>> Gareth Pugh has come a long way from living in a squat house in 2005.
>> Gareth Pugh has come a long way from living in a squat house in 2005. The road hasn't been an easy one, however, he tells Vice in its new Style Issue: "We didn’t sell anything from the poodle or gimp shows — nothing until the fourth or fifth show. My first show was such a last-minute thing. I was only really thinking about the show and not selling stuff afterward. But once you start showing, you’re on the treadmill and have to carry on." Even a couple of years ago, he says, "There was a point, right before a show, when I barely had enough money to get my team over to Paris."
But now, Pugh is definitely starting to consider the financial aspect of his brand (and perhaps explains why he leans toward short films in place of runway shows): "At the moment I feel very much between a rock and a hard place. People expect an amazing show, but in order to do that in Paris you have to sell a lot of clothes, which maybe means people have to be able to imagine the clothes on hangers."
More from Pugh in Vice:
On why he opened his first store in Hong Kong: "Rick Owens’s wife, Michelle Lamy [Pugh's backer], thinks moneyed Chinese women like to look very chic, like avant-garde punks. I just make more sense over there. In America I’m seen as a little bit niche and weird."
On his relationship with Rick Owens: "I’m closer to his wife, Michelle. He always describes himself as the distant, stern father figure and she is like the overgenerous mother. She’s very critical about what I do, which I like. It’s good to have someone who doesn’t always give you unadulterated praise."
On his strangest fashion industry experiences: "Driving to the Palace of Versailles with Jeremy Scott, Suzy Menkes, Jefferson Hack, and Anouck Lepere was pretty funny. Everyone wanted to see this Jeff Koons exhibition — Anouck tried to climb the fence, Jefferson got into a fight with a security guard, and Suzy Menkes was taking pictures. That was weird. Oh, and the time I’d booked my housemates a holiday in Gran Canaria but got flown to New York to shoot with Mario Testino. I ended up at the Met Ball afterward and found myself having a fag with Christian Slater in the toilets while David Beckham took a piss at the urinal. The toilets there are a real superstar clusterf*ck. I just couldn’t work out why I was there."
On the clothes he wears: "I never buy clothes, so I don’t really have a choice when it comes to what I wear. I am very lucky to be able to pull a lot of Rick Owens and steal some of my stuff from the factory. (I have to steal my own samples [because] I don’t get a personal order quota. It’s a license.) But other than that I buy H&M hoodies and Topshop jeans."
On why he doesn't use much color: "The designs are more about the whole thing rather than the details, and if I were to do the big shapes I do, color would maybe be too much. Pink or red would push it all over the edge."