Harry Styles and I invite you to get to know Steven Stokey Daley


Listen, I have come to accept that even after living in London for six years, I will never fully understand the British, and I will never fully understand the idea of ​​Britishness. Its class system, overly false politeness, the growing level of social division and all the cultural nuances between the two.

What I’ve always understood, however, are her dress codes and what they represent in the culture at large. And for that, look no further than SS Daley, the eponymous new brand from Steven Stokey Daley, whose crochet cotton shirts, floral headdresses, and diamond-knit sleeveless vests could only have come from elsewhere in the world. UK.

His inspirations are clear when I call him a week before his first show and he shows me his evolving moodboards depicting old photos of Kate Bush, Lady Diana Spencer, public school students, paintings by David Hockney and Josh O ‘Connor who portrays a young Prince Charles in the fourth season of the hit Netflix series The Crown, whose head is chopped off and glued to an archaic image of the real Prince Charles.

The old meets the new. The same approach the designer takes for his brand where tablecloths, old curtains and anything that could serve as fabric that can be found in a flea market or charity store turns into something new.

“There is something to love about clothes even more because it feels like they have a past life. There is a lot of soul in her clothes that look new but old at the same time, ”Harry Lambert, stylist extraordinary from Harry Styles, Emma Corrin, Josh O’Connor and more tells me. The old one he styled in a full SS Daley look for Styles’ single “Golden”. “I feel like he’s doing something that’s missing in the UK men’s fashion landscape.”

And Stokey Daley is already adopted by many. Journalist and writer of What Artists Wear, Charlie Porter, tells me of Steven: “One thing fuels another, his politics give him motivation, an ambition that pushes the scope of his design, with a mastery of men’s fashion that becomes then a vehicle to express its policy. It’s a circularity of talent that he has had from the start, and that gives him so much potential to continue to say something important in the years to come.

Paul Roseby, CEO and Artistic Director of the National Youth Theater of Great Britain, with whom Stokey Daley collaborated on his first theater-inspired collection, writes: “Using theater to animate a new fashion collection is an exciting way to engage a talented young cohort, who doesn’t rank in just one art form like previous generations did, so it’s fitting that we share their voices on a new platform. We are proud to celebrate Steven’s journey and talent with this unique new collaboration that brings together the best of our creative industries.

There you have it, loved by many, about to be known by all. So I called the guy to introduce myself.

Christopher Morency: Steven, this is the first time we meet. Tell me a bit about yourself.
Steven Stokey Daley: I am based in Haggerston and between Liverpool and London. I come from Liverpool where my grandmother worked in a clothing factory. It closed 25 years ago and we kind of rallied the women who were working with it and created a kind of unconventional localized production set up there. We started working with them last summer and we kind of got together and came back together to do it. We’re sort of reforming a little localized production setup that gets them back to doing what they love to do.

Is your grandmother also involved in your business?
She is, but she doesn’t have the best hand-eye coordination. So, she took on an administrative and managerial role that she loves to do. She is good. She keeps me organized.

Did she encourage you to create your own label?
Not really. There never was this fictionalized version of how I ended up doing design. I have always been very interested in the theater. When I was 18 I applied to study it and two days before I left I didn’t want to do it anymore. So I applied for an art foundation at the last minute and sort of ended up in design. The thing with theater is that the representation of different people is partially non-existent. There is a disparity in the higher arts and culture among working class people, and it is a luxury to be able to do theater successfully.

True. However, I think it’s not necessarily different in the fashion industry where those who attend prestigious design schools have a set trajectory of success, especially since we want to pretend that’s not the case. . It is frustrating to see.
No, of course. I think this is definitely something that I achieved last year. We started out as a company with our main source of income and our largest source of income through our direct customer channels, and I know a lot of designers in London don’t have that. So that made a huge difference in my ability to do it. I look around and see this trajectory that we know so well and it’s one hundred percent impossible to do it without money.

You graduated from the University of Westminster during the lockdown last year. How was it?
So we were so lucky in Westminster. We showed our final collections just before containment. And so, I went into confinement with people asking to buy pants and things. Then during the lockdown I felt like I had so much free time to do it. So, I just started responding to requests one by one. I then met Harry [Lambert] who pulled a few styles and brought them to a much bigger platform with the Harry style [Styles]. Suddenly my channels were inundated with orders and requests. It was exciting but also strange considering that I had literally just graduated a month ago.

I just come back to fashionable education. After you graduated, what was actually different from what you were taught?
There is a culture around fashion education that encourages everyone to be creative wholeheartedly and throw the ball at the wall, and cares about a career you should sacrifice everything for creativity. [But] it’s such a dangerous way to educate people, especially the younger generation. Having just left the fad education system, so many people are really embracing this mentality and this nature of, “If we’re just creative, we’ll be fine.” But as boring as it sounds, there has to be a sense of realism sneaking in there. This whole “it’s creativity or death” culture is really dangerous when you need to have a way to keep you going as a business. I’ve always felt so far removed from it and had a different mindset about it.

For your first show, theater and fashion finally come together. Why?
We work with the National Youth Theater of Great Britain which is an amazing organization that provides access to theater, the performing arts, and just a different range of creativity for those who don’t necessarily have the means to go to school. drama, which are all privatized, so they are very expensive. I joined the National Youth Theater when I was 14 and made my first trip to London with them, and eventually I was surrounded by people who were as passionate about who I was as I was. I think for artists in general it’s been such a tough year because not only has their industry collapsed but their bodies have changed so much since they performed and it’s a different mentality when you don’t. are not active. Now more than ever, we as creative industries need to work together to support our industries.

As a new brand, it looks like you’re approaching the fashion industry in a fresher way that’s outside the mainstream system, whether it’s hosting a traditional fashion show, embracing pop culture from the get-go. , selling primarily through direct-to-consumer, you’ve been on TikTok from the start. Why?
Exactly. Usually there is a unique way of doing things and you have to check the boxes here and avoid things there. I think people are so tired of it, and can see through this pre-packaged way of doing things. It just isn’t real and looks ingenious. People are fed up with being sold to them. A platform like TikTok would never have existed five years ago because it reveals things in such a real and crass way. I think people resonate with it more now. We are in the era of transparency. I think people appreciate rawness today. And I know it’s hard for people to break with that because they’ve been in the industry for so long, but that’s what the consumer wants. This is what we all want.

With that in mind, what’s the next step?
The state of mind in which I am at the moment, and in which I have been for a few months, is that I am aware that there will be a three to four year stint with the London brands. And I think we want to create something that has longevity instead. Something that looks appropriate and relevant over the next 25 years. As we now come back to shows, what better way to change this very outdated way of doing shows. There must be a different reason. I think the way forward is to support different creative industries and present the brand as a creative advocate, instead of a show being hard to sell to buyers. You need to create a community and [create] a universe instead. But also something real and relevant to a lot of people. At the end of the day, if it’s just clothes, it has no value. But if clothes are part of a brand that integrates and supports a community, it’s more of a state of mind.


About Author

Comments are closed.