The Hideout recently conducted an interview with the man behind Stussy Deluxe, Nick Bower, as it prepares to launch Spring 2011 in-store this week. Nick Bower was born in South Africa and moved to London in 1976 to study fashion at Central St. Martins from where he graduated with a BA Honors. He then moved to Rome and went on to work for both Valentino and Versace. Nick soon went back to his roots when he moved to California with his wife in 1985 and worked his way back into the surfing world working for Gotcha Sportswear. Twelve years later he began working with Stussy menswear alongside Paul Mittleman. Six years ago he started off Stussy Deluxe and has continued designing for the line since. Offered below is the interview along with shots from the line, modeled by Jason Jules.
How would you describe this Spring’s Deluxe collection? What is the aesthetic inspiration behind this season? Is there a theme?
The theme is always American basics hopefully made better and more interesting. However when I was concepting Spring 11 I was fascinated by California, in particular early California. It was here in the 60′s and 70′s that the surfing, skating and outdoor backpacking cultures were developed alongside and at the same time as the hippy culture of the West coast. The influence is not immediately obvious except some of the jacket styles are derivative of early North Face styles. A Californian outdoor company as well as a series of tee’s, hats and a set of collaboration bags with Masterpiece that have fluorescent accents which references the the early 80′s flourescent craze that launched the surfing culture to the rest of the world.
What is the main difference between Stussy(main line) and Stussy Deluxe?
Well I like to think nothing……the difference is in the eye of the beholder but I fear I would be disingenuious to insist that. The inspiration for both collections is definitely the same and that is traditional American styles. However as the price points for the Stussy Deluxe collection are higher than Stussy the difference is in the build. The fabrics are Japanese and the manufacture is in Japanese factories based in China. The Stussy Deluxe collection also plays down the use of Logo so it is not so brand centric.
Who is the Stussy Deluxe Man?
Personally I feel the question “Who is the Stussy Deluxe Man” is not relevant in todays world. The internet has changed all those old fashion concepts, the Stussy Deluxe Man does have to be curious but he can be any age. Stussy Deluxe comes out of streetwear and streetwear is lifestyle not fashion so if you’re into that lifestyle with internet access you can be any age.
Which icons specifically inspire you?
Not sure I’m one to be inspired by icons…..fascinated perhaps, respectful definitely but inspired not really. That applies to all but one…..and I’m not even sure she is an icon but Rei Kawakubo is a continual inspiration. In this time of fashion and I’m talking about the last 30 years there has in my humble opinion been no better. No matter her age and she has to be well into her 60′s now, season after season, she continues to make the most youthful and radical statements about what’s possible in the wearing and manufacture of clothing. To remain relevant in the business of fashion for the time that she has is quite simply a phenomenon.
What does luxury mean to you?
Living well, being surrounded by the things you love in a warm environment. Things that are made where the make is as important as the reason for making them.
What kind of music are you into at the moment? And does it influence your designs?
The male voice……..Mark Murphy, Scott walker, Marvin Gaye, Lou Rawls, Harry Nillson. So the answer is no this music does not consciously influence my designs.