ISTO. London Series: Nicholas Walter - Designer & Creative Consultant
First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself; where you're based, why you chose to work in the fashion industry and what excites you about it?
I’m from London and I like clothes. I’ve been lucky to fall into a little pocket where it doesn’t feel so industry-like and I was able to put my interests and skills to use whilst being surrounded by people with the same attitudes. The thing that excites me the most is learning and understanding people’s relationships and journeys with products and how we come together based on these passions and interests. The culture of clothing that connects you with someone before you even open your mouth. I think the industry has built itself around that.
How have you been getting on with your ISTO. pieces since our shoot? Have you taken them on holiday or been wearing them almost daily? Tell us what you've been up to with them.
I’ve been fortunate enough to get away a few times for both holiday and work; the Field jacket has been along for the ride. It’s a nice weight which works for all types of weather. I can throw passports and cash in the top pocket and bits and bobs like leather swatches, notebooks and receipts and big phones in the bellows below. I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m greasing the elbows on pub tables yet but let’s see what this winter has in store.
Is there one piece you've particularly enjoyed more than the rest and how are some ways in which you've incorporated it into your existing wardrobe?
Before I was asked to be involved in the shoot, I’d been on the hunt for a white Oxford shirt but had struggled to find something I liked. When I saw the ISTO one it looked great – but then I got to handle the garment properly and loved the weight and shape. It works with all kinds of denim on a casual tip, as well as under a navy blazer. It’s an underrated slick piece that I treat like a white tee and don’t feel the need to be too precious about as it bounces back wash after wash.
I’m at a point in life where if I’m unable to incorporate a new piece into my existing wardrobe then I just don’t need it.
Can you tell me about the items you brought to the shoot? Why did you choose to bring them and what do they mean to you?
So, denim is a big thing for me. I don’t care about selvage and 1000 ounces, the jeans I have are just an old pair that has been repaired a dozen times over the years. But it’s a pair that no one else has. The shoes are the Dartmouth loafer by Horatio, which I’ve been running around in for about 3 years now. The oversized canvas tote is by my Kingsley Walters – it’s properly made and great for carrying samples and my giant laptop from 2012.
What advice do you have for someone who's wanting to build a more sustainable wardrobe? Where do they start?
First of all, start with what you like to wear day to day. What you feel incredible In and what you could live in forever. Look at who makes it the best based on quality price and how you connect with the brand attitude.
What ensures that a product – be it a garment or an accessory – ages well?
Look after your shit!
How important is brand transparency in this day and age?
There are brands out there that will piggyback on trends and use buzz words to market product which I hate personally. But you can see who the good guys are inviting you into their house and showing you around, giving you the guided tour. It’s not only honesty but educating you and saying this is where your money is going.
What are your major gripes with the fashion industry today and how can we go about fixing them as individuals?
£800 hoodies and constant trend changes create so much waste. Keep it classic and only change with the weather – gear you can wear year after year.
What do style and dressing well mean to you?
I went to an all-boys school in London that had a black blazer trouser white shirt uniform – the only thing we had autonomy over was our shoes. From then on, I decided I didn’t want to dress like anyone else. I wanted to look different from my mates and made an effort to ensure that. Dressing well is a matter of perspective because taste is personal. Dressing well to me is dressing for myself first and dressing for the environment.
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