This Off-White Alumnus Has Started a Brand Inspired by 1970s London

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Courtesy of Angelos Frentzos SW10
SW10Courtesy of Angelos Frentzos

SW10 is a new label by Angelos Frentzos. Here, he explains how he looked to the punk movement – “London’s original streetwear” – for inspiration

  1. Who is it? SW10 is a new label by designer Angelos Frentzos, inspired by London’s 1970s punk subculture
  2. Why do I want it? Tailoring and construction-focussed clothing, made as an antidote to the age of Instagram
  3. Where can I find it? SW10 is coming soon...

Who is it? Greek fashion designer Angelos Frentzos’ curriculum vitae demonstrates an impressive fashion pedigree. Having started making clothes and working with print in the year 2000 at the School of Fine Art in Athens, Frentzos relocated to London to study at Central Saint Martins on Charing Cross Road, living just a stone’s throw away from the college in Leicester Square. “The house I lived in then is now a bank,” he says over the phone from Athens, where he is now based. “The school wasn’t anything like it is today. When I graduated, I began working at Miu Miu, designing knitwear with Stefano Pilati. Then, after two seasons, I was the appointed as artistic director of another Italian label, Alma.”

When Alma closed down, Frentzos went on to work at Vionnet and then with Rick Owens, developing leatherwear and knitwear for the brand, and realising his own line, Project Frentzos, soon after. However, it was collaborating with Kanye West and Virgil Abloh on the rapper’s costumes for his Yeezus tour in 2013, that proved to be one of the most “exciting and unusual” jobs. He and Abloh became well acquainted, with Frentzos brought on board at the newly founded Off-White. He remained there until the Autumn/Winter 2018 season. “We used to argue quite a lot – our ideas are very different! But it was great,” he laughs.

Now, Frentzos has announced the launch of his latest brainchild, SW10, a new label created to echo the sentiment of London’s 1970s punk subculture. “SW10 is Chelsea’s postcode, where punk started,” says the designer of how his idea began. “Punks would take old military clothes, tailored jackets, etc, and they wore them inside outside, put prints on them, customised them for themselves. It was the original London streetwear. When you think about the way young people dress today, everyone is doing streetwear – and SW10 is my interpretation of that for 2019.”

Why do I want it? “When I started out, fashion was more simple, more straightforward. Now, people don’t care as much about development, garment construction... Especially the younger generation. They want something instant,” says Frentzos. “A lot of people will say they love a brand, but they don’t know how the clothes actually look in real life. Everyone makes clothes to exist in an image or an Instagram post. It’s easy to make a photogenic garment... But to make clothes that look great in real life is another task entirely.”

As such, SW10 places real focus on the craft of tailoring, with its inaugural ‘Season 0’ consisting of deconstructed and reversible garments for men and women. “It’s a modern interpretation of traditional techniques and materials,” says Frentzos, with an emphasis on suiting, shirting and outerwear in leather, shearling and denim. “Everything is made in Italy, except the jersey and the fleece that I make in Turkey because there I can use a lot of handmade techniques and natural dyeing processes, that I can’t do anywhere else in the world.”

Frentzos cites John Galliano and Hedi Slimane as two of the designers working today who he most respects and admires. “I loved Celine this season,” he explains. “Hedi doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel and do a trench coat with 25 sleeves or something. He takes a trench coat and he just makes a really good trench coat – and this is also how I work.”

Where can I find it? SW10 is coming soon...