The self-confessed “workwear freak” will be showcasing his work at the upcoming Fashion East runway show. “I’m really just over the moon about it all,” he tells AnOther
One look at the radical alumni of Fashion East’s talent incubator is enough to cement the programme’s seasonal shows as the most desirable ticket at London Fashion Week. The career paths of maverick talents like Kim Jones, Simone Rocha, Jonathan Anderson, Craig Green, Knwls, Stefan Cooke, Grace Wales Bonner (the list truly goes on) who had previously been selected by founder Lulu Kennedy among her panel of experts, are testament to the incubators’ incredible support. Today, AnOther can exclusively reveal that the latest to join Fashion East’s roster is Olly Shinder.
The young London born-and-raised designer graduated from Central Saint Martins last year, having spent his placement year assisting at Snickers, a leading Swedish technical wear brand that designs garments for construction workers. Merging the freewheeling creativity of his studies with the utilitarian, function-first approach from his placement, Shinder returned to university with a graduate collection consisting of sensitive workwear-inspired garments crafted with engineered precision. “I knew Olly’s work from seeing it on him and friends at queer clubs and in editorials – it always looked clear and fresh,” says Fashion East founder Lulu Kennedy. “He definitely knows what he’s about. I like talking to him about his work – and actually about anything. It’s a very interesting and easy dynamic.”
“I’m delighted to be selected! I feel like I’ve been fully accepted now as a London name,” Shinder adds. “I’ve always looked at Fashion East as a teenager and admired the designers on it a lot … but never did I really think that I would ever be a part of it, so I’m really just over the moon about it all.” In light of the gloomy cost of living crisis, arts education cuts, and the precarious aftermath of a global pandemic, nurturing the next generation of fashion talent has never felt more necessary, and with over 20 years of launching Britain’s brightest talents, the self-confessed “workwear freak” is in good hands.
“Doing what I do in London, especially in the current financial climate, feels near to impossible,” he continues. “The more I do it, the more I realise that this is the case. Having access to the Fashion East network and the expert knowledge that they have is invaluable. Even in the interview alone, that conversation I had with Lulu [Kennedy] and Raphaelle [Moore] helped me find so much direction in what I am doing. I’m also thrilled to have the opportunity to show on a runway.”
Shinder will debut his first collection with Fashion East, which is sponsored by sportswear behemoth Nike, on September 15. Also showing this season is existing Fashion East designer, the Estonian womenswear and accessories designer Johanna Parv, whose intricate clothing melds performance wear and evening elegance, heavily inspired by professional women who cycle the city’s bustling streets. Making up the final of the central three-designer lineup is Standing Ground, designed by Irish designer Michael Stewart, who is perhaps best known for his fluid yet sculptural draped gowns. Asai will be returning to the Fashion East runway as a special guest, after first showing with the incubator for Autumn/Winter 2017. His collections are instantly recognisable by their explosions of acidic colour, fabrics hand-worked with intricate techniques, and aesthetics drawn from his Vietnamese and Chinese heritage. With Shinder joining this ecstatic roster, the London-born designer is bound to be showcasing his intricate, aesthetically uncomplicated take on macho workwear – now on a grander stage.