Men’s Fashion Week: How Tinie Tempah went from charts to catwalks


Tinie TempahImage copyright
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It’s not typically you get to interview one of many UK’s most profitable musicians in a west London rest room.

But with simply days to go till Tinie Tempah’s catwalk present for London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM), there’s restricted area at rehearsals.

Packed garments racks and paper sketches fill the highest flooring room of the 29-year-old’s studio in Holland Park, as models mill round making an attempt on their outfits.

There’s a lot happening that the simplest (and quietest) place to conduct an interview seems to be a small washroom, the place we take shelter to talk about Tinie’s newest assortment for his clothes label, What We Wear.

The musician unveiled his first assortment for the model final yr, however he has been an envoy for LFWM since its launch in 2012 – a interval he thinks was pivotal for males’s fashion.

“I think 2010, 2011, there was a lot of press about how British men were becoming more fashionable. ‘Metrosexual’ was the term being used around the time,” he tells the BBC.

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Tinie debuted his first assortment at London Fashion Week Men’s final yr

“Since then, extra males have been paying consideration to their fashion. To be trustworthy, I nonetheless assume there’s much more ladies paying consideration to what they put on, how they put on it, the way it looks, who the designer is.

“But we’re began to seeing a brand new era of younger people who find themselves very savvy, extra into their manufacturers.”

Since his large breakthrough single Pass Out in 2010, fashion has been an important a part of Tinie’s public picture.

His sharp sense of favor led to him being named the UK’s greatest dressed man in 2012 by GQ (he additionally seems within the prime 20 of this yr’s record).

“I feel there’s extra fashion in music than individuals realise,” says Tinie, whose actual identify is Patrick Okogwu.

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Tinie Tempah’s first What We Wear assortment debuted final yr

“Most people who find themselves capturing music movies, they’re styled to a point, there’s some considered what they’re sporting, how their hair is styled. All of that, to me, is fashion.

“Even a fashion present itself would not be proper if there wasn’t any music. I feel there is a actually shut relationship between the 2.”

So, when London Collections: Men (later renamed to London Fashion Week Men’s) first launched in 2012, Tinie was an apparent selection for ambassador.

But his enthusiasm for fashion dates again past his music profession.

“I might say it was from about 9 or 10. I come from a Nigerian immigrant background, my mother and father had us right here, and my Mum, on prime of getting three or 4 jobs, she all the time believed in having a aspect hustle, and a type of was truly going and shopping for material,” Tinie explains.

“She’d go over to Switzerland or Italy, deliver it again and promote it to different ladies from the area people.

“In Nigerian tradition, a whole lot of the ladies like to make their very own clothes and put on them to weddings, so she’d purchase all these totally different supplies, and on occasion she’d let me go together with her.

“From there, I started to understand and have a bit of a passion and knowledge for fashion and textiles in general.”

Tinie’s enthusiasm ultimately inspired to him grow to be a outstanding determine within the fashion circuit, working intently with the British Fashion Council.

“I remember just saying to myself one day, ‘I can’t come to another Men’s Fashion Week for the sixth year running, being this guy that knows fashion, being this guy that’s a clothes horse for most of these designers, and not make a contribution myself,'” he recollects.

“So while I was making my third album, Youth, it was a challenge for me to see if I could make a first solid collection as well as an album at the same time.”

He admits it is “definitely not easy” to juggle music and fashion however his chart presence does not appear to have been affected by his dedication to clothes.

Last yr, his third album Youth charted within the prime 10 (as each his earlier albums did), and spawned the huge singles Girls Like, a collaboration with Zara Larsson, and his primary duet with Jess Glynne, Not Letting Go.

“I want to be one of those people to challenge the idea that you can only do one thing,” Tinie says.

“In future generations I think people are going to be way more multi-faceted, and it’s not going to be such a surprise for someone to rap and make clothes.”

Compared to most big-name manufacturers, the What We Wear vary is fairly priced, however a jacket or pair of denims will nonetheless value you greater than you’d pay in a mean excessive road retailer.

But, he says: “For me, I like the sturdiness of one thing. I would like it to final.

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Sadly the What We Wear-branded automotive does not include the garments

“Over time, I’ve made the identical decisions as, I am guessing, most males in Britain. Sometimes I spend a great deal of cash on a bit of clothes, typically little or no.

“But whenever you purchase one thing that is not of any actual high quality, it does not final lengthy, you aren’t getting that many wears out of it.

“So you can spend £14 to buy jeans every couple of months, or spend £140 and maybe buy a pair of jeans that’ll last you 10 years. For me, the latter makes a lot more sense.”

But, he provides, one of many points with being a designer is that, when you come across a brand new development, different designers instantly start to mimic you.

It’s one of many causes Tinie needs his label to emulate the “see now, buy now” mannequin, which suggests collections can be found to purchase as quickly as they’ve debuted on the catwalk, slightly than happening sale the next season.

“If you’ll be able to’t entry one thing you’ve got seen for 3 months, it goes utterly out of your reminiscence.

“For that purpose I would like to give you the option to get to that stage the place we will comfortably afford to do ‘see now, purchase now,'” he says.

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Tinie with a few of his catwalk models backstage eventually January’s LFWM

“And the other reason I want to do it is some other people start taking my ideas,” he laughs.

“Once you start showing your stuff ahead of time, what I’ve realised is, you show it, then six months down the line when you’re ready to release it, you go into a high street retailer, and there’s already a similar design.”

It’s notable that Tinie did not identify the clothes label after his stage identify.

Was that a deliberate transfer to be certain that the model survives by itself benefit?

“A million per cent,” he says. “What We Wear is strictly what it’s. I felt there was a niche for a up to date menswear model that displays what the fashionable man is sporting at present.

“There was the entire concept of associating my identify with it however to be trustworthy… I did not need anybody to assume I used to be utilizing my identify.

“I wanted to build something from scratch so that, regardless of Tinie Tempah, long after I’m gone, I wanted to be able to stand amongst brands that have been around for a hundred years.”

Tinie Tempah will present his Autumn/Winter assortment at 14:00 BST on Saturday as a part of London Fashion Week Men’s.

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