Ozwald Boateng is a British designer of Ghanian descent infamous for his tailoring and Savile Row store.
Here at SHUlife, we were lucky enough to be able to ask him a few questions about his plans for the future.
Q. How do you find inspiration for your designs?
A. Inspiration is everywhere you just have to open up to the everyday experiences of life, I travel extensively around the world, culture’s and nature are my biggest influences.
Understanding people and getting a sense of different cultures is a big influence.
Q. How do your Ghanian roots feed in to your designs?
A. My roots are really a default setting for who I am, a rich colour palette and its combination is an obvious position but refinement, elegance and restraint in design are also very West African statements.
Q. What are your style predictions for 2015?
A. Wardrobe staples will become more important than ever, but the character in combining and augmenting these pieces to become the wearers own statement is what will really count.
Q. Have you got any more projects/business interests in the pipeline?
A. I have a foundation called “Made In Africa” (www.madeinafricafoundation.co.uk/) we promote independence in Africa by initiation of Infrastructure and Developmental systems,
to greater empower businesses via funding mechanisms and investment.
Q. What do you think the most important thing about fashion is?
A. Personality, no character means no substance and essentially no style….
Q. What excites you most about Fashion Week?
A. There’s always a lot to look at. A lot of style and personality….. the way people present themselves via their clothes, hair, accessories, etc….its always inspirational.
Could you describe your personal typical design process, how you get your designs from the sketchpad to the runway? Do you have any go-to areas for inspiration?
So for me creativity is based on how I feel so that’s an ever-changing position what I used for inspiration is I’m inspired by everything from going to the cinema, seeing an artist at a Museum even watching a child play I could be inspired by anything. There is no set form, if there was any particular place where I find real connectivity that would be Yoga. I’ve been doing it for about three years, usually after doing a session of Yoga I do have some of my best ideas. If I was trying to connect a particular moment in time to a great idea it has definitely come to me during yoga.
What are your personal rules when it comes to dressing, either for formal or casual wear? Are there any definite things you think should or should not be worn together?
That’s about style, how you dress yourself is defiantly about your personal style. Some people are more confident with their personal style than others, what does that really mean? It’s about enjoying the clothes you wear and understanding what you enjoy wearing. Clothing should be an enhancers of the person wearing the clothing and give them a great amount of pleasure. That’s how I understand style. My personal style obviously is based around tailoring. I’ve always had a love of tailoring as I was brought up with that. I like the silhouette of the suit that is well cut and a hard collar shirt that sits well under the lapel of the jacket, that’s all very key to me. A tie that’s got a decent knot opposed to not a good one. Those elements are very key to me. I like to create a rhythm within the collar of fabrics I use.
What would your advice be for any students that aspire to a career in fashion design, particularly in tailoring?
The most important ingredient in fashion is to have a point of view once you have this you need a strong concept. The concept is based on what drives you as a designer. The most important thing I’d say is to have very clear concepts to what you want to represent as a designer and you have to stick to it. Even if others think it’s not right. There is a thing in fashion where at some point you’re not understood but it’s your belief and commitment which ultimately will allow people to understand what you’ve created and enjoy.