Derby based Hodgkinson Builders, has announced that it’s plans to introduce an eco-friendly fashion line have been scuppered after the director’s brick jacket prototype was stolen, sparking a raft of accusations locally.
The terracotta jacket, which was famously mistaken by Prince Harry as a giraffe costume, has attracted much attention since owner, Ian Hodgkinson, began wearing it five years ago.
The new work-wear line was set for release on April 21st, with Maria Fowler of TOWIE fame being tipped to model the range.
The clothing line was to include brick patterned skinny trousers, trench coats made of recycled dust sheets and jackets created using discarded packaging from building sites. It is now feared that the launch may have to be postponed.
All clothing will be available in both male and female ranges, and will come in a variety of colours including: ‘terracotta brick’ ‘cement grey’ ‘high vis yellow’ and ‘port-a-loo blue’.
Ian from the company based on Pride Park, said: “It’s something that I have been considering for quite a while now. Nottingham is famous for Paul Smith, and yet Derby lacks that international recognition. I wanted to corner a unique market – the work-wear fashion industry
“The official launch was set to take place in a few weeks time and we turned up to work yesterday to an almighty shock- My brick jacket prototype had been stolen.
“We have checked our CCTV footage, and contacted the police, but the only information we have is that the culprit was seen heading towards Seven Bar & Restaurant at around 11pm on Wednesday evening.
“We are appealing for witnesses to come forward.”
Helen Salloway, managing director at Seven Bar & Restaurant said: ” There were sightings of the culprit entering Seven on Wednesday evening, but his face was not visible. We are continuing to help Ian with his enquiries.”
Ian has personally been involved in the design process, from sketching out initial ideas, to visiting the factories which have produced the clothing.
Ian continued: “I have my suspicions about who could have stolen my jacket. Craig Phillips of Big Brother fame, wanted to be the first builder to buy a brick jacket from the new range, and Tina Clough at Poppy-PR once spoke of owning a brick dress.”
Craig Phillips, the first winner of Big Brother, DIY expert and former bricklayer said: “Ian is currently helping me to build my dream home in Liverpool. The brickwork on my house is based on the design of the brick jacket.”
Tina Clough, managing director at Poppy-PR said: “We have worked with Ian for a few years now on his PR, and I cannot not believe that I am on his list of suspects. He once suggested I buy a brick dress for an event he held at Westminster, but I decided that it just wasn’t my style!”
Local fashion designer, Michael Wallace said: “A lot of work goes into producing a new fashion line and I really feel for Ian. This happens a lot in the fashion industry. Quite often designs will be stolen before an official launch has had chance to take place.”
If you have any information relating to this incident, leading to a successful conviction, Ian is offering a free meal for two at Seven Bar & Restaurant for social media leads. Please send any information to @HodgkinsonBuild