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Founders of Paynter

56/ Conversations With Friends - Becky Okell & Huw Thomas

This Valentine’s Day we're celebrating a creative couple that seem tailor-made for each other (no pun intended) - founders of Paynter, Becky Okell and Huw Thomas. 

From the moment they met at the DO Lectures in Wales, they found a common interest in fashion, sharing a passion to change the industry. They founded their business in 2018 and since then have built a cult following who eagerly await each of their limited-edition releases of handcrafted made to order jackets.

We also have the pleasure of being their studio neighbours so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to invite them to write a Conversations With Friends, where they exchange questions with each other and give us insight into their work and life together.

Becky and Huw, Co-founders of Paynter

Huw: Dream item of furniture?

Becky: Ladderax shelving made in London in 1964. We were lucky to find a set on Vinterior during lockdown in incredible condition. Its design means it can be assembled in so many different ways so our 5 bay set is split between our home and our studio and houses a lot of memories already.


Huw: Book that’s been on your reading list for a while?

Becky: I’ve finally got very into the Uncommon History of Hackney, which is fascinating! It charts Hackney from 1612 to 2012 just before the Olympics. Thanks to this book I’m walking around our neighbourhood with a whole new context and loving it.


Huw: Skill you want to get better at?

Becky: Garment construction! With every Batch of jackets we make we learn so much. From design and development to the perills of Brexit and everything in between. I’ve started going back to uni at the weekend to keep learning Garment making and am really enjoying being a student again.


Becky: If you had to run Paynter with someone else, who would you choose?

Huw: (which came too quickly!) Ha! It’d have to be Jim (Jim Marsden). He’s been our Paynter photographer since the beginning and is an all-round wonderful man. 


Becky: Favourite item in your wardrobe? 

Huw: It’d have to be our Japanese dark rinse denim jacket, Batch No.9. We spent a long long time getting it just right and now I’m in it every day. 

Take a peek - Behind The Scenes of The Batch No.9 Photoshoot


Becky: Something you’re excited about this year? 

Huw: It’d have to be getting Married!



Favourite spot for a date? Probably Little Duck the Picklery in Dalston, for a proper treat meal and good wine. Or Tillingham if we can spare a few more days! 

Last film you both loved? If we’re sticking with the Valentines theme, then Marianne is a film we both saw and loved recently. It’s about Leonard Cohen & his muse, Marianne. 

Your song? Anything by Luke Sital Singh gets us.

Favourite thing to cook for each other? Ooh, it changes a lot. Huw’s great at making pizza, or an Ottolenghi harissa cauliflower dish, which we’d make with crusty bread and my salty date butter. 

Favourite cheese? Probably Brie with fig crackers and chutney eaten on the beach with a welsh blanket.




Their next jacket will be our most popular launch to date, it’s a corduroy chore jacket and will be available to order at 9am on Saturday the 12th March.

Photography by Jim Marsden


Becky & Huw's Curation

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