It’s a radical notion in an industry that’s defined by conspicuous consumption, but new brand Tempus Now doesn’t want you to buy clothes you don’t need or love. Founded by former womenswear designer Ms Ora Fine, the label specialises in sustainably minded clothing that doesn’t cost the Earth. A subgenre of style that’s sometimes looked upon with suspicion, eco-friendly clothing has often been derided for being drab or downright dull. Ms Fine’s designs mark a clean break from that tradition. Inspired by her South African roots, there’s plenty of prints, colour-blocking and even a bright pink chore jacket made from repurposed deadstock denim. A perfect combination of good design and materials isn’t necessarily enough, though. “Creating the desire to purchase in men is a lot more difficult,” Ms Fine tells us. “You have to justify the value.” To celebrate Tempus Now’s arrival at MR PORTER, we spoke to the designer about how she’s risen to the task, why we should say goodbye to fast fashion and how proper, dedicated craftsmanship is more relevant than ever.
Why did you start Tempus Now?
I was designing a womenswear line, and I loved the process and became intimately connected with the sample makers and cutters in the design room. Their skill and dedication moved me deeply. You could feel the loving hands in every shirt we made. And then came time for personal reflection. I needed a creative reset. I was questioning my role in the garment business (it is a business!) and I wanted to make things without commercial consideration. Just to make. This led me on a six-month journey from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv, some time in Europe, South Africa and then back to LA. I had time to reconsider the notion of consumption and how and why we acquire things. I was drawn to menswear for that reason. It seemed that men acquire things with purpose and with longevity in mind. I wanted to make something that would last, but also be conscious of the manufacturing process, to eliminate waste and to celebrate local labour and artisanal craft. And so, Tempus Now was born.