As the men’s style director of Matchesfashion.com, Simon Chilvers curates the British retailer’s offering through photo shoots, designer collaborations and feature stories. From championing emerging designers through his recent gig as International Woolmark Prize judge to working with some of the biggest names in the business, the London-based tastemaker has his finger on the pulse of fashion. Here, he takes time out to share his soft spot for sweaters and his secret aspirations towards a career in vegetarian cuisine.
What set you on your current career path?
I was always into pop culture and magazines, The Face in particular. After my BA in modern art, design and film at Northumbria [University], I moved to London to do my MA in fashion, culture and communication at London College of Fashion.
And what do you love about your job?
I love the diversity of my job, from styling shoots to writing features, interviewing designers, editing, commissioning, brainstorming ideas, working on collaborations with brands and on our in-house label Raey. We also have a brilliant team, which you should never underestimate in terms of job satisfaction.
What does your daily uniform consist of?
I wouldn't say I have a uniform as such. I go through phases and have crushes on certain clothes at different times. It's summer at the minute and I love shorts - my favourite outfit of all time is shorts and a jumper. My shoe uniform has been Stan Smiths for quite some time. They're looking the perfect side of beaten in.
For the times you need to look super-schmick?
I start with trousers: maybe a classic black pair from Raf Simons, a navy tuxedo style by Margiela or currently a pair of wide pinstripes by JW Anderson. Then either a simple jumper - a roll neck or crew in navy or grey. At my sister's wedding recently I wore a Dries Van Noten black shirt with an orchid print on the front.
What’s the best advice you have ever taken?
Follow your instincts.
What do you collect, and why?
Books. I just love them.
How do you like to start your day?
Coffee, croissant, reading the papers.
If you had to listen to one album on constant repeat, what would it be?
That's such a hard question because it changes depending on mood and context. Kate Bush's Aerial is a strong contender. I'm currently listening to Max Richter's The Blue Notebooks at night. And I'm obsessed with Sia.
Where are you escaping for summer holidays?
France, to a friend’s villa in Sitges with a gaggle of friends and family.
If you weren’t style director, what would you be doing?
When I was younger I'd have said a dancer. But maybe a museum curator or a costume designer. Or maybe even a vegetarian chef.
- I like eating out with friends. There are lots of good tapas places near to where I live in North London, such as Trangallan at Newington Green or The Black Pig With White Pearls on Stoke Newington High Street.
- Sadler’s Wells Theatre is one of my favourite places to go to see performances by dance companies like Pina Bausch or BalletBoyz.
- Clissold Park is a good place to go for a wander or a run.
- I also love both Tate galleries: Tate Modern and Tate Britain.
See what really went on at the International Woolmark Prize regional judging