British-born Simon Spurr touts a distinguished résumé, having designed menswear at YSL under Hedi Slimane, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren. After creating his own contemporary, denim-based line, Spurr, in 2006, he was named a finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund last year. Fall 2010 brings a more serious sartorial undertaking: Spurr debuted a refined new menswear line on the runway last week, Simon Spurr, filled with dapper plaids, patterned suits, cashmere knits, and tailored jackets. (Savile Row tailor Tommy Nutter was an inspiration.) “Hedi Slimane was my first true fashion mentor, and the first thing he did was throw the trend books out the window,” says Spurr. “That’s always stuck with me. I appreciate, I look, I listen, but on the whole I completely disengage from the rest of what’s going on in fashion. I have a feeling, an emotion, that comes out in the form of clothes.” We chatted with the designer about his prominent mentors, English tendencies, and affinity for cashmere sweats.
How would you distinguish your fall collection from the original Spurr line?
Spurr has a younger, faster, edgier feel, whereas Simon Spurr is about modern elegance.
How influential were your past design positions in shaping Simon Spurr?
I’ve been really lucky to work with three of the most talented men in fashion, and I learned different things from each of them. At Ralph Lauren, it was about building a brand and owning a look. At Calvin, it was more about removing excess ideas; stripping the design back to its purest form. And at YSL it was about working with color and proportion.
Where do you like to shop in New York?
Since I make clothes for myself, I tend to buy vintage at places like Melet Mercantile — I love the functionalist element of vintage military outerwear.
What was the first designer item you bought?
Very random: a Jean Paul Gaultier vest.
How would you describe your personal style?
I tend to live in jeans, a T-shirt, and a suit jacket. It’s my daily uniform.
Looks from Spurr’s fall 2010 collection.Photo: Courtesy of Simon Spurr.