He first hit our radars as the clean cut, impeccably dressed ‘Proudlock’ on Channel 4’s Made in Chelsea, always sporting a bit of added quirk when it came to his look, but there is a lot more to Oliver Proudlock than reality TV stardom…
‘I come from a very creative background; my mum is a designer herself,’ he says. ‘Growing up, I was always in a creative little bubble, whether that be design, or painting. Since I was 16, fashion and art were my two passions.’
But it seems there’s something else that’s taking his fancy right now. The Chelsea local loves kicking back at Bluebird Chelsea, not just for the food, but for the ‘amazing concept store hidden just behind’.
Starting as a pop-up on the King’s Road, the now permanent Kurobuta is his go-to spot for pork buns, which he describes as ‘outrageously good’.
The local scene elates the successful star, though he admits that he spends most of the time in his studio, working on all things Serge DeNimes.
From launching the brand in 2011, the strong, alluring aesthetic concept at the heart of Serge DeNimes is what has carried it organically through to this point. Of this, he says: ‘What I would say to any young creative about to embark on a project is, don’t put it out there until it’s perfect and you are absolutely sure that conceptually it’s exactly where you want it to be.’
What I would say to any young creative about to embark on a project is, don’t put it out there until you are absolutely sure that conceptually it’s exactly where you want it to be
Serge DeNimes is the ultimate in stripped back luxury fashion for cool kids. It emulates the effortless look, one that is at the same time striking, contemporary and in a league of its own. The word ‘serge’ relates to a ‘durable, twilled fabric’, just like denim before it’s coloured using indigo dye, while ‘de Nimes’ means ‘from Nimes’, a city in the Occitanie region of southern France where the serge material was first developed.
Denim is a core focus of the Serge DeNimes brand, and the history of these fashion staples that have stood the test of time is what led to the name association.
The first-ever denim trousers were made in the Italian city of Geneo, which translates to ‘Genes’ in French, which is why we know them as ‘jeans’ today.
‘For me, when I think of fashion, the first thing that comes to mind is denim. My mother had a denim business when I was younger, so our whole house was literally denim,’ explains the young designer. ‘I was always dressed head to toe in denim.
‘I knew everything would eventually lead back to denim, but originally I started with a small collection of T-shirts,’ he continues. ‘Serge DeNimes has always been about being young and passionate and we want to build up a community following of like minded people.’
My mother had a denim business when I was younger, so our whole house was literally denim. I was always dressed head to toe in denim
The Serge DeNimes flagship store will of course be in London, but going global is definitely something that is in the pipeline. ‘Style for me is all about comfort. Sure, I love to dress up as well, but I think comfort leads to confidence and therefore it’s key. There is a global big move towards paired-back visual design because it’s becoming all about texture now,’ explains Proudlock.
‘I like to look slightly outside of the box and if I was to think of individuals that inspire me, I’d say Pharrell Williams – he is just effortlessly cool, always setting trends and pushing things out there. On a slightly more classic note, I’ve always admired Ralph Lauren, and then when it comes to high-end tailoring, Tom Ford.’
But first and foremost, Proudlock says that style is about owning it, however crazy or simple your attire is. This is something that sits at the heart of the Serge DeNimes fashion house – being comfortable in your own skin.