Yeah it’s true. Sean was like, a year before me. He was in the Man show a year before me. Then we ended up doing the Man show at the same time as well, and I remember people were like, “Are we just showing two things that are similar?” People didn't think sportswear could have as many options as tailored menswear.
We have to have the same kind of range within sportswear as we have in suits or tailoring.
I was like, “Yeah, but you’ve got 10 brands in here that are doing suits.” Like a suit has always been done, but no one questions that. There are 10 different suits, just in different fabrics or colors. There’s the same kind of room at the moment for 10 different tracksuits, but that’s taken these couple of years; proving that this is what people want. We have to have the same kind of range within sportswear as we have in suits or tailoring.
There’s really no recent precedent. Everything that’s coming out is just like, “Oh my God that’s amazing.” We haven’t seen this before.
This season I thought was so strong. It was I think the third season they did the London Collections: Men, and it was so good.
I think having the 200 year-old Savile Row heritage is a good foundation, but what I really appreciate is that institutions like Man, Fashion East, and all of British Fashion Week is that no one is afraid to incorporate the weird and the directional, so there's both a strong history and no hesitation in going to whatever’s next.
Well definitely. It also has to be said that the big sponsor is Topman, and they work from what is selling on the street. They know exactly what people on the street want to buy. They push what the streets want so they can feed from what's showing, and how can they push that to their own shop floor. I think that’s a clever way of actually promoting style that they know they can sell more easily in their shop as well.
The Topman General Store, we don’t have that here. But they bring in cool brands that kids want, and they put them on their floor next to Topman to showcase that they, Topman, are relevant and in the same place as these brands that all the cool kids know and want.
It’s brilliant and pretty clever marketing. Topman is doing is actually admitting, “Ok, we feed off of these small guy...we survive when other people generate some kind of creativity that we can take things from or borrow from," which is totally what fashion is about. I have no problem with that.
I really applaud that they then give back in terms of sponsoring the whole unknown squad of designers. I think every high street retailer, who’s making 12 collections a year, making it impossible to have a creative team of their own, should give back somehow to the people that spend half a year researching “What do we do next?”