Meet the leaders of the pack, Joe Browns style

Yorkshire brand Joe Browns celebrates individuality by asking its real-life stylish friends and fans to model its autumn/winter collection. Stephanie Smith takes a look. Photography: Kevin Peschke.

Hannah Mitchell: Hannah wears the Candid quilted leather jacket, £169; ski pants, £29.95; Red and Devilish biker boots, £54.95. All by Joe Browns. Hannah, from Davenham, Cheshire, is owner and director of video production company MWM Associates. For Hannah, a good time means getting on her bike. Touring our beautiful planet on my Ducati scrambler, being by, in, or around the sea and generally exploring the great outdoors, she says. Her favourite Joe Browns style is leather Jackets, comfy tees and biker boots. Being an individual is always about personality, says Hannah. Say yes, you never know where it may lead, and listen to everyones story along the way.

As a brand, Joe Browns has made a name for itself by refusing to conform to the fashion norm. Its signature style takes classic, flattering cuts and heritage fabrics, and mixes it all up, adding in striking pattern and quirky detailing from vintage touches to quaint boho flourishes. A mismatched button here, a contrast patch of fabric there – and then there are those prints, for which Joe Browns men’s shirts, in particular, are renowned.

Founded in 1998 in Farsley, Leeds, by Simon Brown, Joe Browns has grown to become a successful multi-channel retailer, selling via its own site and through others such as Very and Simply Be. Last year, it opened its own shop at Meadowhall, Sheffield.

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HQ is now in Holbeck and, in keeping with the Joe Browns ethos, it’s quite a surprise, a standard out-of-town business unit on the outside but a cool and funky open-plan fashion house inside, decorated variously with Union Flag sofas, coloured bunting, a big red motorbike, a drum kit and posters featuring Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley and the Queen.

Andy Rushworth: Andrew wears the Terrific Tweed waistcoat, £49.95; Stab Stitch grandad shirt, £32.95; Grayson baker boy hat, £14.95. All by Joe Browns. Speaker, author and actor Andy Rushworth is a reverend based at St Thomas Church, Crookes, in Sheffield. Inspirational individuals for Andy include British actors Ray Winstone and Tom Hardy, and he says that what makes an individual is what you believe about yourself, other people, and why you are on this planet. Andy favours Joe Browns Dapper Gentleman look for its traditional design with a modern twist, along with quality and fit. He would love to do more modelling, he says. Its great to see how you look and a really good photographer will always capture the real you. And he has a tip for all new models: Always make sure you have good underwear on, just in case you have to get changed at the side of the road.

Simon was inspired to create the brand when on holiday in Wales, visiting the Ty Coch pub, where he saw a bunch of carefree surfer boys and girls, all salty hair and wrist bangles. It was a feeling, a vibe, he wanted to bottle.

Now he and his team travel the globe for more inspiration, capturing that easy, liberated and, most of all, individual, Joe Browns style. The new autumn/winter collection, newly released, is a gorgeously eclectic and stylish example.

“This season we’re celebrating all things individual – ourselves, our customers, and all the unique characters we meet along life’s journey,” says marketing director Tracey Hepton. “To mix things up a bit, we decided to seek out some truly individual characters to feature in amongst our usual faces. Real people with real stories – some of whom are normally behind the camera, not in front of it.”

And so it is that photographer Kevin Peschke turned model for one of the six individual looks, passing his camera to art director Richard Olsen. “I often have to show models the sort of pose and look we’re after, so it was a good laugh,” Kevin says. Shooting for Joe Browns is always a proper adventure, he adds. “It’s a real team effort. It’s like a bunch of pals, all working to get the best shots we can. I think it shows in the quality and freshness of the images we produce.”

Ben Nettleton: Ben wears the All About Indigo shirt, £34.95; Own Beat T-shirt, £17.95; Burnout Biker jeans, £49.95; beanie, £8.95. All by Joe Browns. Ben, from Wortley, is a web designer and part-time triathlete. He found inspiration on a recent cycle ride when Jonny Brownlee stopped to help fix his bike. It inspired me that a regular guy from Yorkshire could go on to be a world athlete and Olympian, Ben says. It inspired me to aim high in all aspects of life. His favourite Joe Browns looks include a check shirt with rolled-up sleeves, or a short-sleeved loud shirt to show off his tattoos. Its a brand for everyone. Where else can I go from dapper to biker this easily/ he says. For Ben, being an individual means not worrying what others think. If you can go to the pub in a pair of cycling bib shorts, then you sure as hell can rock those bold shirts, he adds.

These are the six individuals selected for the autumn/winter campaign, each wearing their favourite Joe Browns pieces from the new collection.

Tracey Hepton says: “We believe it’s our quirks, experiences and quite often a few moments of madness that help make us who we are, so why not celebrate being an individual? As they say, it takes all sorts to make a world.”

The new autumn collection is out now at

Jake Holden: Jake Holden wears the Denim Utility shirt, £39.95; Happy Days waistcoat, £44.95; Posh and Dandy silk tie, £34.95; Sensational skinny jeans, £29.95. All at Joe Browns. Jake, from Bingley, is a merchandise data analyst for Joe Browns. His inspiration is his father. A hardworking individual, who never complains, he says. Having a laugh and not compromising yourself, is what being an individual means to Jake, who adds, Its very important to be yourself and do what you feel comfortable with. He says he found being in front of the camera awkward but I had a good laugh
Kevin Peschke: Kevin Peschke wears the Sensational skinny jeans, £29.95; Ultimate Henley top, £24.95; Denim Utility shirt, £39.95; tan leather biker jacket, £199. All by Joe Browns. Photographer and collector Kevin, from York, says being an individual is all about maintaining a unique perspective on life, adding: Taking the things you face in your stride and being good to the people you meet along the way. I love the whole ethos of Joe Browns. They manage to produce a brand that has a completely different look and try to get everyone involved in that feel-good factor  feeling good about the way you look and live your life. The mens range of leather biker jackets, in particular, are so cool. Ive got a few of them. The more you wear them, the better they look. Inspiration, Kevin says, is everywhere you look, every day. What got me into photography in the late 70s was the book Trouble and Strife by David Bailey. I read that and thought, yes, please. So, Mr Bailey, I owe all this to you.
Matt Lea: Clothing manufacturer Matt wears the Splendid split collar shirt, £32.95; Eye Catching waistcoat, £49.95; Heavenly herringbone blazer, £99.95; Grayson baker boy hat, £14.95; the Ultimate brogues £59.95; Feeling Slim jeans, £44.95. All by Joe Browns. Matt lives in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, and has a factory in Barking and two in China. The individual who inspires him most is Thom Yorke of Radiohead. The way that man stays true to himself while producing some of the most beautiful and haunting music, on his and his bands own terms, has been nothing short of incredible, he says. Being an individual, he says, means being yourself at all times and making the best of all situations that you encounter. He is a fan of Joe Browns blazers and loves the brand for its quirky styling. But its not too over the top, he adds. He too plans to model in the future. I am going to sign up for an agency next week in London, not for the money, but simply for the fun  youre never too old.