Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY is a brand that celebrates freedom, art and queer culture. His collections are informed by cult night clubs in East London, friends and creative individuals. The Glasgow born designer moved to London to study Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins. Ever since, he has made an impact on the industry with thought-provoking collections.
The LOVERBOY label has gained coverage in major publications including I-D, Dazed, AnOther and Love Magazine, and was recently awarded the emerging talent category at The Fashion Awards 2017. We speak directly with NEWGEN designer Charles Jeffrey about his budding label:
ORDRE: Tell us about your new solo exhibition ‘The Come Up’ and how it came about. In what way has this project informed the Loverboy brand?
Charles Jeffrey: The NOW Gallery team got in touch earlier this year and after seeing Molly Goddard’s exhibition last year I was really excited to have the opportunity to work on a new project and some new ways of working. Large scale, 3D sculptural work is something I’d wanted to get stuck into for a while. The idea came from transforming my illustrations into an abstract format on a wider scale and the ideas in the work are all intrinsically LOVERBOY – creating a safe space for people to be their true selves, performance, colour, joy. It’s a happy place; I’m so proud of the project.
O: I can see you found your inspiration from Cult Club nights and Alter Egos. Tell us more about this.
CJ: There’s an interactive element where visitors are welcomed to draw themselves - or a version of themselves - onto the sculptures. I’m fascinated by the idea of characters and alter egos, it’s a big part of what I think makes nightlife so compelling.
O: When designing your collections, what fabrications do you look for? Where are they manufactured?
CJ: We work predominantly with UK-based suppliers and manufacturers. We like to be agile and introduce new way of working every season but knitwear and tailoring are our ‘anchors’.
O: As a creative individual, designer, and illustrator you work across different mediums - including performance - to showcase your collections. How would like buyers to best merchandise your products?
CJ: Performance is a huge part of me and what I do. I trust in my buyers and have been really lucky with the relationships I have built whereby I am very much involved in the creative process. I recently collaborated with Boon The Shop for an installation in their store over Seoul Fashion Week in October, which is a good example of what works well for us - being really involved in bringing the product to life in-store by creating environments. We’ve worked in this way with Dover Street Market a lot. It’s an extension of our world.
O: You are currently stocked at some of the most coveted stores around the world including several Dover Street Markets, Opening Ceremony in NY and Boon The Shop. How are you setting the LOVERBOY brand apart on the retail floor?
CJ: I feel so privileged to be a part of these amazing stores. As mentioned, we love working on installations but I’m really confident in letting the product speak for itself too. What sets it apart is, I hope, the character that lives in the clothes.
O: You recently won the emerging talent category at The Fashion Awards. Tell us what happened after…
CJ: We partied!
O: Earlier this year you collaborated with John Galliano on a special Margiela archive shoot for LOVE Magazine. Can you tell us a bit about this creative collaboration?
CJ: He’s my hero, and so it was one of the biggest deals of my career - and my life. There were so many people involved in the project who I love and respect too. It will always feel really special.
O: What exciting launches can we look forward to in the near future?
CJ: Next up is my Autumn/Winter '18 show in January. After that, there are some exciting launches in the pipeline for 2018, including my first venture into womenswear with MATCHESFASHION.COM. And, I hope, a holiday!