I recently interviewed Matthew Williamson over Skype… Is this the new way of face to face interviews. When Matthew was in Dubai less than a year ago, I remember that he was a bit weary about social media – he’s now quite active on social media ( especially) and his website is a big part of his business. I spoke to Matthew about his inspirations, the Middle Eastern market, if he keeps markets in mind whilst designing and of course – Social media (and what he really thinks of bloggers.)
Hi Matthew, What inspires you?
Lots of things. The collection that you are just sat in front of was inspired by a graffiti artist, Keith Haring, and also the idea of nature. I just wanted to make the collection feel less computer generated. So all different matters of inspiration…
You have been to the Middle East several times, what are your thoughts on style here?
I love just coming in to that part of the world; I find it very beautiful, inspiring. Unfortunately when I am there I am always working, so I am always office locked, so I get to see so little of places when I travel; but I have always been very well received in Dubai and I love the atmosphere, the warmth of the people there. I love the rich culture, it is a different and inspiring place for me to be there.
Is the Middle East market important to you?
It has always been a part of the world we have thought about. Actually, we have a lot of stores there. Our collections are definitely appreciated by the Middle Eastern clients. The embellishment, the texture, the ornate details and the intricacy of the pieces must be a part of our success there.
And do you keep markets in mind when designing?
I definitely try to think about it. I do not specifically design for a certain market. because I have so many different parts of the world to consider and not very many clothes to design in every one collection, so it would be quite difficult to be given each a different territory. That being said, it is definitely on my mind.
How important is the online industry and social media to you?
It is increasingly important; I am a little bit of a techno-phobe myself so I have to take it step by step and learn gradually. Actually I am slowly but surely getting there. In social media I really enjoy Instagram. I find that is the platform that works best for me, because its personal and visual. It has almost become like my moodboard, and I really enjoy creating images and telling a story through that channel. Our website is newly refurbished with an online store and that is also has daily content.
And what are your thoughts of bloggers?
I don’t know. You could put them all in one category! No! I think this (laughs) I think there are probably good bloggers and bad ones. Like in everything else. There is a point and a purpose to what is been said and if it has got some integrity and depth, then, I think it is a good thing.
What are you currently working on? Anything exciting?
Today I am working on a famous wedding dress. A friend of mine is getting married soon and I’m not doing her wedding dress, but the second one, her party dress. So I am doing a fitting for that. I am also working quite a lot on my home wear line. I am doing a home line which I am loving. I am going to see the next pre spring collection and I am going to think about the next summer one. That is what I am doing!
Thank you Matthew!