Back in early 2012, Simon Spurr seemed like he was on top of the world. His namesake menswear label was a hit with the fashion set and he had just received a nomination for Menswear Designer of the Year from the CFDA. But two days after the nomination was announced, Spurr left his company without a word. Two months after that, an article in The New York Times alluded to a disagreement between Spurr and his business partner, Judd Nydes, as the cause of the split, with Spurr telling the paper, “I have high hopes to come back to the company one day. I’m looking forward to whatever the next step would be, whatever it is.”
Fast forward six years and many in the fashion industry, this writer included, still lament that Spurr’s return to his eponymous label never took place. But while Simon Spurr the label shut down, Simon Spurr the man and designer continued to work and flourish, albeit in a less public way. That is, until now.
In November 2017, Spurr was named creative director of EIDOS and tasked with modernizing and growing the four-year-old brand, which is owned by Italian luxury suiting company ISAIA. The Daily caught up with Spurr to find out how it’s going and what the hell happened back in 2012.
What makes your appointment at EIDOS different from other jobs you’ve had?
My appointment at EIDOS is the perfect combination of quality, creative trust, and vision for doing things differently. Whilst the brand is still small, we have the ability to be nimble and act quickly by using the fully resources of the ISAIA infrastructure. The support has been tremendous both internally and externally. I’m looking forward to evolving and growing the brand in a conscious way.
Whilst many aspects of the design process remain the same, I believe the newness comes in how and when we deliver the product to the consumer. More seasonally-relevant product (delivering winter in winter etc.) is an important shift for the market as the consumer becomes more immediate.
What the hell happened all those years ago when you left your label? Do you want to talk about it? I feel like I only ever heard rumors.
I’m completely at peace with what happened at my namesake six years ago. Ultimately, there was contrasting energy between me and my partners. We had agreed on a few things regarding the ownership of the brand’s IP, which upon execution were not adhered to. No one likes to hear the words “we own you,” so I walked.
It was a very hard time for me, and it took me a while to untangle the identity of Simon Spurr the brand and Simon Spurr the man. Thankfully, I have a very strong moral compass, and a ton of support from both the industry, my family, and friends that made the separation much easier.
Now, it’s about only looking forward, being open and receptive to all the amazing opportunities ahead.
Fall 2018 is your first full collection for EIDOS, right? To what extent would you say it represents your vision for the brand?
I knew my aesthetic was considerably different from what came before — such is the nature of change. When the brand reached out to me and I started working last year, I was asked to modernize the brand and aesthetically elevate it. Maybe think of EIDOS more as a younger cousin to ISAIA rather than a young brother.
Due to the change in nature of the design aesthetic, I consciously wanted my first collection to be very democratic, full of easy-to-wear pieces, to set a foundation on which we can build. That said, I’m currently completing season two, which noticeably has more edge to it. Ultimately, working with the resources at ISAIA will allow the brand to grow into its potential and its unique voice that sets it apart from the rest.
A lot of people, myself included, have missed your namesake label. Are there any Simon Spurr signatures we should look out for in EIDOS?
I’d like to think that my aesthetic has developed considerably from when I was at my namesake brand, however, I’ve always been a designer that’s intrinsically committed to the product I work on, so naturally there is quite a bit of my DNA starting to flow into EIDOS. I wouldn’t say there is any direct crossover, but I feel that if you knew of my old brand and liked it, you should definitely look out for EIDOS.
What is your favorite piece from your new collection and why?
Other than it’s nice to be able to find/wear jeans that fit me perfectly again, I’d have to say the piece I’m most excited to wear from the first season has to be the suede jean jacket. Sometimes the simplest pieces are the hardest to execute, but this jacket not only fits like a glove, but will age perfectly over time and work in any social environment.
You worked with Hedi Slimane at one point. What was that like? What exactly did you do for him?
Yes, I worked with Hedi for a few years in the late 90’s. I was in London working on his Rive Gauche diffusion line called SAINT LAURENT (ironic now), which was only available in London, Paris, and Tokyo. I was one of the designers at the time, and gained a great deal of knowledge watching and working with Hedi. I feel so privileged to have worked with such a visionary like Hedi, a once in a life time opportunity that for helped shaped me as a designer.
What do you think of Hedi Slimane’s appointment to Céline?
I was, like many, initially a little surprised when rumors were circulating that he was potentially going to start Chanel menswear. That said, I hope people give him a chance at Céline and remember how he repositioned and reinvented YSL with unparalleled success. Our industry can be quick to throw someone under the bus, but this is Hedi Slimane. He will do an amazing job.
What do you think of the state of Saint Laurent now?
Saint Laurent has been and always will be a major fashion house no matter who is at the helm. I really like what Anthony is doing with the women’s wear. I think he’s added a layer of quality and sex appeal to the collection.
There have been a lot of new menswear appointments recently — Riccardo Tisci at Burberry, Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones at Dior — do any of them excite you? Is there anything you are especially looking forward to?
Ahhhh the ever continuing musical chairs of the fashion industry. Honestly, I’m most excited to see what Riccardo does at Burberry. Even though many people thought Phoebe was made for that position, I think Ricardo will inject a new interpretation to the brand.
What is the biggest issue facing the fashion industry right now? Any ideas on how we can tackle it?
Our attention span. After leaving my namesake brand I moved into some non-fashion projects like lighting design and sculpture as I was exhausted by the pace of our industry and wanted to work on projects that had longer lead times. I’m very supportive of change and progression within the industry but I feel we (the collective we), would benefit greatly if we where able to stop once in a while to understand the craft that goes into product.
What is something most men get wrong about dressing or style?
I think one of the most important things about dressing is owning your own style. Finding a look that works with who you are as an individual results in a more cohesive and believable image. Buying and wearing product just because it’s IN, has never been part of my decision making.
What fashion trend just needs to die already?
I think there is room for everything, and we should embrace this collectively.
What do you see as fashion’s role in politics or the culture at large? Or is it all just stuff we use to cover our nakedness?
I think fashion brands (like celebrities) have an immense platform and social reach and can impact the way the population behaves. Therefore, our collective consciousness is important. Whether it’s reducing our carbon footprint, using new technology to grow leather in laboratories or simply to support dying craftsmen and women, we have an obligation to represent.
If you could dress Donald Trump in anything you wanted, what would you choose?
Do you have any desire to design womenswear? What would a womenswear collection from you look like?
Yes. It started at my namesake brand and has continued thorough my various roles at different brands, but I’ve always been asked for women’s cuts of the menswear I’ve made. As we move into a time where the notion of gender is continually evolving and being blurred, I think its even more relevant now to start a line that represents both genders with the same/similar aesthetic. That’s why I started MARCH NYC that offers 2 styles of boots cut differently for men and women, but made in the same 5 skins so it appears to be more gender fluid.
What do you still want to accomplish in your life?
I would like to start and raise a family. I think this is the biggest achievement for anyone in life, and far more rewarding than building any empire. At least I know it will be for me.
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