British designer Giles Deacon is an industry survivor, doing things his way while many of his peers have struggled to stay afloat over the years. Deacon‘s longevity, however, is most likely thanks to his experience: he’s tried his hand at the top of some of the most esteemed design houses before debuting his own namesake line in 2003. He lists Emmanuel Ungaro (to which he most freshly severed ties), Gucci, Daks, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, and Bottega Veneta as former employers and most recently collaborated with mainstream shoemaker, Nine West, on a capsule collection aptly entitled “GILES for Nine West” which debuted this Fall. Here, Deacon chats with us about the collection, which features bold looks, his signature “Eek” characters on charm bracelets and tote bags, and which celebrity he’d most like to take under his chic wing.
MH: How was it doing a budget-friendly collection for Nine West? You’ve done collaborations in the past, namely one with Mulberry, but, this is your first that’s lower in price…
I wanted the Nine West collaboration to be playful, cool, and urban with some “Giles touches” like the “fluoflage print” and signature “Eek” [character] which I featured on jewelry and bags. I also did printed pony ballerina flats and bold, heel-strap boots. The collection, all-in-all, is very focused and tight so we could really develop all the pieces in great detail from the shoe’s heel shapes and fabrics to bespoke packaging.
Tell me a bit about the latest Ready-to-Wear collection you recently presented during fashion week…
My latest collection was a homage to the swan — an exquisite, beautiful creature that’s equal parts serene and dangerous.
How many people does it take to create a Giles collection?
In the Giles design department there there’s a team of nine. Their duties range from actual design to cutting to making the London pieces. In Italy, I have a team of four along with a full factory.
You’ve now had the opportunity to spread your aesthetic, both high and low, especially with the help of some very famous fans (namely Daphne Guinness). Is there anyone you wish you could have dressed?
I would have really liked to dress Katherine Hepburn. She seems to have been a really interesting character with equal amounts of fun and seriousness, and was also a fantastic actress. She looks very modern in pictures now.