Texprint alumnus story: William Stone, menswear designer

07 September 2015 by Roger Tredre

Young British menswear designer William Stone is attracting increasing interest at London Collections Men, both for his innovative luxury tailoring and his textiles. We spoke to him about his career and memories as a Texprint alumnus.

What are you working on right now?

Like any young designer, I have to multi-task and juggle the job between designing and running the business. Currently, I am researching and gathering ideas for my mood board for my AW16 collection, which I will show during London Collections Men in January. I also work on bespoke orders which diversify what my brand can offer – and I thoroughly enjoy it.

Your SS16 collection was much admired. Tell us about the palm tree print.

I have always been fascinated with the Victorian era as it was a period of great significance for engineering, design and science. This was my inspiration for my SS16 collection and when researching the textiles of this period I found this vintage palm tree print, which I loved. To create the denim jacket and shorts, I reworked the original to fit my pattern and had it digitally printed. 

Tell us about your use of British textiles and how you work with the mills.

For my tailoring, I use a fantastic British mill based in Huddersfield that specialises in wools and linen. One of the main aspects of my brand is to ensure the quality of fabric is a key selling point – one I do not want to compromise over.

How did Texprint help your career?

As I was graduating from my Masters [at Royal College of Art], Texprint exposed me to the business of printed textiles, which gave me a great understanding of the market needs and demands.  Whilst presenting my MA collection at Premiere Vision, a design studio approached me to work freelance for them, so essentially Texprint lead me to my first job in the textile industry. Being part of Texprint also allowed me to meet and engage with established designers and industry influencers, gaining invaluable advice.   

Explain how your career evolved after Texprint.

As a result of Texprint, I worked freelance for various brands as a print designer but simultaneously I was already exploring ideas for my own namesake label. In order to gain more technical skills in garment making, I studied Bespoke Tailoring at Newham College with Savile Row. This laid the foundation for the DNA of my brand.  I am now into my fourth collection with two solo presentations.

How did you first become interested in textiles?

Before I started my art and design foundation course at Middlesex I didn’t know what I wanted to do – only that I wanted to design. Then one of my tutors at the time suggested I try printed textiles. It took me a few months to get into it as I thought my friends might laugh at me for choosing a ‘feminine’ subject. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with it though – and the reality of it was my friends all thought it was amazing.

Explain the switch to focus on menswear.

I have always had an interest in menswear and have always known that I was inevitably designing for the male form so it was an organic choice.

You’ve shown at LCM twice now. How has that experience been?

Exciting. It was an amazing opportunity to be able to show during such a key moment in men’s fashion. It was the first time that I had to think outside of just the clothes and textiles and to also think about venue, stage, viewing experience and models. I have been extremely fortunate to have the support of The Complex, which support up-and-coming designers with the organisation that comes with producing a show. 

Besides your design work, what else are you interested in?

Naturally, I like spending time in creative environments such as museums and exhibitions but on the weekends, I spend time with my family and our dog, Sunny, or going to the gym. However, currently I am spending my spare waking hours watching The Game Of Thrones!

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