Debonair chats to iconic British designer Sir Paul Smith, whose AW18 collection escapes to a more peaceful and positive place
Debonair chats to Jade Holland Cooper, founder and designer of the London-based Holland Cooper, known for its contemporary designs inspired by the British countryside
Eduan R. Maggo
My earliest fashion memory is… sitting in my mother’s home studio at the age of 3. My mother was a successful couturier and she had set up an old sewing machine without a needle for me and I would feed pieces of calico through, pretending to sew like my mother.
The most stylish item I own is… I love jewellery and I collect a lot of vintage Chanel. I also have the most amazing Goyard trunks; these are stacked in my bedroom, iconic and timeless, and a constant reminder of the bygone days of chic luxury travel.
My most valuable item is… my Lamborghini Huracán. At various milestones in my career I would purchase special items — this is one of them. I’ve worked extremely hard for everything I own. I started with a small stall at the Badminton Horse Trials almost 10 years ago; today we are a multi-million-pound fashion business. We have an enviable online business, are stocked in Harrods and have stores at Bicester and Edinburgh, with more on the way!
The difference between fashion and style is… I believe you are born with style, and fashion you can buy.
The one look I wish I could pull off is… I love Balmain dresses but I’m not sure I have the legs for them!
The one item nobody should wear is… Crocs.
What are your thoughts on accessories? I adore them. I totally believe you can change a full outfit with how you accessorise. I often dress up high street pieces with vintage or high-end accessories or bags; this can completely make a look.
Code of London
Code of London
Code of London
Code of London
When I shop I… am savvy — I’m always looking for a bargain, and usually find something. I am regularly in Paris and love to mix vintage, designer and high street fashion together.
Do you prefer bricks or clicks? Both — they have to work hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. People still love to immerse themselves in a brand, touch and feel a product, and my love for stores will never die. I do, however, know that we live in a digital world and almost 60 per cent of my business comes from online sales.
Who would you say is the most stylish man to have ever lived? There are so many! From a timeless classic like James Dean to modern day icons such as Tinie Tempah or David Beckham.
If you could invite three designers (past or present) to a dinner party, who would you invite and what would you serve? Christian Louboutin — I am obsessed with his shoes, I also respect him as a designer as he is chic, contemporary and commercial. Karl Lagerfeld is a legend and I imagine would be extremely socialable. Azzedine Alaïa, as I just love his classic, timeless style. And Ralph Lauren out of respect for the empire he’s built. Wow, that’s quite a table! I love fresh fish and love to eat out. My partner owns a gorgeous group of boutique hotels and restaurants — the head chef regularly cooks for us at home, especially if we’re entertaining. We regularly have fish and Asian food, so I’d have to choose this to serve my guests.
The one item I can’t live without is… I love my Breitling watch. Again, this was one of my first serious purchases for myself, signifying one of my first business milestones.
What I like best about my job is… No two days are ever the same; the dream never stops becoming a reality and there is no limit to where that could go. I love my team, and sharing the ups and downs of the business growth with people that mean a lot is what makes it all worthwhile.
How do you feel about the industry? The industry is ever-changing. I feel a lot of brands are straying far from their roots, and this confuses the consumer. People need to be able to wear something and feel comfortable. About 90 per cent of what you see on the catwalk is unwearable and unrealistic. In my mind you must be commercial. With our menswear collection, we take inspiration from Savile Row, and keep all the designs completely wearable. All our products are manufactured in the UK and it’s this British style that people love. More recently, programmes such as Peaky Blinders have revived the tailored silhouette for men. Many of our customers move between the city and the country — our collection works easily for both lifestyles.
If I weren’t in the fashion industry, I would… probably own a restaurant. I am really creative; whether it’s designing interiors or food menus, I like to add my personal style to everything I touch.
Debonair chats to Juan Carlos, a third-generation master tailor and head of bespoke at tailoring house Oliver Brown
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