Tailored clothing label Spencer Hart opened Men’s Fashion Week in Singapore, with designer Nick Hart sending models down the runway for the first time ever. The sometime DJ also got behind the wheels of steel for the opening night party (hence the pictures). We played a round of e-mail ping pong with Hart after he had jetted back to London from the island republic to ask him about his collection, his experience in Singapore, and his take on Abercrombie and Fitch’s Savile Row store.
Your show in Singapore was the first time you’ve sent your clothes down the runway. Were you satisfied?
It was a great pleasure for myself and my team to take part in Men’s Fashion Week in Singapore. The level of expertise and support was second to none in enabling us to put on a show the other side of the world. Fide’s organisation was very helpful from start to finish and it was a totally positive and memorable time for us all.
What is your view on the increased interest in menswear, particularly traditional menswear, fueled by the blogs, Tumblrs, forums and online shopping? Is it healthy for designers like you that men are more aware than ever of minuteae like fusibles and canvases?
The luxury menswear market is growing twice as fast as womenswear, it’s interesting to see the evolution of the menswear blogosphere community. I was particularly impressed by the immediate response online after our show during Singapore’s Men’s Fashion Week. It’s definitely a good energy for our industry.
The skinny and short look — in the lapels, trousers, overall fit — has been fashionable for some years now. Do you think the pendulum will swing back to more classical proportions for fashion-oriented labels like yours? To what extent and when?
Spencer Hart is not a fashion label but it’s based around a whole lifestyle experience. We have different types of lapels. It’s much more about fit and attitude than anything else. Also, what is classic ? Who is defining classic? It’s a long debate…
You had some tropical-friendly clothes on display in the exhibition. Was this a nod to Singapore’s heat and humidity? How do you think a suit or sportcoat should be worn in this climate?
I was definitely conscious of Singapore’s particular climate when I designed the collection for Singapore Men’s Fashion Week. It’s all about using extremely light weights and adapting the fabrics.
What are your retail plans for Asia?
The next move for Spencer Hart is to explore setting up a permanent presence in Los Angeles. We are also actively exploring franchise opportunities in Asia, specifically in Singapore, Korea and China. We are also considering Hong Kong.
Lastly, Abercrombie and Fitch on Savile Row: Applause or appalled?
Appalled — I’m particularly unhappy with Abercrombie & Fitch’s plans to open a kids shop on Savile Row, which is synonymous with British tailoring. We should protect the British know-how and especially an iconic institution like Savile Row — even if I do believe that the Row needs to adapt its crafts to the modern world.
For a recap of what went down at the 2012 Singapore Men’s Fashion Week, visit our review here.