Tell us about yourself
I entered fashion at the young age of 15 when I started my first clothing label.
This clothing line started from my bedroom and soon grew, gaining a following all over the UK, Germany and the USA. Dubbed the Boy in the Bedroom by the press, the brand continued to sign contracts with large organisations and bringing on-board some incredible brand ambassadors and sponsors. I now hold some of the most prestigious titles, including Britain’s Top Designer, and have been Young Designer of the Year four times, as well as having my own collection at London Fashion Week and around the world.
How did you get into design?
Beginning my fashion interest at the age of 15, I started with menswear, and became consumed with wanting to know more about construction and design within fashion as well as broadening my creative freedom, so I decided to completely throw myself into fashion, any way I could, by entering competitions, going through education and building my profile.
How would you describe your style?
My signature style is visually dynamic, sharp, futuristic yet also with a retro feel, along with being very elegant at the same time. As a designer, I like to use unconventional fabrics and have the ability to produce contemporary aesthetics, whilst somehow using historical referencing, along with amalgamating electronics with fashion, borrowing architectural shape and form, pioneering unique direction in fashion. Taking a keen interest in print design, my latest collection exhibits sharp monochrome prints with highlights of colour.
Tell us more on your experience as Britain's Top Designer.
I was in my second year of university when I started to gain my confidence in who I was as a designer, I wanted to raise my profile and started looking for ways I could do this. I took part in a number of fashion TV shows and threw myself into competing with the crème de la crème of the fashion industry, finding myself in the final of Britain’s Top Designer. Winning the title of Britain’s Top Designer it gave me the drive, determination and want, to go forward and succeed in the fashion industry. Britain’s Top Designer opened a lot of doorways for me, I was being approached by major players in the fashion industry, dressing celebrities for the Oscars to the Grammy’s, and appeared on TV alongside the Queen’s Jewelers and one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious Banks Coutts. Winning Britain’s Top Designer has changed my life.
In this year’s competition, I was appointed as ambassador as well as judge to help in the process and have an input in choosing this year's winner.
What's the thing that annoys you from new designers?
Fashion is by no means a part time job, it should exude every waking hour, therefore, I think it’s really important to raise your profile, as well as getting a taste of the hard work that lies ahead by entering competitions to put you with the best of the best and see how good other fashionistas are around you. Taking place in competitions and awards is a really good way to build presence and awareness of yourself.
What advice will you give to those just starting out?
If their passion for the craft is strong enough I would suggest that they really find out and explore all avenues to find what makes themselves and their work individual. Everybody has an angle which is different to everyone else’s! It’s all about being individual and not conforming or changing themselves/direction to fall in line with an educator’s style or taste. I would say learn and develop and take advice on-board, learn not to dismiss good advice, but at the end of the day if you have all the skills and the talent along with knowledge taken from education you can reach success. I think everybody should have the confidence to push forward to realise their dreams and ambitions.
Tell us about your expectations from Design Genius contestants
I have really high expectations from the contestants because, I myself, am using unconventional fabrics in my collections, so I know they can make the unimaginable fashionable. I expect them to use their materials to the full potential and be critical about their designs before they start each challenge. They may be using unconventional fabrics and materials, but I would expect the end product to still be aesthetically pleasing and fashionable. This will separate the strong contestants from the weak.
What do you think is a Design Genius?
A Design Genius to me is someone who thinks about the materials at hand and uses them wisely, not in an apparent approach. To be a true design genius it’s crucial that the contestant doesn’t forget this competition is all about fashion they need to make the unimaginable fashionable!
What was the most defining moment in your career so far?
This past year and a half has helped shaped my career into the direction of my ambitions. Winning awards whilst staying true to myself and my design aesthetic has been the biggest confidence boost, even more so by having won them through the recognition of my own designs and who I want to be as a designer.