How long have you worked as Creative Director at Budd?

Six years.

What is your background?

I have worked both in menswear and as a stylist for a good long while!

I lived with tailor Doug Hayward for many years and he had wonderful taste and a very large wardrobe. In fact, he allocated very little space to my own clothing! He had so many beautiful clothes and was always elegantly turned out. I think Doug is always somewhere in my mind when thinking about fabric, colour and cut. He used to say “Have you gone raving mad or what?” and that chimes with me a lot when I work.

What changes have you brought to Budd in recent years?

Logistically, I have tried to make the shop more practical.

Creatively, I have always been keen on bringing colour, pattern and texture to the shop and think I have done so in a more coherent manner. I introduced our popular safari shirts to the company, working alongside our cutters, and also developed our casual linen shirts. These are available in a plethora of colours and are conceived to be worn informally at the weekends and on holiday.

A labour of love was our ladies pjs. I was adamant that we had to create perfect women’s pyjamas that were equally beautiful and comfortable worn at home or out and about and that featured details that made them unique to Budd and special to wear. Whist our range of colours and cloths is not as broad as our men’s line, we are meticulous in choosing perfect combinations. I have just sourced some divine silks to introduce in 2019. Right now, our silk spots and Cashmerello hit the mark.

Biggest challenges at Budd?

Finding room in the shop and working within such a confined space. There is so much scope for products and window design, but we are always restricted by the physical meterage of the shop. I am full of ideas, and it is sometimes sad to curtail some of them due to the logistics of space and storage!

Favourite colours? Favourite textures?

Blue! I particularly love the Budd blue which we have now developed had woven exclusively for us. It is a bright, cobalt blue that was long worn by the likes of Antonio Carluccio and Conran. In our linen shirts, it just gets better and better, the more it is washed and worn. It is an almost Yves Klein blue and also reminds me a lot of French workers’ uniforms.  

My all time favourite texture and cloth is Cashmere, pretty much anything cashmere rings my bell. I also love, good weight silks, like those used for our gowns.

Favourite brands?

Loro Piana and Brunello Cucinelli. I also love Uniqlo. It is so handy for good, quality basics.

Favourite cloths?

I have a bias towards Alumo cloths. I have deferred to them for our cashmeres, cashmerellos and Soyellas so much over the years. Their quality and ranges are impeccable.

Define style?

Style, is being creative and not being afraid to mix things up. Extreme style is wearing the same things for years and years and still looking great in it. Great appropriation of vintage things. Father’s watch. Not being afraid to wear a frayed cuff. Layers. Texture.

What makes for a stylish man?

Clean, polished shoes coupled with beautiful sock, preferably red or green. There really is such a thing as an elegant ankle!  A good wrist watch that is on point with an outfit. Showing just the right amount of shirt cuff, or knowing how to turn it back just so. A well worn cuff for me also shows that a man appreciates his clothing and that is a very attractive quality.

Style icons?

Cary Grant, Ralph Lauren (especially in the 1980s and 90s).  A A Gill was hard to beat. He mixed things up so well.

"Beijing, China - September 1, 2012: US postage stamp Cary Grant (1904-1986), English-born American film actor."

My Style do’s….

  • Wear cashmere as much as possible.
  • Pay attention to your socks, and ensure they are beautiful and compliment what you are wearing.
  • Play with colour and don’t be afraid of it.
  • Ensure your shoes are well polished and looked after.  
  • Clean fingernails and well manicured hands are often overlooked.
  • If there is a dress code, stick with it.

My Style don’ts…..

  • Gosh, so many. How to contain myself? Here are a few:
  • Don’t match your pocket square to your tie.
  • NEVER wear black shoes with jeans.
  • White socks should only be worn on the tennis court or cricket pitch.
  • Reflective sunglasses - they are unnerving and look plain wrong!
  • Cavalry twill trousers - even today, they remain too much old duffer. Interestingly, they have not had a revival.
  • Admit when it is time to wear socks. The bare ankle is a great look with a loafer in the summer, but know when it is time to dress properly for the Season.
  • Baggy tracksuit bottoms and anything too low slung are definitely a style a no-no.
  • Short sleeve shirts. They are unflattering and cheapen the look of any shirt. Just roll your  sleeves up, it is far more stylish!
  • Throat gripping magenta.
  • Flip flops. They never look good, ever. Opt for an Espadrilles, plimsoll or loafer.
  • Men in sarongs.
  • Men with jewellery. I personally am not fond of men with piercings.
  • Heads that have the hair shaved underneath, either be a rebel or don’t.
  • Anything deemed novelty - socks are a real offender. Also
  • Really long shirt cuffs on show and collars that sit up too high above a suit.

Who would you like to see wearing Budd?

Anyone with taste should wear Budd and anyone who needs help with their taste should come to Budd!

In terms of famous people, Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne really do look great, have natural style and fly the flag for Britain so well. I’d love to see Xavier Bardem and Penelope Cruz in our Pjs. I know it is not cool to say, but Megan and Harry would both wear Budd very well. Dev Patel (Lion) would be fantastic to dress too. He has a great look.

Favourite things about Budd?

Gosh, there are so many! I love the range of what we do, that we are not trend focussed, that we love quality and know what we sell. I love our quirkiness and the fact that we get to introduce customers to things that they might never have considered. I find choosing clothes for others fascinating.

Men get attached to certain items of clothing, as though they are a reassuring security blanket. Budd still replaces collars and cuffs, a detail that I think is so important in this day and age and perfect for keeping old favourites going. There is a real romance in that.

Budd has a really great team too. It is often a cliche to say that we are like family, but we are genuinely fond and supportive of each other. We really do pull together and have a sense of ownership. I don’t think anyone shows up to Budd just because it is a job, but because they feel they are part of something better. I find all of that refreshing in this day and age. I love that within the heart of London where big brands dominate, we remain unique and individual.

What is missing from Budd and what is there in full throttle?

Easy! Space. We dream and dream of having more space. It would allow for us to broaden our repertoire and better display our lovely wares.

What do we have in full throttle? We have plenty of personality and great knowledge. Our expertise and skills are the foundations of the company and we are lucky to have an abundance of both.

What new products can we look forward to this season?

As well as topping up our collections of shirts, nightwear, dresswear and accessories, we have sourced some gorgeous, soft leather and suede gloves with contrast linings and some fabulous umbrellas from Italy. They will be arriving in store shortly, in time for Christmas!

2019 will see us introduce knitwear and hats to our collection. Watch this space...

What is your greatest achievement to date? Both professionally and other...

Probably the fact that I am still working in a job that I truly love and plan to continue doing so for the foreseeable future. Finally getting our women’s pjs onto the shelf and seeing them fly out the door was incredibly satisfying. Keeping my cool is another great achievement!