Dublin born Alan Taylor graduated from NCAD
in 2010 and worked with Simone Rocha, Agi and Sam and Alexander McQueen. He started his own label in 2011 in London.
How long did it take for you to solidify a style, or do you think you are still evolving?
I have solidified my base style which every designer needs to do to have a strong brand and should be referenced in every collection. I feel you shouldn’t be afraid to develop this over time. There is a Churchill quote that always sticks with me on this “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
Working with other designers can influence and drive your own work, what have you learned from others over the years?
Working with other designers has influenced me most on a business and infrastructure level. Seeing how businesses are run from the inside is something you just don’t get taught at University.
Art vs. commerce is a constant struggle for designers. What are your thoughts?
You can’t avoid the fact that a brand is a business first and foremost so you need the collections to sell to actually survive but I feel you can push the envelope without sacrificing creativity. It is the designers that achieve this balance that are at the crest of contemporary menswear.
Where do you place the brand - customer, market, ideal stockists?
I feel it is counter productive to completely define my customer, I see him as a man who is inspired by underground indie art, music and culture. He wears Alan Taylor because it feels effortless when he has it on. He is quietly confident and gets noticed by everyone without trying. My ideal stockists would definitely have to be the ones that are pushing the boundaries of what a retail space can be, like Dover Street Market, Joyce and Space Mue. They see their space as something that can be a collaboration of ideas rather than just a place to sell clothes.
What triggers your creativity?
The thing that I find both exciting and terrifying about this is that inspiration comes without warning or reason. It could be a line in one song that makes you thing of a painting that sets off a memory of scene in a film that you have seen years ago and then in all amalgamates into one concise vision.