Interview: LFWM Designer Ashley Isham

  • Interview: Jay Turnbull

Ashley Isham is one of my favourite designers to show at fashion week.

I caught up with him at the BFC showrooms London during Men’s fashion week and he agreed to a quick interview.

Hello Ashley.

You are a well established designer now having shown for three years at LFW. Is this your first time in showrooms at the BFC space for men’s fashion week?

Yes, because I feel like there is a very big market for men’s these days. Men want to dress well, want to look good so it’s not just about women’s fashion now which is fabulous, but about men as well. They are more open to try new things, it’s not boring, it’s more exciting and I feel that in this direction of fashion men are more adventurous and willing to try new things and new silhouettes and shapes.

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So talking about the event space as a whole compared to any showroom for women’s fashion week do you feel there is a big difference?

Yes actually. I feel that the London collective men is much more interesting because it feels very modern, very clean. The BFC has done a fantastic job, obviously this is my first season and I have been really well looked after. I find that this is a fantastic way for designers to actually showcase their work and it’s great in a way because I find London is exciting, that’s why I have lived here for over 20 years. I would never go back, I call London home and I love the energy here. It’s very rare where you find a place whereby it is exciting, it’s new, it’s fresh.

So have you had a lot of buyers or stylists come by to see you?

I am already on exclusive from model branding, one of the largest online stores in America for this collection. But it’s amazing we meet buyers on a daily basis, we meet press, stylist visit to pull things for their shoots and special clients. We have private orders, it’s been good. I mean so far I would say that the experience has been amazing
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Have you ever seen anyone famous in one of your garments and gone…”OMG , he or she is wearing my line”

Laughs..er yeah ..a few 

Is there one that has blown you away?

I think it’s very hard to say one because obviously I have worked with Lady Gaga, I have worked with Rihanna and Aleisha Dixon to name a few so it’s very very hard to choose. Of course I have my icon which is Liza Minelli, I love Liza because I remember her from Cabaret when I was a kid. So to me she is an icon. So to meet people like that blows you away,  I love this fact.

So Liza wears your pieces?

Yes

So of course I work with all these iconic people and I am like “oh wow”

And of course one of my biggest supporters is Paloma faith styled by Karl Willet. We work putting things together for her and for Florence and the Machine. So you see it’s very hard to choose one celebrity.

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Yes of course because you actually dress so many celebrities.

It’s always wonderful when you see somebody wearing your stuff because i believe a designer should not just be a designer, you want to see people wearing your clothes and I think it’s very important.

We had Niall Hiram from One Direction wearing my menswear, I get cool rappers in New York working with me as well. The latest being Fetty Wap who is a singer and wrapper

Are you still with Portia and PopPr

Yes they look after the brand, Portia is amazing, I love working with her. It’s rare that I work with someone I absolutely love. I have worked with her for 10 years, I followed her from Blow pr many years ago. When she set up her own company I was her first client and I have never looked back. 

It’s been a very good partnership.

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Is there anything else that you would like to tell us? Anything coming up new? You have a complete menswear range that you can separate as mens. l say this because you have always mixed it up quite a lot at your catwalk shows..you always have men walking.

Absolutely and I think menswear will be exciting because I think there are a lot of amazing people. I get calls from basket ball players in the states requesting my line…I am like “err how do they know about me?”

Word gets around, when things are fabulous. 

Yes and I am very great full for all myPR, and how the press and the buyers have been with me. I feel very very blessed

You are blessed, wonderful people are blessed. Good luck with your menswear line

THANK YOU.

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