I am so excited to publish this post and finally introduce you to my new favourite brand that is about to take the Equestrian world by storm! I came across Huff a few months ago now, on Instagram – the power of Instagram hey! After recently taking up yoga (more on that soon!) and heading out to very early morning classes, then subsequently going straight to the stables before leaving for work, I was looking for something to wear that would be suitable for both activities which, lets face it, was probably searching for the impossible…but there was Huff!
Huff Equestrian was created when founders Mel & Zoe spotted a gap in the market for what they term “equi-leisure” wear – versatile clothes suitable for all activities. I know what you’re thinking, we’ve been promised that so many times before, but these ‘jack-of-all-trades wonder brands just don’t stand up to the challenge that equestrian activities demand. There has been many a time I’ve ripped flimsy leggings or felt too hot/too cold in fabrics that are not designed for hard work, so I know what I’m saying may sound like I’m promising the Earth which will then fail to be delivered. WRONG, Huff genuinely have this claim nailed. All of the products are designed appropriately, with equestrian life at the forefront, but still acknowledging that we don’t just have horses, we don’t just want to look like we’ve been at the stables all day and occasionally, we do like to look stylish! Huff have managed to created something that can be worn out riding, to the gym, on to the shops and then back on the sofa in front of the fire. Sounds perfect to me!
I’m so excited by this brand for SO many reasons, I love the story behind the company, two very busy people trying to juggle full time jobs, horses, fitness routines and attempting to have some kind of social life in the “spare” time that’s left (have you experienced that yet – sounds idyllic to me!!) resonates very well with me. Also the ethos and ideas behind the brand which make it just that little bit more special really take a special place in my heart, particularly the ingenious #HonestRiders campaign…but more on that later. Then of course theres the quality and style of the gorgeous pieces on offer, you know me, I’m a very firm believer of buying something once and I’m so pleased to report that the quality of the Huff products mean just that – sadly though it does mean that you’ll have to think of an excuse to buy your next product because in all honesty its virtually impossible to pick just one!
So in short, the new kids on the block are shaking things up in the equestrian world. Recognising that not everyone has the luxury of time and are trying to balance multiple spinning plates whilst not compromising on style – which is often the last thing we think about because practicality simply cannot be compromised around horses! Huff have managed to design their collection with style conscious busy equestrians that seem to spend their life on the go – it’s a very happy discovery for me (maybe not for my purse though!).
So…there’s tonnes of things I want to tell you about Huff – you’ll see them popping up all over social feeds soon (if you haven’t already) because I’m literally living in their stuff! I was so sad when DD my lovely little horse decided to use me as a scratching post after riding and managed to get grassy slobber all over my gorgeous new #HonestRiders sweatshirt, because I didn’t want to put it in the wash. Perfect justification for buying another one! Anyway..back to my point. There’s so much I want to share with you about this incredibly exciting new brand, and be warned – I absolutely will! But I thought there may be someone better to introduce the brand to you, so I caught up with Zoe, one of the founders of Huff for a little bit more insight into the brand.
Friends and Huff founders Mel and Zoe looking amazing sporting their own designs..can you believe Mel was 7 months pregnant when this photo was taken!!
- Please could you introduce yourselves and your brand, Huff Equestrian?
I am one of two Founders of Huff Equestrian –Zoe Kiff.
Huff was founded with my friend and former work colleague Melanie Hunter, as a result of a joint passion for horses and our sport. A passion that we don’t rule, but that rules us! For us it’s a lifestyle – a choice that is more than the sport. It’s just the way we live. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Mel and I met working in corporate marketing. Juggling work, horses and keeping fit meant breeches and leisurewear dominated our daily style choices. But traditional equestrian wear is…well ‘horsey’! And leisurewear is…not practical or functional for serious training in the saddle.
So Huff was created. An Equi-leisure brand – unique equestrian wear for ambitious equestrians with a style conscious outlook. We take the very latest fabric technology and make it into beautiful, practical equestrian leisurewear fit for a busy lifestyle.
2. How did the idea for Huff come about?
Mel and I were talking about breeches. We were both in the market for a new pair but discussed how we just couldn’t find anything that fitted nicely, wasn’t too pricey or covered in bling!
This lead us to think that maybe we should create our own. And so the idea for Huff (Hunter-Kiff) was born.
3. There are so many equestrian clothing brands already available on the market, how is Huff different and why do we need it in our lives?
I think there are probably three areas that we think we are doing differently…starting with our brand. When we created Huff, we were conscious that the market was flooded with brands that want to sell us clothes. There seems to be an abundance of very fashion-lead brands that, we felt, had very little soul. Our brand comes from a place of pure obsession. Obsession for the sport and obsession for all the little details that you need in order to be successful and enjoy it. It’s not just about clothes – watch this space on that one!
Both Mel and I felt disappointed with what was available to us on the market – we never want people who buy Huff to be disappointed.
Secondly, we want to develop products that are truly transformable. Most amateur riders have to fit their horses, their riding, in around a whole host of other areas of their lives. How many of us have had to call in at the supermarket wearing very horsey looking breeches and a scruffy old jumper? Our aim is to develop transformable clothes. Stuff that can be worn to ride in but is just as stylish to be worn with a pair of trainers when shopping, picking up the kids, calling in at the supermarket or off to the gym!
Last but not least, we wanted to be able to give something back. I can see you’ve asked about our #HonestRiders range so will talk about that next!
We believe that customers don’t just buy clothes, they buy ideas, values and quality. Their clothes are a reflection of their own individual sense of style and beliefs. I really hope ours are enough reason to want Huff in your life!
4. I absolutely love the #HonestRiders campaign and think it’s so important to support equines that are less fortunate than our spoilt ones! Why did you feel the need to incorporate this into your brand?
Thank you! This actually came fairly late in our brand development. We’d focused hard on building a range of ‘technical’ wear and one of us came up with the idea of donating a portion of our profits to charity. Neither of us questioned it – it feels like the right thing to do and both of us believe it is vital to give something back.
A passion for horses and equestrianism is the heart of our brand so it was an easy decision really. I get quite animated talking about it and can’t wait to see how much we can raise for these worthy causes. We don’t want to stop at three charities – next year will see an expansion to the #HonestRiders range and the opportunity to help more charities!
I adore the idea behind #HonestRiders to help those horses less fortunate than our own. Percy also loves this jumper – he always wants to snuggle when I’m wearing it!
5. You also support some amazing riders! How did you choose your sponsored riders and how important is it to you to support these?
Again, we haven’t chosen riders because of their popularity or profile, we’ve chosen them because of their passion for the sport and their horses. All four of them were picked because we had been following their respective careers through social media or knew them personally and could see how hard they worked and how talented they are. It’s not an easy career-path to tread and we could see how crucial outside support is for genuine talent to succeed. We want to build long-term relationships with these riders and plan on supporting them in more ways than just giving them clothes to wear. Again, you’ll see more on that coming soon!
6. I can’t spend five minutes with you and not mention horses…please can you introduce us to your four-legged friends?
Of course! I could go on about them for hours, (but I’ll try and keep it short).
I’ve got three horses – wow it sounds like a lot when I write it down! I’d have more if I could though…
Billy is my 25 year old ex-event horse who is now retired with my parents having a lovely old time in the field! Then I’ve got two in work…
Jester is a 14yr old 16.2hh Trakehner x Welsh. He was homebred by my Mum and despite not having a particularly ‘easy’ personality is currently out competing at PSG/Inter 1 dressage. He is such a character and I’m learning so much training him! My aim is to train to Grand Prix as a learning experience, but I suspect our competitive career will stay at Small Tour level.
Finally gorgeous Trevor – my pride and joy 4 year old Oldenburg. He is my first ‘proper’ dressage horse and I am ridiculously excited about our future. I backed him last year and we plan on starting between the white boards…next week!
Mel has a whole menagerie of horses and rescue ponies. I’ll let her tell you about them next time we meet.
7. What is your favourite thing about owning horses?
For me, the relationship you have with them. There’s no other feeling quite like teaching them something new or just their whicker as you come to see them in the morning. I love their smell too! Is that weird!? I literally could not imagine a life without horses…
8. …and the worst?!
Clipping!! God I hate clipping. THE. HAIR. GETS. EVERYWHERE. Ughhhh.
9. I know the collection has only just launched (all of the products are amazing!), but what can we expect to see from Huff in the future?
Oh I’m so pleased you asked that! We are only just beginning!!
As I mentioned before, the thought that started Huff was the need for a truly decent pair of breeches. We wanted to launch with breeches but sadly were not 100% happy with the designs that were being sampled. It’s taking a bit longer than planned, but we’re just not prepared to sell something that is not absolutely outstanding. So fabulous breeches will be coming early next year – we’re nearly there!
You’ll see us expanding both the technical range and #HonestRiders, supporting more great causes. We also have plans that sit outside of clothing which both Mel and I are mega excited about! Roll on 2018!!
- What is your favourite product from the brand and why?
This is a hard one, we don’t sell anything I don’t love! If I had to choose? Can I have two favourites? It would be the Breggings and my ‘Centre Line’ #HonestRiders sweatshirt. I literally live in these two things – in fact I am wearing them both right now. I hacked both horses wearing this outfit this morning, both are totally comfy but I’d be equally happy going out in them. On that note, I’m off to the Post Office to drop off todays orders!…
So that’s Huff! I feel so passionate about supporting this brand already, I just know that I’m going to be living in EVERYTHING from now on and I’m already excited to see what new products will be coming out soon. But for now, I’ve got my eyes on the winter breggings, which quite frankly sound amazing! and also the headbands – just wow! I’m definitely hoping a certain someone (ahem, James!) may be reading this so they can speak to Santa nicely and put a pair under the Christmas tree – and there’s still plenty of time to get your orders in because the cut off for guaranteed Christmas delivery is the 19th December!
Happy Shopping! X