“Fashion is plainly expressing yourself through a garment. Whether it be a minimal piece and you dress it down or the most sophisticated and outrageous piece that speaks for you. Fashion is expression.”
Stephen Skeete, Tress Clothing CEO
My collection is home grown and sourced completely from the UK. To me it just screams the classic modern man at me. I manufacture everything in West London and ultimately aim to combine simplicity with style.
At the age of 15, most boys were more concerned with football and girls. I remember walking past the designer boutique ‘Woods’, when I clasped my eyes on the gorgeously designed Moschino jacket. The price tag was stupid, a coat the 15-year-old me didn’t really deserve. I had to create the money somehow, but I was too young to earn that kind of money. I began to sell Kit-Kat’s and Coca Cola cans at school. I suppose I have always had that entrepreneurial spark in my, but I never realised. I didn’t really understand why, but I just wanted it. The detailing and the quality build caught my eyes immediately and to this day, it is still my favourite item of clothing. If I had known that coat was going to eventually encourage me to pursue a whole different career path, maybe I would have never pursued a career in finance.
Finance is my background having left school to pursue football before changing career paths. You could say both have helped me build Tress. Having an ear for sports is a comfort of mine. A lot of my customers and investors say sport is always something I can fall back on. Stereotypically, the standard accountant is dressed in the classic suit. What I can offer and what makes me so different to other designers is having lived that life; everything which I will produce is fresh, simple and unique. Thus the designs will reflect the person behind the suit, without focusing too much on the brand itself. Therefore, making my pieces timeless. My pieces will never be able to die.
When you design anything, the ability to clear your mind and amend as you go is key. I always begin with the silhouette as this is what I deem most important. This is the fit of your clothing and will determine a huge part of the finished product. As well as how the whole ensemble will sit and hang on a body. From this you’ll have a few brands you like and you can adjust and play around for ages until you’re happy. If you’re truly meticulous and care about this, this will be the stage where you truly learn about your product. Anyone can draw the craziest design but without the right materials, the production is simply not possible.
My personal style is conscious. You will never see me in the yellows and pinks of the spectrum, I prefer minimal fashion. The collection is a reflection of me. I would never design anything I wouldn’t wear myself or expect my friends and family to wear. Of course there will eventually be a few daring pieces but I am conscious throughout this whole experience in staying true to myself and anyone who knows me will be able to see this. I appreciate everything which Neil Barrett has done for the fashion scene and I credit him to my not only my work but my sense of style too.
In 10 years my life will be completely different. My daughter will be 10 and I hope that she is striving in her young life. Tress is a brand, meaning I want to delve in to a variety of fields. I dream of creating a team of creative go getters. Their abilities ranging from marketing to PR, music as well as developing accessories and of course, women’s wear.