INTERVIEW BY CARLOTTA BUOSI
film lookbook images by Marco Torri
Liam Hodges is a 28 year old fashion designer from Kent, living in East London. Spotted by Fashion East’s Lulu Kennedy just three weeks after showcasing his graduate collection, Liam officially debuted with his SS14 collection, jump starting his journey at high speed.
Now at the fourth season with NewGen, Liam Hodges just showed his SS18 collection during LFWM, collecting a series of mesmerised stares, slightly shocked reactions - see the giant walking Teddy Bear which closed the show - and a lot of clapping, as per usual.
Impressive, especially if considering that Hodge made his first two collections without even really thinking of selling them, but simply with the aim of creating something interesting, while managing a bar on the side to keep the business going.
Despite things being much different, today - Hodge’s brand is among the favourites of London’s best dressed boys and sold all around the world - what’s still mostly important for Hodges is staying focused on his identity. Making what he wants to make, when he wants to make it, without being too influenced by the commercially of what’s around him, let alone trends.
That’s his version of new aspirational too, but also his ideal customer: an individual who does what he wants when he wants and exactly how he wants. No time for excuses.
Liam, you were first spotted by iconic Lulu Kennedy, Founder and Director of Fashion East and MAN. How did it feel to have your work appreciated by such an icon and at such a early stage in your development as a designer?
I First met Lulu when I went in for a chat about Fashion East. I dragged what was made of my graduate collection up to her office, where she helped me developing something for spring/summer season. I was really hyped to even have the chance to sit and talk her through my work and vision, I would have never imagined that I would get to do that every season, for a bit. She has just always been so supportive.
What made you decide to launch your own label and why, in your opinion, it’s still worth for a designer to launch their own label at all, today?
I guess I launched it because I couldn't really imagine working for anyone else at that point, add to that the huge opportunity that Fashion East gave me. It was worth a try. Regarding with any other young designer today, I do think launching something new is still worth doing, just be aware of what you want out of it and not go into it blindly.
Your aesthetic is definitely strong and memorable, both in regards with your design and your own, personal style: how would you describe it?
In the studio, we oftendescribe what we make as big, bold, garish, imposing, but we also put a lot of thought into the messages and ideas we are trying to share through the clothes. At the moment I’m all about creating a new version of aspirational entity which shall fit in this changing world.
Your brand is known to be one for ‘people who live for the week, not the week end’. Can you tell us something more about this and the overall concept behind Liam Hodges?
This phrase means that my style is not about the mundane or monotonous, but the weirdos and lost boys who are living their lives seven days a week. That’s my version of aspirational too, the individuals who are doing exactly what they want, exactly how they want. It’s about placing a new value on achievements outside of just the monetary return, shiny suits and leather bags.
You just presented your SS18 collection. What were your goals for this season? Do you feel like you’ve achieved them?
At this point it’s really hard to reflect on the collection. I feel it’s almost impossible to truly draw the line on a season until it’s finished its sales period and its fully become someone else’s. The last week before the show was the first point of contact with the finished collection, which I was happy with. What I want - tough - is to be presenting, communicating and developing its story throughout its whole cycle.
Let’s talk about the future: how to you see both yourself and menswear fashion evolving?
We are at a really interesting time right now and there are so many ways to develop a brand, it’s about finding the correct mix that works. We are currently developing our webstore and slowly growing our online customer base, thinking about how our website can be more engaging for a customer alongside real events that IRL customers can be involved in. I’m not sure yet exactly how it will manifest itself: parties, exhibitions, publications, content… Still, I believe what’s most important about the future of fashion is clarity and inclusivity: in this era of mass information, it doesn’t take much to see through the bullshit.