Oliver Spencer Interview by Jade Fitton, Client Magazine
Oliver Spencer is a man and a fashion brand. The brand was founded in 2002 by its namesake to bridge the gap between “popular streetwear and traditional tailoring”. With this ethos behind the brand and the collections being “all about culture, not about cult” Oliver Spencer has proved an enormous success in the years that have elapsed. Now the proud owner of 4 shops scattered between the U.K and America, Client Magazine catches up with Oliver Spencer to find out a little more about the man …
You are a self-taught tailor, what instigated this?
A want to know. A need to know. A hobby that turned in to a profession. I started off selling clothing on Portobello Road and it followed on from there. A love of clothing.
You have shops in Toronto, New York, a shoe shop in Bloomsbury and one just opened in Soho. What do you think are the most important steps to opening a thriving shop?
Branding, the culture behind the brand is everything. I am very pro shop-keeping. I consider myself much more to be a shop-keeper rather than a designer.
Taking a lot of your inspiration from hunting and the military, how do you keep each collection looking fresh?
Both topics have a very wide scope. My love of music has a big effect on what I do. Detailing is key to each collection.
What one piece of clothing do you own that you would save from a fire, and why?
At the moment it’s a pair of bashed up black trousers, they have got to the point where they have just got so comfortable on the body.
In relation to fashion, what era would you most liked to have lived in?
The 1920’s, people dressed properly. The 1920’s really inspired me. I love the use of fabrics and proportions. The 50’s inspired me because everything cleaned up and became very wearable.
You say your brand expresses the modern man – how would you describe the modern man?
The modern man is better informed, better educated.
Why did you decide to start designing women’s wear and who is the Oliver Spencer woman?
The Girls are buying for the boys, there was a market for us to expand the offering.
What item of clothing should every man posses?
A washed blazer.
What do you think the key to your success has been?
Being modest. Dedication. A sense of humour. Patience.
Are you a believer in New Year’s resolutions, and if so, what was yours?
Yes, not to drink coffee.
What can we look forward to from Oliver Spencer?