspire us to approach our designs in different ways. One good example is writer Viktor Shklovsky. His idea of de-familiarization in “Art as Technique” best explains what we are trying to accomplish by “familiar yet unexpected.”

“The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects ‘unfamiliar,’ to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged.”

In other words, we are inspired to create familiar pieces that present themselves in an unexpected light through the functionality and details.

Who is your target audience? Why?
Men and women inherently creative or have an eye for creativity. They are on the move, educated, and very interested in personal style. They are the ones living/looking for the “classic life” — durability, quality, beauty-in-simplicity, and free from flashy trends. They don’t buy products, they invest in them.

Out of an entire collection, what product(s) would you consider the staple piece(s)?
Our backpack would definitely be a staple style as it was the first one to establish the look and feel of the collection. It’s a good fit for many occasions. Each piece is special to us; the backpack, tote, duffel, messenger, each designed as a staple style created for a specific purpose.

When seeking fabrics, why is it important for them to complement the theme or vibe of the collection?
Our materials are a very important means of reflecting the ethos of Haerfest. We choose them based on substantial qualities of textures, colors, and patterns.  We strive to create pieces with enduring quality and aesthetic. They should age well and become more appealing through use.

There’s no doubt you brothers are a creative team, but what happens when one or the other doesn’t totally agree with a design choice?
Undoubtedly, when two people are passionate about what they do, it can be tough to see all things eye to eye. Sometimes this can be a blessing in disguise as it challenges us to fully consider every aspect of the design, often resulting in a quality product. We both appreciate the principles of Haerfest and we make sure that the final design meets the standards we have set for ourselves.

Where can Haerfest products be found?

Opening Ceremony and LN-CC.

Running a business can be very demanding. What do you guys do for fun? Any particular hobbies?
Being responsible for all aspects of the business can definitely be demanding however, running our own business allows us to enjoy what we do. Creating new and exciting things and sharing it with others is one of our passions. Aside from the day to day duties, it’s important to maintain a balanced lifestyle by taking time to hang with friends and family, attend events/exhibits, being healthy, and experience new things.