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10 questions with Oliver Proudlock

Oliver Proudlock, founder of London-based unisex brand Serge DeNimes, talks to Fani Mari about the creation of his brand, his favourite items for the coming season and the focus behind the autumn/winter 2016/17 collection that just launched online

Fani Mari
Fani Mari,

Your first collection was inspired by your mother’s photography. What are the other inspirations behind your brand?
Since a very young age I have always had a passion for art and fashion. During my younger years I focused more towards art, finally deciding after a foundation year at Central St Martins to specialise in Fine Art at Newcastle University. I loved it, but when I returned to London I knew I needed a slight change in terms of my creative path. The movement from art to fashion felt very organic, and looking back it was always something I wanted to do.

What is your focus for AW16?
This AW16 collection is definitely our biggest and most complex collection to date. I wanted to build the product range and, most importantly, start to bring in more aspects of denim. Denim is rooted in the name and ethos of the brand, and I am so excited to have released some denim outerwear within the collection, as well as releasing jeans towards the end of the year.

Another thing that is heavily rooted within the brand is our connection to art, and for AW16 we have adapted some of the logos and prints with brush strokes and paint splats, all of which were created in our studio in London. Finally, the No Noise capsule collection is a massive focus; when we tested it in SS16 it was a huge success, and we have increased it from 12 to 38 pieces. The essence of this is slightly more premium pieces that are unbranded and embody more complex textures and fit.

How involved are you in the creative process?
Very involved – it is my favourite part of what I do and is why I wanted to start my own brand.

What’s next for Serge DeNimes?
We plan to continue building the collection, season on season, with quality apparel, build our creative community that lies within the brand and, now that we have a good presence here in London, we want to grow the brand internationally. Pop-ups for us over the years have been a great success and an amazing way to test an area out. We have tried out some superb areas, but are yet to find that perfect location for a permanent store. Once we do, I very much hope to open a flagship store in our home town of London.

Which clothing and accessories can’t you live without?
I always wear my Serge DeNimes gold cross earring, as well as our Padlock necklace. They are the two accessories I can’t live without. In terms of clothing, I usually always wear at least one piece of denim.

Where is your favourite place to shop in London?
Selfridges: it houses some of my favourite brands and it’s a place where you can get everything you could ever need.

What inspires your new collections?
My inspiration is my immediate surroundings – the chaotic, culturally diverse and volatile urban atmosphere.

Do the clothes in your collections reflect your own personal style?
Yes, I feel there is definitely a touch of my style within my collections.

Do you design your collections with a specific type of customer in mind?
I would say I design for style-conscious individuals who have a creative embodiment and want to stand out from the crowd. My ideal customer would be Pharrell Williams.

What’s your favourite item from the AW16 collection?

The checked mohair bomber. (Serge DeNimes No Noise checked mohair bomber jacket, £150)



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