Who has been your mentor or trusted advisor in your career so far?
I wouldn’t say that there is one person, I would say there are many - my second year university teacher gave me really impactful advice when I was studying at Kingston University. Everyone knows that in the fashion industry you work hard and at times you hardly get any sleep, once I was physically and mentally exhausted, I said to my teacher that I was tired and he simply said to me that I was doing something that I loved and that I should never be tired. Since then this is something that has always resonated strongly and I’m always grateful and really appreciate that I’m working in an industry that I love. I worked for Christopher Bailey for three years and Sir Paul Smith for just less than three years – the two biggest names in men’s fashion, I learnt so much at both those fashion houses, Sir Paul was my icon growing up and Christopher is truly phenomenal.
What attributes did Sir Paul Smith or Christopher Bailey have that you particularly admired?
Sir Paul’s work ethic is second to none, he is up every morning at 6am and cycles to work every day (I actually skateboard to work every morning and used to be a semi-professional skateboarder), I definitely relate to his whimsical, dandyful character and what Christopher has done for Burberry is unbelievable.
What does ‘innovation’ mean to you?
Innovation is something that I talk about all day long and everyday – it means everything to me, 100% of everything. It’s the most important aspect of what I do, from research to development to e-commerce. I design, create, develop and make everything – fabrics, linings, buttons, trims, the visual merchandising and photography, everything is done in house. My whole design process in purely driven on innovation, for me innovation is challenging the way things are done, to innovate you have to change and almost be non-conformist.
Can you talk me through the concept for your next collection?
The collection is titled, ‘Houndsditch’ based on a true story from 1911 which was the Siege of Sidney Street or the Battle of Houndsditch, it happened near here and where the show is due to take place in Shoreditch. Some very sartorially dressed jewel thieves committed a jewellery heist and two policeman were killed. A young, handsome, whimsical Churchill was in charge at the time and dressed in long smoking jacket led a siege of 200 army men down Sidney Street to find these jewel thieves and a battle ensued for two days. Each season I always take inspiration from a story, usually from the 1900s era, as that is where I find most of my inspiration stylistically.
Do you listen to music when you work and which artists are you listening to at the moment?
I spent all of last night listening to classical opera because the show will have a live opera performance. I love the Foals new record, Yanis is also a customer of ours. I’ve also had James Brown playing in the store over the past couple of days, James Brown is always fun.
How does one’s aesthetic impact on success?
I think it’s hugely important, we live in an age where self image is very recognised. If you have a vision, a view or a style or a product that you are working on, being able to project it through yourself or through your design is massively important.
Could you name three of the most stylish / best dressed men of all time?
Beau Brummel, Cary Grant and young Johnny Depp – he was pretty much the coolest man alive when he was with Kate Moss.
Do you plan to launch a full womenswear collection in the future?
I’m working on a womanswear collection which has been in two campaigns, we have shown a very limited amount, it’s very simple and tailored, the full collection is in production as we speak.
Is there a brand or personality who you would like to collaborate with next year?
No one in fashion, there may be someone I will be collaborating with in the future and it’s in the field of electronics / tech / innovation.
What do you predict to be the next big thing or huge trend for next year?
I’m not a trend led person, each of my collections follows on from a story seamlessly like the next episode of a film. For me in fashion nothing is really on trend or off trend anymore. I see the luxury section of fashion changing, I see individualism becoming hugely important from a bespoke background this resonates with me. Personalisation is key, I see this becoming prominent by adding stories of relevance to peoples garments and existence.