What I Know About Style

Tom Cridland

February
9

Designer Tom Cridland has recently launched The 30 Year Sweatshirt. He chats about sustainable fashion, the cult of celebrity and pushing boundaries

What inspired The 30 Year Sweatshirt?

The 30 Year Sweatshirt was inspired both by my desire to try to design the perfect wardrobe staple sweatshirt and my interest in making a sustainable product. I also wanted to highlight the pros of my buy-less-but-buy-better motto to a broader market through a fun concept.

What makes your collections durable and special?

They’re designed and made with exquisite care. This is a labour of love for me and much more than simply my way of making a living. The 30 Year Sweatshirt is a simple plain-coloured sweatshirt but it still took a year to develop. It’s the combination of world-class 360 grams per metre organic cotton sourced from Biella in northern Italy, technology that allows us to treat it against shrinking and piling, and simple old school craftmanship that makes it so durable. Every product we release is special and that’s why we’re taking our time to build up to a full collection meticulously

What are your thoughts on fast fashion – can you mix it with long-lasting wear or is it a fashion no-no for you?

When it comes to fashion, if I’m in need of a bargain, I’ll go to the Oxfam shop in Chelsea or Notting Hill. I don’t shop at fast fashion retailers generally because, rather than buying a Primark overcoat, I can buy a second-hand, exquisitely-made Gucci one for £20 at a charity shop.

What are your style rules?

There are no rules that I follow, though I do have strong opinions about what’s in good taste and what’s not. Personally, I dress pretty flamboyantly, love colour and enjoy pushing the boundaries.

How did you get into design?

Designing clothing seemed like a great way to channel my creativity. I’ve always loved creative hobbies such as music, fashion, cooking, art and design.

You’ve been named ‘tailor to the stars’. Can you name-drop a few of your celebrity customers…

I hate the cult of celebrity but today you have to name-drop when doing promo. At least it’s not people from Made in Chelsea or something similarly tragic. We’ve had the huge honour of making clothing for musicians I love, including Rod Stewart, Nile Rodgers and the Elton John Band, and actors whose work I admire greatly such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Stiller, Jeremy PivEN and Daniel Craig

Why did you choose King’s Road to open your first store?

We were approached with an offer that was too good to refuse.

If you could live in any era, when would you choose?

The ‘70s.

Where can we find you locally when you’re not working?

My lovely girlfriend, Debs, who I run my businesses with, and I try to spend as much time as possible with family in London and the countryside in Northamptonshire. Other than that, we spend a couple of months a year in Lisbon and another couple of months a year in Los Angeles.

What’s your tipple?

Five days a week water or latte; two days a week either an Old Fashioned, Campari Soda, glass of champagne or a glass of red wine.

What was the last gig you checked out?

I’m writing this on the plane back from going to the Elton John concert at Olympia in Paris last night.

What’s on your bedside table?

A Lumie Bodyclock, a photo of my girlfriend and photo of my family, and a book that I don’t read as often as I’d like to.

What’s your personal indulgence?

I own about 40 pairs of shoes and 10 pairs of sunglasses.

What’s next?

We’re launching The 30 Year Jacket at the end of this month.

Tom Cridland, 340 King’s Road, London SW3; www.tomcridland.co.uk

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