Originally published in
September 2015
Nick Grimshaw turns designer for his new collaborative collection with Topman
Nick Grimshaw is in the back of a car with his pet dog Pig on the way to one of his many work commitments. A DJ, MTV host, Radio 1 presenter, London Collections: Men ambassador, X-Factor judge and man about town, he’s always on the move. But Grimmy has still found the time to give A magazine a call to chat about his debut menswear collection with Topman and personal take on fashion. If Pig would just settle down, that is…
Gordon Richardson’s team were great mentors... 100% creative
Photos: Boo George

A mag: Hi Nick. You’re famed for your rock & roll style but have you always been into fashion?

Nick: Yes. My dad was my original inspiration. He dresses well and appreciates good quality clothes. When he loves a cashmere jumper or overcoat, he’ll wear it forever. At school I wore experimental stuff like neon high tops and silver puffa jackets.

A: What has been your most embarrassing fashion phase?

N: When I first moved to London (from Oldham) I wore a lot of New Era caps and vests. When you’re young it’s okay to look insane, but you can’t get away with it when you’re older. As I’ve matured I’ve worked out what looks nice on me and wear the same things every day.

A: What’s in your wardrobe today?

N: I have lots of black skinny jeans, stripy jumpers and Topman shirts. And I have the same style of Saint Laurent boots in every colour. I wear them everywhere from Glastonbury to black tie events. I also have a really old Louis Vuitton leather jacket that I’ve worn for nine years.

A: The more you wear it the better it looks.

N: Exactly. There are also those special outfits that I’ve only worn once. Topman made me a green glittery suit for my 30th birthday, which is amazing.

A: What were your first memories of Topman?

N: I got a discount card at university, which secured my love for Topman. Students don't have much money for clothes because they spend it all on beer so the discount really helped! Ever since then, every time I go into Topman I find something I want to buy.

A: What does Topman represent to you now?

N: Topman is the coolest menswear brand on the high street. And the Topman Design show at LC:M is always fun. They make wearable clothes that still look good on a catwalk.

A: What were your highlights of LC:M SS16?

N: I got a discount card at university, which secured my love for Topman. Students don’t have much money for clothes because they spend it all on beer so the discount really helped! Every since then, every time I go into a Topman I find something I want to buy.

A: What were your highlights from the LC:M SS16 shows?

N: LC:M is great because you can go from Burberry Prorsum’s show in a glass house with an orchestra, straight to Bobby Abley’s show in a tiny room in a basement, which is just as impressive. In London we have that punk attitude that anything goes. It’s always evolving, which is why LC:M attracts both emerging talents and the big names.

A: How did the idea for your Topman collection come about?

N: I was helping out when Kate Moss did her Topshop range and then pitched some ideas to Topman and they were really up for it.

A: What was the design process like?

N: I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Gordon Richardson’s team were great mentors. I’ve always kept a scrapbook of doodles so it started with that. I brought in clothes that I liked and we talked about my style icons too – men like Mick Jagger and David Bowie. The collection was all about what I want to wear. Clean, effortless clothes. If I sample came in and I didn’t want to steal it, it was cut. It felt fantastic to be 100 per cent creative.

A: What are some of the key pieces in the collection?

N: There’s a black shirt with a white paintbrush pattern on it that we recreated from an old French textile, a fringed suede jacket that’s pretty ballsy, and I love the leopard print coat.

A: Leopard print is brave.

N: Leopard print is everything. It’s trashy, sexy, classic. It goes in and out of fashion but I love it.

A: There is some major canine love going on in the collection - the dog sketch jumper and ‘Puppy’ t-shirt?

N: Yes. Those were based on my scrapbook drawings and one of my tattoos. This collection is very personal to me.

A: Pig stars in the lookbook too.

N: That wasn’t planned. I suggested shooting it in my house and she was running around all day being a real show off.

A: Pig has become quite the celebrity and even has her own Instagram account.

N: Yes. When I take her for a walk in the park people ask to have their picture taken with her, not me.

A: What is your best piece of fashion advice?

N: It’s better to look thrown together than like you’ve thought about it too much. And don’t go for something crazy unless you can pull it off. I love Pharrell Williams’ big hats but if I dressed like him, I’d look like a toddler at nursery. Believe me, I’ve tried… Pig, come back! I’ve got to go. Pig has just jumped out of the car. Bye!

A: Bye!