Why less is more for Lee Roach
Menswear designer Lee Roach turns his attention to Nike trainers to showcase his ultra-modern minimalism, says Harriet Walker
Designer Lee Roach, below, is one of a clutch of names making their way up the ladder of London menswear buoyed by the city's knack for nurturing young talent – not least with the recently inaugurated men's fashion week, which will enter its second season this January.
Roach, 25, studied at Central Saint Martins before working with the punkish duo Meadham Kirchhoff and, at the other end of the scale, Kilgour on Savile Row.
His own aesthetic lies somewhere between the two, fusing elegant tailoring with modern fabrics in a style that explores the physical tendencies of clothing – reducing excess elements and pushing pieces to extremes.
Now a new collaboration with Nike and fellow up-and-coming Londoner, the hatter Nasir Mazhar, sees Roach reinventing the brand's classic Lunarglide model.
Unveiled this month at the Hannah Barry Gallery, the six pairs on show have been stripped back to their most basic elements.
"There's something very modern about human intervention into mass manufactured design, like Nike footwear," Roach explains.
"Each pair of shoes, while appearing identical, is unique, representing various stages of the reduction process.
"I'm continually inspired by the principles of reduction and repetition," he adds.
"My clothes are a combination of traditional menswear elements with a new refined minimalism, where sophistication is achieved by eliminating all superfluous components."
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