Sir Edmund Hillary’s grandsons – George and Alexander Hillary – are to be the faces of a new socially responsible clothing label inspired by their grandfather’s achievements.
The Edmund Hillary range of high end, outdoor menswear – which will benefit some of Sir Ed’s favourite charities along with others – is to be launched globally at New Zealand Fashion Week in August, with the brothers (Peter Hillary’s sons) scheduled to model on the catwalk.
Edmund Hillary Brands’ CEO Mike Hall-Taylor, who founded the company with the Hillary family, says to have Sir Edmund’s grandsons so closely involved is hugely exciting. “We’re delighted that George and Alexander are involved and they are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to keep the story of their grandfather and his amazing feats alive, while supporting some of the causes and initiatives that he was so passionate about.”
George Hillary (26) says it was an easy decision for he and his brother Alexander (22) to become involved in the clothing label. “We’ve been very involved behind the scenes with family charitable initiatives, something our grandfather was very passionate about. But we have only recently started getting into mountaineering more seriously so linking in with the new label – and the history around Ed’s climbing successes – felt like a natural progression.
“Ed is obviously an incredibly important family figure who achieved so much. And this is a really good kind of pressure for us, encouraging us to strive harder and do more,” says George.
George and Alexander Hillary are currently training in preparation for the next two mountains they will climb with their father Peter – Mont Blanc (France) and Mt Elbrus (Russia). The threesome aim to climb seven peaks this year and have already summited Kilimanjaro and Carstensz Pyramid.
“We’re loving adventuring with our Dad and are having to train really hard to keep up with him, he’s very fit,” says George.
The Edmund Hillary Collection – just like Sir Ed’s 1953 expedition to the South East Ridge of Mount Everest – is a joint venture between the UK and New Zealand. Social enterprise will be sewn into every seam with a percentage of profits going to support schools in the Himalayas, and outdoor education programmes in the UK and New Zealand. Every garment is inspired by the classic styles worn by Sir Edmund Hillary and the expedition team, but with a modern, high-end edge.