Six London menswear designers offer their contrasting views on the politics surrounding LC:M
“I still think it’s getting more and more commercial and London isn’t about pushing experimental design anymore. It just makes me want to push against it more. I have always hated the system so it doesn’t scare me at all. I know my own sales and there is a customer out there who wants to buy what I make.”
“I mean the term ‘commercial’ isn’t a dirty word in my book. It’s actually harder now because designers have to produce something both creative and commercial. For me it’s a progression and it's just a moment in fashion, just like there was the Margiela moment. It also depends what your goal is. If your goal is to be here in ten years time and still have a brand, which mine is, but when I started that wasn’t my goal. You know you never think you'll get this far."
“We can’t just do that crazy shit we did last season. We’ve got to think okay...Not just for us as a business but for fashion week as a whole so we keep building our reputation and a platform”
“You know, the old underground menswear designers have been working from since 2005 and a lot of them are no longer around. It's this generation of menswear designers who I appreciate more, not the bigger companies that now after nine years decided to come back because other people have built this. If anything they should be thanking them, maybe that’s what Burberry should do. They should thank Kim Jones and Carolyn Massey for British menswear. I mean I’m happy they are here but I’m quite sad that this underground menswear scene is now basically being modified for the masses.”
“I’m really grateful that I’m being supported by all the initiatives. Especially being from California. I’m American but they still support my label. I guess the timing was right for me when I graduated because that’s when they really decided to push menswear. If I had graduated a year earlier it wouldn’t have been the same.”
“I’m not sure I really have a judgment on it. I just feel lucky that I’m involved. I don’t really have time to think about the politics of, or my what it means that brands are returning to London. I guess it’s a good thing. It can’t be bad. I just feel lucky that I can do what I want to do. It’s exciting but terrifying.”