We start 2019 with some very sad news that in the breaking days of 2019 we loss a creative menswear colossus in Joe Casely-Hayford. As a mark of respect for today’s post we are running our interview with Joe from 2013. Journalist Tom Stubbs summed up this sorry situation in such a succinct fashion when he put it, on describing this sad news as;
”It is so very sad that Joe Casely-Hayford has died and so young. I usually don’t do RIP’s on an I.G. feed that’s about men style and people, but Joe Casely Heyford O.B.E was all about men style and people, so have to mark his passing. Joe was sublimely elegance in both style and manners. Also kind, cool, creative and funny – a rare mix in life, let alone our industry. My thoughts and feelings go out to Joe’s beloved family. I am so glad to have seen Joe this autumn at the opening of the Casely-Hayford shop on Chiltern Street. A true family affair just like how Joe did things, far beyond the strong create a partnership with son Charlie. Family around him recounted how 2018 was a big year Joe aside from the shop opening, with the family wedding and an engagement and his granddaughter starting school. I am blessed I shared Joe’s repartee again that night in October on art, style and the street and recall he was always so quietly charming and generous with his words. Joe talked about and crated style in a uniquely erudite and instinctively modern savvy way. I interviewed Joe Casely-Hayford a couple of times, and also worked with his men’s style stuff, and so much of it was memorable. He once called Ariston ‘a very sexy mill’ during an interview. No one talks quite like that about clothes now, let alone back then. Joe strongly influenced me. with the LFW man’s international shows we must solemnly note that style, London, the world is a very special man down.
Joe Casely-Hayford RIP”
Joe Casely Hayford OBE has dressed some of the most iconic and stylish musicians from over a generation, which include The Clash to Tenie Tempah. However, this only accounts for a tiny proportion in this man’s long and illustrious career.
After, he graduated from St. Martins,
Joe’s signature style of combining innovation and impeccable tailoring fast developed which soon caught the eye of leading publications of the time, i.D, The Face and Arena.
Incidentally, a little known fact is that, Casely-Hayford was one of the first designers to make the cross over and collaborate with a high retailer on an exclusive collection, back in 1993 for TOPSHOP !
He’s contributed definitive pieces of work to many fashion and art related exhibitions internationally as well as being the subject of exhibitions himself. “Through the Ages”, a retrospective of Joe’s work was held at “The Edge” space in Tokyo, September 1996.
In 2005, Joe’s sartorial vision was cemented during his successful tenure as Creative Director of the 200 year old Savile Row house, Gieves & Hawkes, taking it and opening it to a new global audience by showing during Paris Mens Fashion Week and credited as a major step in bringing the illustrious company into the 21st century.
After a four year break, Joe returned to the industry with a new signature Menswear range, Casely-Hayford in partnership with his son Charlie. The brand ethos is built around a theme of English sartorialism and British Anarchy. So without further ado let’s see what the good man has to say for himself;
How did you get into the industry, what was your big break?
I studied at the very formal Tailor and Cutter Academy before attending the slightly” less” formal St. Martins. My first collection was based on a recycling concept. I made clothes from Second World War tents which became quite popular.
What is you most memorable moment ?
From the point of view of recognition, I guess receiving an OBE from the Queen is up there with the first time I saw my wife at St. Martins.
What track would always get you on the dance floor ?
I’m a dancing machine (in my head) there are too many tracks to even consider; this changes daily. Today it’s The Invisible “Wings” remixed by Floating Points.
Who would do you ideal diner guest/s and why ?
Tony Benn, will Self and Christopher Hitchens would interest me for their intellect and wit. Some of my ancestors would be good to talk to. I had an Aunt Gladys who was a poet, she walked with a limp but this didn’t deter her from joining a dance troupe in the Weimar republic.
In your own words what is you’re SS13 collection about?
It’s called phantasy in Tokyo and draws a comparison between the freedom, vibrancy and openness of 90s rave culture in the UK and the deep contemplative nature found in areas of Japanese culture at the same time.
What is your favourite piece in the collection?
Naturally I love the whole collection. In particular the oversized silk parka and also the hybrid pieces we’ve become known for, such as the half shirt half jacket or half Polo shirt half formal shirt.
If you could have invented anything what would it be?
If you had one day to live what would be your biggest regret?
Each morning I set out to achieve my best at whatever I’m doing and to treat others with respect. Hopefully, if I can continue this until that fateful day I shouldn’t have any regrets.
What inspires you ?
I am inspired by living in London.
Who is your style icon ?
My father was pretty stylish. He had exquisite taste which was outside of fashion.
Have you ever bought a piece of clothing and regretted it ? If so what & why ?
I have a shoe fetish, and have on occasion impulse bought ill fitting shoes. Rather than throw them out I tend to forget how painful they are until the next time I wear them.
If you could collaborate with one brand (Who you currently aren’t) who would it be and why ?
I would love to be given the opportunity to develop a range of future tailoring with a forward company like Nike, combining my Savile Row experience and knowledge of sportswear with Street style.
Joe Casely-Hayford (1956-2019)