Turning veddy old into veddy au courantThe latest trend in fashion is not coming up with new looks; it's reviving the old. Designers such as Tom Ford, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, as creative directors at big fashion brands, are revamping tired company images to pump up sales.
Daks Simpson is a British brand famous for beige and black plaids. Daks' classic (read: boring) and conservative (read: old customers) image is being renewed by a British creative director, Timothy Everest. Trained as a "bespoke" tailor, he has a client base of more than 3,500 customers, including Tom Cruise, KD Lang and Mick Jagger and other high-profile public figures. In fact, Everest's styling can be seen in the "Mission Impossible" movies.
Everest was in Seoul to relaunch the Daks 2002 fall/winter collection, and spoke with the JoongAng Ilbo English Edition.
What you're doing with Daks is similar to what Tom Ford did with Gucci.
When people noticed Gucci had changed, it was actually years after Tom Ford had worked on it. For me, it's only the second season, and it's a soft launching. I want people to notice a bit at a time that Daks is changing. I arranged a show in Milan last season, and many people couldn't get over the fact that Daks was in Milan, the most commercial fashion venue. What Ford did was to give his collection sex appeal, but I'm different. I want to maintain the British essence. I tried to introduce varied looks in Daks. The first was based on the original image of Daks; the second consists of tailored jackets and suits. The third is a younger and more versatile look based on British vintage influences.
Daks is still heavy on licensing.
Most companies are quitting licensing and directly importing, but my approach is different. I've been back and forth to Korea five times over the past five years. But there are many things I think I know but I really don't in many aspects of the country's culture. That's why we need to work with partners. Although I have a plan to increase imports, I will maintain licensing. If you communicate and manage the concept and style of licenses, you can maintain the concept. Besides, it will be more interesting to have different versions of style and items available in different places.
How did your Asian project begin?
One day a Japanese buyer from a department store looked me up and asked, "What do you want to do in Japan?" I'd never been to Japan so I decided to go there by joining the Trade Mission. At the British Embassy in Tokyo, except for one shoemaker, I was the only fashion-related businessman. When the ambassador asked about the volume of my sales, I said, "Twenty." He asked, "You mean 20,000 pounds?" My answer was, "No, 20 pants."
When I took over Daks Simpson in the United Kingdom, I met representatives from LG.
You are best known for the bespoke movement.
It stands for old, traditional and very British. There are certain values and philosophies inherent in old British, but there is also an element of the modern I'm trying to incorporate. Fashion is often like music being rehashed; it's really individually styled. Being fashionable is very boring to me. Being yourself is most modern.
by Inēs Cho