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Oliver Spencer

The British menswear designer guides us through his home city
By: Team Liberty

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Oliver Spencer
The London I Know

Oliver Spencer

The British menswear designer guides us through his home city

Shop Oliver Spencer
By: Team Liberty

Since launching his eponymous London label in 2002, Oliver Spencer has become a central figure within the British menswear scene, forging his own unique path through the global fashion industry. Here the self-taught designer gives us the lowdown on the city that has shaped him and his brand.

Home is…

Hammersmith, West London. It has a fantastic family atmosphere, it’s relaxed, and has a burgeoning community of writers and intellectuals. Best of all is its proximity to the river which I love walking along with my dog. There’s something about being close to a body of water that helps clear your mind.

London style is unique…

It’s made up of so many different tribes, each one full of characters and eccentrics. The wonderful thing is that you can be a sartorial guy or a streetwear guy, or a workwear guy or whatever else - there’s always a community for it in London. The city has such a deep heritage in clothing which also gives people confidence to find their own style among all the subcultures.

My first experience of London was…

Going to a record store on Berwick Street, just around the corner from Liberty, probably around 1988. I think I bought Tom Petty’s “Don’t come around here no more”.

The city has shaped my creative outlook…

You can’t help but be influenced by the city with all its diversity. From punks and mods to new romantics, it’s a treasure trove of inspiration.

A memorable London moment was…

My first show in 2005. We held it in a in a warehouse in Covent Garden. It was a whole new world for me - exciting and terrifying all at once, but what a buzz.

A Londoner I admire is…

One Londoner whose life I find utterly fascinating is the artist Lucien Freud. His art is of course magnificent but he seemed to live his life as if it were a roll of the dice.

If I was locked in Liberty for the night….

I would probably head straight for the fabric room and choose something nice to lie under! But seriously, my design process is completely fabric-led so I would be in my element looking through the Liberty fabrics archives.

The city is resilient…

In light of recent events, I think there will be a significant churn for a while, but that will eventually create the opportunities for a new wave of creatives. The city will become more independent I think, but as for a timeline, your guess is as good as mine.

My favourite restaurant is…

Noble Rot on Lambs Conduit Street, just opposite my HQ. The food, the wine, the convivial atmosphere - even the hangovers seem better there.

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