"I Make My Own Destiny": An Interview with Nigel Cabourn

The legendary British vintage clothing collector and designer opens up about his storied career.

Fashion  
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Nearly 70 years young, Nigel Cabourn has remained a major player in the fashion industry since the early ’70s. Despite an ongoing presence for nearly fifty years, the British vintage clothing expert still operates mostly under the radar. “Business has been like this all the time,” Cabourn says, gesturing in an up-and-down motion. “It’s very good, very bad, very good, very bad. It’s a niche business.”

Cabourn dropped out of fashion school to establish Cricket Clothing Ltd, his first label, incorporating influences from popular brands like The Who into his designs. A chance encounter with a young Paul Smith changed the course of Cabourn’s career; Smith gave the burgeoning designer a vintage pilot’s jacket, shifting Cabourn’s focus from trend-conscious goods to vintage reproduction. Smith began selling Cabourn’s new items in-store, creating a new audience for the vintage-influenced wares. As Cabourn’s eponymous label expanded across the globe, making enormous strides into Japan and greater Asia, he continued collecting vintage clothing. “I’ve spent 40 years collecting vintage,” Cabourn admits, “I have about 4,000 pieces.”

Check out the in-depth chat above.

In other recent vintage clothing news, we took a look at Dr. Romanelli’s recent SMETS collaboration.

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HYPEBEAST ZH
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OSCAR LAW / HYPEBEAST
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KEITH HUI / HYPEBEAST
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