Interview by Chris Sullivan
Nick Hart’s Savile Row, Spencer Hart, clothing/tailors store was the hippest menswear store in London for a decade. He then designed for Aquascutum, moved his premises to Brook Street and clothed everyone. Today he has altered his approach to one that seems altogether more personal – not just making the suits but also accommodating every aspect of a mans’ wardrobe. His aim is to help men look and feel utterly marvellous and realises that, whether online or in a room, his company can play a vital role in enriching men’s appearance and their lives.
Where did it all start?
Berkshire, village green, everyone lived there from travellers to posh people, teddy boys, punks, soul boys, bikers, rockers, menace simmering under the surface.
When did you get into soul music?
James Brown at the youth club aged 12, Fatback Band etc and I never looked back. It was Philadelphia Records, Billy Paul and Harold Melvin and Teddy Pendergast – too many to mention. I was aged 14 and saw James brown in 1977 Hammersmith Odeon then Bowie 78 Earl’s Court, Stevie Wonder, Marvin; there was so much great music then.
Has music had an impact on your clothes
Bebop and Jazz did as they broke rules but knew which ones to break- they had discipline, creativity and drive.
How did you get into style?
Working in shops aged 13 onwards, L’Uomo Vogue being my bible, the emergence of the brilliant Giorgio Armani in about 77, being vain and obsessive, clubs and dancing .One could feel free on the dance floor, uninhibited, free style – all dayers, all nighters, sense of community.
What influenced and influences you?
Later Hammett in 85, Commes des Garçons, men’s 80s and 90s, Jill Sander men early 90s, Prada men’s with Tim Roth art directed by David Bradshaw. Now its mid century architecture and artists and being married to an artist, reading books by people such as Yuval Hariri, studying the stoics, Alain de Bottom. I am currently enrolled in a course online on well being phycology and pursuit of a good well-lived life. People are fascinating and what makes them tick and who they are.
Did you still enjoy the clothing business?
I enjoy it when the client is interesting and they are thrilled.
What’s you new business model?
It’s taking care of the specific needs of men today. Which is the need to fit in but also stand out. For it to be effortless for them in terms of the time they need to spend thinking about the way they dress. The changes in work cultures, being able to really help men look the best version of themselves in a safe but exciting environment and with speed, if important. Understanding the present and the speed of change and where things are heading. Knowing the lifestyles of clients today and then also knowing which traditions to apply and how often to subvert them in a new modern way. To fit in and stand out in the world of today and the future.
My business partner and investor Ayman Hariri [technology entrepreneur and investor] was very attracted to my menswear designs,” said Hart. “And we both felt that the traditional menswear retail model was dated. Modern men who want a less is more understated modern elegance but who do not have the time or desire to shop in a conventional sense.
How is it going?
It’s working well but its very early days. And the ambition of solving the challenge of how to make men feel and look effortlessly cool, the best version of themselves in a time-poor world will need different approaches for different markets. But we’re creating a transformation in people’s wardrobe appearance, but with it appearing effortless I could see us in the future mixing it up with retail and collaborations. As a lot of our clients are entrepreneurs and leaders and they want to create an edge around how they are perceived. It’s very confidence building and so leads to better results for them.
Who have you made clothes for in past?
I did about seven outfits for Bowie maybe, Alex turner when they were transforming into super stars, P Diddy, Kanye, Jay Z, Robbie Williams, Cumberbatch, Prince William, Nick Cave, Orlando Bloom, Both Beckhams, Usher. Really every big TV star in UK in comedy to light entertainment, Radiohead, Coldplay, Gilmour, Jagger, Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, two James Bonds and all head to toe. Transformations.
Why sum in you opinion is the most stylish man that ever lived?
I used to like Malkovich in the 80s, Joseph Beuys, Jackson Pollock, Dali, David Lynch, and Miles Davis.
Anybody who is true to themselves. Style is wearing items to accommodate your personality.
Fashion are trends that, set by designers, influencers and massive conglomerates are fed to the general public, often creating the illusion that if you buy this it will make you feel a sense of belonging to a certain type of tribe.
What’d your advice to a young guy who wants to be stylish?
Advices – have fun and avoid lists of dos and don’ts.
What’d your advice to a young guy who wants to be successful in men’s clothing?
Build great relationships. Be incredibly patient. It will take you at least ten years to even walk.
What does the future hold?
I have no idea, but any type of privacy is a thing of the past. The system here is broken due to greed and corruption and the ruling neoliberal elite so I might get out of London and go to somewhere creative and cool like Sweden or Denmark or Berlin.
For me working on expanding the concept of creating whole outfits made for people based on their personalities but at a great price, and done if needed remotely. Democratizing the approach. Single biggest point for me is that I am obsessed with the whole look and how it works together on different individuals. When I opened the business in 2002 it was always about the whole thing and not selling one item and introducing people to a whole world of style and new cultural reference points and smells and environment and behaviour. Now for me, it’s about creating a joint brand between the client and we based around the clients’ persona, interests and how he wants to be perceived. Coupled with my approach to design and fit, which is very personal to each respective client and project. It’s much more personal compared to the old one.
+44(0) 207935 3355
Prices range from 5,000 pounds for a compact wardrobe to 30,000 pounds for a complete wardrobe.