Menswear Exclusive Interview: Nicholas Elliott

Fall 2015 images courtesy of LER PR

Fall 2015 images courtesy of LER PR

How does a European designer, or any non-native designer get traction stateside when they are not a recognizable brand or household name? The US market is saturated with established and emerging designers that are all scrambling for that consumer who wants unique, chic clothes that reflects their personal style while not breaking the bank.

British menswear designer Nicholas Elliott is looking to make inroads into the most chaotic and challenging menswear market in the world. Though the US menswear market can seem like a little gated community—and it often is—there is always room for innovative design, brilliant construction, and a unique perspective on what male consumers want to wear. Nicholas Elliot and his brand N-p-Elliot just might fit the bill.

One component to success in menswear is being able to predict what the male consumer wants before the consumer even knows it. And Elliott has his pulse on the heartbeat of the new, emerging male shopper; a shopper who is willing to go beyond the tried-and-true and is open to non-gender specific clothes.

Is Elliott assured of the same stateside success he’s had across the “big pond”? Only time will tell. Fashion Reverie hopes the gamble pays off!!

Fashion Reverie: What inspired your fall 2015 collection?

Nicholas Elliott: Two cult classic films; one being “Gattaca,” and the other being the Bond film “Moonraker” inspired the collection. The collection is called “Dystopian Present” because both films deal with an impending dystopian regime. The color palette is very limited; the choice is very considered. The wools in the collection all come from a British company called Hemsworth that makes all the military uniforms for the British army. The quality is amazing and the fabric is very durable. There is also great history with the Hemsworth brand.

Fall 2015 images courtesy of LER PR

Fall 2015 images courtesy of LER PR

FR: A lot of designers for fall 2015 are using the dystopia concept in their collections. What motivated you to use this concept?

Nicholas Elliott: My mind is pretty dark anyway and when you see so much disorder in the world, you want to bring some order to it. With fashion you are in control of how people are dressing, even if it just within your brand. There is a kind of uniformity in how this collection is presented and put together. Also, it reflects societal views on fashion and how everyone currently wants to dress the same. Whether that aping comes from wanting to belong or fear of standing out. It is almost like the McCarthyism of late 1940s into the 1950s.

FR: There is an androgynous feel to your fall 2015 collection, why that direction?

Nicholas Elliott: I hate gender stereotyping; it is so boring. I have never felt constricted by the way I dress. I don’t believe this collection feminizes men or is very cliché. This collection does harken back to a 1970s aesthetic and point of view when men were more adventurous in their dress and attitude. Currently, a lot of menswear is very conservative.

This collection is more contained and restrained than my spring 2015. I took a lot of advice from buyers who said that you could be adventurous but not in all aspects of the collection. So, I took that into consideration, and my fall 2015 collection is adventurous but every aspect.

FR: There is a strong 70s reference in this collection, why that approach?

Nicholas Elliott: Well, both films that I used as inspiration have a 70s reference in their scope. “Gattaca” was made in 1997 but had a strong 70s vibe and “Moonraker” was made in 1979.

Fall 2015 images courtesy of LER PR

Fall 2015 images courtesy of LER PR

FR: Micromesh was a big trend for spring 2025, why are you carrying over this fabrication into your fall 2015 collection?

Nicholas Elliott: I use the micromesh in tee shirts because I believe this garment works well as a layering piece for fall/winter. I like the idea of everyone being very pragmatic and physically fit, even though the tees have been bound and lined in silk faille. I am attempting to take styles that you can keep using and developing throughout the year, not for just one particular season.  I also attempt to take patterns and silhouettes and carry them over from one season to the next, making them better the next season around.

FR: I have noticed that you also only use fabrics and materials that have some basis in eco-soundness and environmental utilitarianism.

Nicholas Elliott: That’s true. I try to use fabrics and materials that are by-products of things you would eat anyway, like lamb, goat, sheep, and beef, using the fur or skins of those animals. I don’t want to alienate any customers by randomly just using fur and skins for fashion sake alone.

FR: And your clothes are not necessarily gender specific.

Nicholas Elliott: Yeah, my clothes look good on everyone. Everyone looks good in a bomber jacket, relaxed-fit pants and an oversized tee or cap-sleeve tee, if you can appeal to a broader market, why not? And you will not lose anything by being gender neutral.

FR: Who is your customer?

Nicholas Elliot: I generally make clothes that I would wear, but I am already putting clothes on people I like. America is more of a niche market, but in Europe I am putting clothes on people in the music industry, fine art, and a lot of different careers. In the US, the markets are more segmented with fashionistas only wearing certain designers and musicians liking a whole different set, and business folks in a whole other category.

Ultimately, I see my clothes are really cool, stylish people. I want my clothes to be worn by a cool guy in his 50s, but also a cool guy in his 20s and 30s. I don’t want to ostracize any group. You know fashion for all!!

—William S. Gooch

Speak Your Mind


Copyright © 2012-2019 | Fashion Reverie Publications, LLC - All Rights Reserved