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Menswear designer Oliver Spencer

Menswear designer Oliver Spencer

By: Oliver Horton

Oliver Spencer makes traditional British menswear with a twist. Hot from an acclaimed show at London Fashion Week Men’s, the man himself answers 20 questions.

Disorder: What are you working on right now?

Oliver Spencer: Staying alive. Surviving. It’s cold outside. No seriously, I’m just trying to stay creative and fresh.

 

What people, places or things inspire you?

The Isle of Wight. I’ve just bought a house there. I love it.

What artists turn you on?

Wolfgang Buttress, David Austen, Conrad Shawcross are some of my favourites; essentially I’m a surrealist so anything from that movement.

 

What is your ultimate ambition? 

My ultimate ambition is to be a sailor. Haha. I’d like to sail across the Atlantic. I’m a big admirer of Alex Thomson; he’s a sailor too.

 

What got you started (the secret of your success)?

Being a shopkeeper and loving all elements of that. This fashion thing, it’s a passion play and if you’re not passionate about it you haven’t got anything.

What has been the biggest surprise/lesson along the way?

I tried my hand at womenswear once, it became very successful in no time at all and then it all went away as quickly as it arrived. Being in the menswear business, patience is essential and loyalty is a must.

 

Who was your first crush?

Claire Forlani, before she became a famous actress.

 

Who are your favourite fictional heroes? / What fictional character can you most relate to?

Obi-Wan Kenobi, I think he’s ace. Also Olivia Colman in The Night Manager.

 

What/where do you like to eat or drink?

I had dinner at St. JOHN’s last night and it’s fantastic. It’s been going for 20 years and still churns out excellent food. Go on, Fergus!

Where/when do you feel most yourself?

At home with my family around me.

 

When are you at your worst? / What is your worst trait? / What do you like the least about yourself?

OCD is a bit of a problem for me so I tend to not think and throw things out.

 

What petty irritation do you hate the most?

My petty irritation is speed cameras in 20mph zones.

 

What talent do you wish you had?

I wish I could speak different languages. My wife speaks five.

 

What is your dominant characteristic?

Good manners (I hope).

 

What do you appreciate most in your friends?

Honesty, passion, and a sense of humour.

 

What innovation/invention do you love most?

I quite like my new Mercedes 4x4, it’s a marvellous vehicle and I can highly recommend it.

 

Unpaid endorsement: what can you recommend?

Patagonia. Outside of the fashion world, I love everything outdoors and this is the perfect kit to be out there in.

 

What is your idea of happiness?

Marmalade and brown bread ice cream. If you haven’t tried it, get down to St. JOHN’s now.

 

What is your present state of mind?

Exhausted, I’ve just done my show at London Fashion Week and I’m just about to start pre AW18.

 

What would you do if you were not doing this?

Somewhere else where I can draw pretty pictures, so I’d like to be an architect.

 

@oliverspencer