Exclusive Interview With Joseph Turvey

It’s only been a year since Joseph Turvey graduated from London College of Fashion with a masters in Menswear Design Technology but a lot has been going on for the sought after designer.  He was approached by Fashion East due to his skills, was named as ‘One to Watch’ by London Fashion Week’s menswear day and Vauxhall Fashion Scout and; by the end of last year, has had two presentations shown at LC:M. On top of all of that, he’s most recently created a brand new collection in collaboration with River Island for their Design Forum series. The collection, which also includes a playful fashion film featuring some of London’s coolest male models; JustANorm, and directed by Alex Turvey for the Fash/On Film Initiative, is Turvey’s first venture into the high street and all eyes are on him yet again. We caught up with Turvey at London Collections to have a quick chat about the upcoming collection, Inspirations and his opinions on the current state of menswear.


How would you describe your collection/collaboration with River Island?
Fun I think. It’s a collection that doesn’t alienate people who enjoy my clothes or alienate the River Island customer. I was really conscious when I was doing it that it matched the both of us. And I really hope and think that we’ve achieved that, so we’ll have to just wait and see when it goes on sale in February.

How did the River Island x Joseph Turvey collaboration come about?
I think River Island and the British Fashion Council worked really closely together when picking the right people for not only the project but the film and collaboration. I got put forward and it just naturally worked. We had a meeting and I guess they liked what I did. I’m really lucky because I was only on my second season so it was a great chance from River Island and I’m very grateful.



What’s the design process like? What actually goes on behind the scenes?
For me it was all about Jamell Shabazz, I was already watching his documentary before River Island called me in and it just kind of made sense to me that there was a reason that I was watching that, and why they had brought me in. Putting the two together was just what happened. The way we did the collection was so different to how I do my own collection. We’re a small team and this is a whole room full of different departments for every single garment so it’s completely different but it’s very exciting. It’s been a really good opportunity for me and it’s really helped my brand develop as well so it’s been a good experience.

From LC:M generally, who’s collection were you most anticipating?
I’m quite biased because I’m friends with a lot of people so I always look to Baartmans and Siegel and see what they’re going to do. They manage to make the most exquisitely made garments and I know Wouter sews like a mad man doing that. I think he’s very talented. Domingo Rodriguez whose knitwear and jersey wear is incredibly beautiful. The way it hangs Is very flattering and I always go to see him. Katie Eary because I used to assist for her; years ago now, so I’m always excited to see what she’s doing. I think she’s pushing menswear in a really good and exciting direction. And Christopher Shannon. I’ve always been a Christopher Shannon boy. I think he was the reason why we got LC:M so I always look to him to see what he’s up to.

What are your personal opinions on the state of menswear right now?
I think that menswear in London is really exciting and I think that’s down to the design talent that there is in London. I just think there needs to be more opportunities. That’s why I’m so excited for River Island getting involved and different projects.  We need to keep these designers going, thriving and developing with them as they grow as brands, not just see them as a name. There’s a person behind the name and we have to keep growing with them.



What are your essentials for Spring/Summer?
A bomber jacket. I say that for every season because I love them. I’m obsessed with the Dries Van Noten floral plimsolls, they’re incredible.

Lastly; what piece of advice would you give to people currently studying fashion in university?
Don’t think about what could happen, take the time with what you are doing and really develop yourself because you can get lost in this machine of what people expect you to do and achieve.  You just need to find out what’s best for you first. That’s probably the best advice I could give, I wish I could have done that.

The Joseph Turvey x River Island collection is released online and in selected stores from the end of February 2014.

Interviewed by Kacion Mayers

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