Irreverence is the key to success
Sunday 16 November 1997
Stuck on lipstick
This is just a beautiful magazine cover, from 1959. You contrast it with magazine covers today, when they are dictated by links to advertisers, or make-up manufacturers. Again, commercial considerations are uppermost. I've a passion for trying to get companies to invest in new ideas, even if it means writing off money on projects that might not end up working. If you make pounds 10m a year why not put half a million aside to create a magazine made of fabric, for example?
Use your eyes
Giorgio Armani asks, "What's happened to originality?" Everything is now linked to commerce and the bottom line. It's killing freedom. The British fashion industry has matured tremendously in the last few years, but the bulk of our designers earn their money abroad; we've still got a long way to go. The message above is one I use to emphasise the need for originality. You can't walk round looking at the ground all the time.
I take my camera everywhere. I took this picture in Florence. There were these two boys at the side of the street selling sunglasses. One had a cardboard box folded up, and then he opened it out and turned it into a table. He had an instant shop. Whatever you may think of people selling like this, it cut through all the reeds in a city where we were in the midst of hundreds of shops. It was brilliant and fascinating.
On the rack
I refer to this as the disease of copying. How on earth do you choose from so many titles that look so similar? We've got too much product, and there's a lot of boring stuff going on - not just in clothes and design but in magazines, newspapers and TV. A partly-clothed girl is what you have to have to sell a magazine now. If you took the name off the top of magazine, it would be difficult to differentiate one from another.
Pretty in pink
This is about taking something familiar and changing it with colour. It could be a tweed jacket - clothing you expect to find in country colours, and producing them in red or blue. And not just clothes. Why does the FT stand out? Why don't more papers print on coloured paper? It'll pass on the information equally well, and it will also make your product quirky. You'd have something quite special on your hands. I'd like to see a newspaper in pale blue.
This picture as taken in Egypt, and I used it for the front of the invitation card to one of my shows. People get so much junk mail nowadays that you have to produce an image that they're going to notice, that makes you smile or is a bit cute. It's got more chance of being pinned on to a fashion editor's wall or remembered than a graphic design has. It's just something that makes you think, that's nice, that's special. Irreverence is the key to success these days.
Stork of the town
This is Berwick Street market in Soho. I walked down there the other day looking at all the vegetable stalls, seeing how one tries to make its produce look more appealing than another's. You'd get one very neat stall and one very untidy stall. There were tomatoes without their vines, and tomatoes with vines. And then I came across this stall where the chap selling had cut a zig-zag into a melon and placed a tomato in it. To me that showed imagination and lateral thinking - that there's always a better, more individual way to do things.
Life & Style blogs
Airline food across the classes: Ever wondered what the other half are eating?
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Huawei P8 review: best phones nobody's seen from the biggest company nobody's heard
The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive - it's where the CIA gets its coffee fix
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
- 1 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 2 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...