Stuart Stockdale graduated in fashion design from Central St. Martins and gained his M.A. from the Fashion School at the Royal College of Art, London.
Fibre2fashion : You have been the Midas of Fashion industry. All the brands you associated with, not only made a remarkable comeback but at the same time found their way to top the list of the best. How did you make it happen?
An understanding of both brand and heritage. Also building a strong team is key a team that understands the creative direction and is passionate about heritage and understands how to make it creative, modern and commercial.
Fibre2fashion : During initial years of your career you have been into modelling for some time, so how has this change of route from onstage to back stage of designing been!
Modelling was never something I ever wanted to do, it just happened. I didn’t really enjoy it but it did give me a very valuable insight into the industry at a young age. I was very happy to switch to designing backstage!
Fibre2fashion : You hold a very strong background with a degree from The Royal College of Art, London. Of course this makes you more equipped to make a mark in the industry. But which is more important - a formal training or own creativity and inclination?
I had both a creative training (Central St. Martins) then a finely-tuned formal training (the RCA). I think both are important. You just have to find your own style and have an idea of where you are aiming for. Many, many talented creative designers graduate from colleges and never end up working in fashion.
Fibre2fashion : When you get associated with any brand, you reinvent the brand keeping in mind their history and heritage. Doesn’t that set a limit for you in terms of innovating under that particular frame only? Does it hamper your creativity?
The heritage is something to be respectful over but we are aware that to have successful collections season on season the brand needs to be modern and innovative. It certainly isn’t limiting to have heritage and history. In someways it’s more creative and more thought provoking. I have a passion for history and heritage but with an emphasis on it being modern. Heritage is like a certified stamp of approval.
Fibre2fashion : It’s a common opinion that, ‘Runway styles are avant garde, they can’t be placed in our everyday wear wardrobe’. Please comment.
Not entirely true. Doing pieces purely for the theatre of the catwalk is somehow easier but a true winner is something that has catwalk presence, is used in advertising, heavily shot for editorials and then ends up being a best seller. Jackpot!
Fibre2fashion : The fashion industry is referred as most glamorous industry. But as all industries have their own set of limitations to be worked on; fashion industry too must be having some. According to you which are those limitations to be worked on for betterment of the industry as a whole?
The weather! Mild winters and cool rainy summers can really affect the collections’ performance and throw the balance of having the right stock in store.
Fibre2fashion : The world is more or less following similar fashion trends. Thanks to fashion brands going global and virtual. Does this make your job easy or challenging, to design something that works in a global market and not just local?
The internet has definitely made everything much more reactive but it is key to first and foremost be true to your brand’s DNA. This is what is going to maintain stability for your business both locally and internationally.
Fibre2fashion : A lot of research and inspiration from various sources goes into designing, what are your best sources of inspiration!
From London street style, the great array of fantastic exhibitions that London has to offer and of course Jaeger’s vast and unique archive.
Fibre2fashion : You have worked with best of the people and companies of the fashion industry till date. Please share with us how is it different to work for iconic British brand - Jaeger?
I have worked in all the key fashion capitals: Milan, Paris, New York and of course London. All companies are different but everywhere you have to work to some kind of business brief if the collections are to be commercially viable. At Jaeger it is very exciting as there’s a very broad-reaching range of product from beautiful classics in Jaeger to youthful and cool pieces in Boutique by Jaeger and also creative, edgy pieces in Jaeger London.
Fibre2fashion : Can we expect Stuart Stockdale to be an independent label in future?
I have no plans for this. If I did my own label, fashion would be a part of a wider concept.
Many thanks for your time and sharing these pearls of wisdom with our readers. Fibre2fashion hope to see you onboard in more times to come.