Universal Works produce contemporary menswear. The companies first collection launched in 2009 with David Keyte (UW co-founder, director, designer) working from his kitchen table with an aim to make real, honest clothing based on fit and good design, tough never over designed.
Universal Works was inspired by David’s formative years growing up in a provincial midlands town in the seventies, part of a working class family that loved to dress well; seeing his Dad and Uncles in their work-wear and also when dressing for the weekend. Next, working as a sign-writers apprentice, whilst experiencing the development of eighties sporting and music subcultures. And finally a thirty-year span in the fashion industry. From Paul Smith to Maharishi he gained an education from and worked alongside some of the best in the industry.
With David’s life work reading like a description of the companies DNA, Universal Works is about the mixing of ideas; understanding heritage and context underpinned by contemporary needs and aesthetics.
We champion skilled, small-scale production. We produce garments in the right place, both in the UK and overseas, working only with factories we trust, admire and are proud to be associated with.
The company also gives us an opportunity to collaborate with amazing people from artists to writers and anyone in between, a process that inspires continual growth and education. Have a look at our Journal section to meet some of these people.
For Spring/Summer 21, we present discerning reinterpretations of staples, made with an eye for today’s cuts, colours and styles.
Loosely inspired by a fabric sourcing trip to India, where our designer-in-chief David Keyte came across a vinyl only; reggae, dub and ska night in Delhi.
“A combination of denim and chambrays, loud 50's Hawaiian prints, Japanese floral shirting and Indian cotton and Paisley weaves. Drop in some hippie-like seersucker textures of those laid-back dub musicians in London in the 70's and 80's in their casual coolness.
The collection is a truly global mix that celebrates how I felt that evening. A very blessed Englishman in Delhi listening to Jamaican music with old and new friends, celebrating that sometimes we don't have to have borders or nations, just people.” - David Keyte