Upon graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, Steve O Smith founded his brand in 2017. Crossing back over the pond to his birthplace of London, Steve unlocked a new avenue in contemporary womenswear. Technical and perhaps satirical at times (through dandy-esque top hats and leash choker necklaces), his designs are firmly focused on tailoring and executing detailed craftsmanship.

Angular cuts fuse with candy-colour hues to create stomach-bearing blazers and trenches in glossy snake print. His unexpected twists to traditional shapes merge with exuberant splashes of colour, and humour built into the clothes – worn together as a reaction to current affairs.

Eager to discover the creative drive behind Steve, we stepped into his world for 24 hours...

“Recently, because the weather has been nice, I’ve been getting up a bit earlier and walking from my place in Cambridge Heath to Liverpool street via Columbia Road. I took this picture because of the blossoms.”

“My designs usually start with a subject or idea. For the most recent collection I got really interested in the history and tradition of British Pantomime so that’s where my research started. I usually do a few days of library research to gather images and then start drawing. Generally, I like to draw out lots of variations at a large scale, photograph each and print them out to start piecing them together on a wall. Drawing is the part of the process I enjoy the most because there aren’t really any limitations and I get to make a mess (as you can see from this photo).”

“This is a photo of my pattern table – where I draft patterns, which is also part of my studio that I love the most. I have studio playlists that friends have made me, but what I listen to when I’m patterning depends on what I’m doing and how quickly I need to do it. If I’m doing something fast, like a jacket, I listen to faster music and often quite cheesy stuff. If it’s a bit slower or something I really need to concentrate on, then I listen to podcasts.  

I do what I do because I’m passionate about it.

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