Sunday, February 7th
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"I look beyond this period of bland, aspirational consumerism in the hope that a more meaningful alternative may emerge."
Ghanaian-born British desinger Jo Casely-Hayford is known as Britain's most successful black designer. He applies traditional men's tailoring techniques and his trademark garments are reworked classics made of old English fabrics. Taking his education very seriously, he has had an apprenticeship on Saville Row, attended London's Tailor and Cutter Academy and graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1979. He then went on to complete a History of Art course at the ICA. Although Casely-Hayford also designs women's wear, it is his men's wear collections that inspire and amazes. His intricate detail to the tailoring technique sets him above the rest.
Street style elegance combined with sharp tailoring and master technique, Joe Casely-Hayford has an individualistic following who appreciate his functional and cutting edge designed clothes. Renowned for his street style and club culture influence in his creations, Joe Casely-Hayford is rivalled only by Gianni and Donatella Versace in dressing recording artists. His high-profile clientele include Liam Gallagher, Lou Reed, Tori Amos, Neneh Cherry, Suede, Glamma Kid, Lynden David Hall, Mica Paris and U2. Additionally, his work has graced the sets of ballets and films.
From his debut in a London fashion show in 1991, where he was part of the Fifth Circle, a group of British Men's wear designers, Joe Casely-Hayford has come along way. Clearly a man that likes to stay busy, since 2005 Joe Casely-Hayford has been Creative Director of Gieves & Hawkes, the two-hundred year old Savile Row house. In January 2006 his new Gieves collection was launched on the runway in Paris. In 2008 he collaborated with Sir Terrence Conran on Boundary - a new boutique hotel, restaurant and deli complex in London. In addition, he currently wears the hat of Creative Director for Casely-Hayford, a line recently launched with his son Charlie. The line represents another fist: It is the first time in high fashion where both father and son are actively co-working at the creative helm.
Joe Casely-Hayford's philosophy when asked is "truth and integrity". Casely-Hayford strives toward an informed and integrated multiracial Britain. In efforts to help make this dream a reality, he has collaborated with turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofilli, to create T-shirts featuring his artwork and reinforcing black identity. His place as a minority leader in the fashion industry comes to him naturally. His grandfather and namesake was the eminent lawyer and statesman, J.E. Casely-Hayford. Author of "Ethiopia unbound", his grandfather had tremendous influence on Pan-African politics and many leading civil rights activists of his time.