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William Tempest has achieved fashion's near impossible. Just three seasons after showing his first collection as part of new talent collective Vauxhall Fashion Scout, he made the leap across the Atlantic to show alongside the New York's fashion titans, a feat that would take most new labels years to make happen. Most 24-year-olds would be overwhelmed by this sudden acceleration, but when we caught up with him just before the show's unveiling (see here for coverage), Tempest was taking everything in his stride.
"Preparations are going well," he shrugs. "The collection has grown this season due to increased demand from store buyers." How did opportunity to move to New York fashion week come about? "I've done a PR showroom event in New York once before and I had such a great reaction to the label and collection that I thought it would be a great opportunity to show my latest collection there." Tempest already has a clutch of US fans, and last night's "Siren Song" collection no doubt won him even more fans. We asked Mr Tempest a little bit about what's behind his style DNA.
Photo courtesy of William Tempest
What inspired you to do what you do?
I have always been artistic and creative since I was little and would always be making costumes and painting and drawing. My grandad was a draftsman and my other grandad painted all the time so I think they have both been influential on what I do now.
Describe your favourite outfit...
I like being in something comfortable and a bit worn in. Some jeans, a shirt, nice boots and maybe a nice knitted jumper if it's cold.
How and where do you do your best work?
At my studio when there is not too much going on. I really enjoy working on the stand and cutting and developing my patterns.
Describe your style in six words.
Alternative yet timeless, elegant yet directional
What's the most stylish city in the world and why?
Paris is definitely the most stylish and beautiful city, I think the Parisians really know how to dress and take good care of their appearance. Also cities in the sun like Monaco are great, I think the sun always makes everything look ten times better and makes people feel amazing.
What are your three desert island fashion staples?
A magazine, some shorts and a razor to shave.
What's your fashion weakness?
I own about six pairs of the same pair of skinny jeans which I wear constantly. They are called Monkee jeans and are made ethically from organic fabrics.
What's your earliest fashion memory?
My uncle's wedding. I was wearing a shirt and tie with corduroy trousers. I think I was about three years old.
What's your best piece of fashion advice?
Definitely avoid overcrowded sales rails when shopping.