October 27 2017
Daniel W. Fletcher is one of British fashion’s new leading faces. A Central Saint Martins graduate, he worked at Lanvin under Lucas Ossendrijver and with Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton, before launching his namesake label in 2015.
Now a key player of London's fashion scene, Fletcher catches your attention with his contemporary take on British menswear. And he is not just a cool kid. Indeed, the 26-year-old designer is not afraid to use fashion to voice his political views. His “Anti-Brexit” Spring 2017 collection made headlines and was regarded as one of London fashion week’s highlights.
To celebrate the launch of his collection in exclusivity at TOM GREYHOUND in Paris, we discuss the future of menswear, the importance of politics and music.
Words by Matthieu da Rocha
Hi Daniel, first could you tell me what drove you to fashion?
It wasn't an immediate thing, I always wanted to be an actor growing up but I hated rehearsing and I had this thing in the back of my head about wanting to go into design but growing up in a small city in the North of England it wasn't an obvious path. When I turned 18 though was when I really decided and went to study Art Foundation at Kingston University before going on to study menswear at Central Saint Martins. Maybe it came from my Mum taking me shopping with her as a kid and always matching my socks with my tee shirts.
Why did you choose to focus on menswear?
This wasn't an immediate thing either, I started foundation playing around with womenswear but after a few projects I switched to menswear and I really enjoyed he challenge of it; you can't just choose a theme and make a dress out of it (I'm not saying womenswear is easy) but with menswear you have to think more about how a man is going to wear something and if he can imagine it in his wardrobe.
How do you see menswear evolve?
I think a man’s wardrobe should evolve with him, I don't believe in buying into a trend and only wearing it for one season, buy less and invest more to build a wardrobe that will stand the test of time. It took me a while to figure this out, my teenage years were filled with some pretty horrendous looks, the 2007 nu rave phase was a particular highlight.
How would you describe the DANIEL w. FLETCHER man?
I think he's looking for something which feels modern but with a nod towards something familiar, I design real clothes but often with an element of the unexpected he's looking for something that is both experimental and subtle.
What inspired your Fall 2017 collection?
I presented FW17 after a very politically turbulent year and the collection was a response to that. It was about uniting people and repairing some of the damage of the past 12 months; sportswear played a big part of this, I love how sports teams use kits to unite them so I wanted to try and do this same thing but in a more premium way. The 1970's was also heavily referenced, it was another very unstable time politically but there was a great sense of standing up for your beliefs and I wanted to create the same feeling in my collection.
"I do feel like young people are getting more involved in politics but I also feel like we are just talking about it more too, which is a great thing."
Photos via Daniel w. Fletcher
Your recent collections have echoed political events like Brexit, how important is it for you to have a political viewpoint?
It comes quite naturally to me to do this, if something is happening around me and I feel strongly about it then it somehow makes its way into my work. Designing the collections is my creative outlet and I think it's important to create work which feels personal and responds to real life.
Do you feel like young people are getting more involved with politics?
I do feel like young people are getting more involved in politics but I also feel like we are just talking about it more too, which is a great thing. I remember growing up and being told that people shouldn't discuss who they vote for, whereas now it's the opposite, it's more of an open conversation and a discussion which I think is extremely positive. Even if you have a different opinion to someone you should be able to sit and discuss it properly and try to understand each other's point of view.
You have DJ’ed a few times at the PIGGERY party at the Queen Adelaide in London, what has the experience been like for you?
Piggery is a bit mental, but in a good way. It was started by some friends of mine and we basically just take over the QA and decorate the place and all take it in turns to DJ from our phones whilst dressed like pigs. Pretty simple really, we don't ever make any money from it because we drink too much and our bar tab wipes it out but it's always the best night of the month.
How do you see yourself in ten years?
I hope to be still designing and running the label, I try not to have too many expectations about it because I want to enjoy it so I take each opportunity as it comes and just try to make the most of it. I'd love to have a few stand-alone stores and to be in a position where I could help young brands and designers to start out like I have been by supported by established brands and individuals myself.
5 songs selected by Daniel w. Fletcher