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Interview: Isaac Carew

Header image from Catwalking.com (Left-right: Richard James – Hackett)

Initially serving in the shadow of the Milan and Paris shows, London Collections:MEN has gained momentum and just closed its second season. I caught up with Londoner and internationally represented model Isaac Carew to see what he’s been up to, and how the extravagant European cities’ fearless younger sibling measures up.

“I walked for Hackett, Richard James and Ted Baker,” he tells me. Along with some of the biggest names that chose to show here in London. Of these, Isaac names both Richard James and Hackett as his favourites but leans towards Richard James because of the designer’s tailoring.

“My favourite pair of socks are by Richard James,” he adds. I think this is the first time anyone’s shared that information with me during an interview, especially one done over email (he’s in Paris at the time) and I find myself typing “Richard James socks” into Google to see what’s so special about them. The search engine greets me with an array of brightly coloured images, and I can see why the show might have been so fun to walk in.

“I love that finally LCM has a ‘real fashion week’ instead of one lonely day,” says the model. Lonely indeed, when often, a large amount of the fashion press had already jetted off to Milan for more Womenswear shows before a single male model had even gone into hair and make-up. (Though Isaac informs me there’s “a lot less to do, styling-wise -  that’s why it’ll always be more chilled [than Womenswear fashion weeks]”)

“More English brands should present in their own country,” he proclaims – a statement with which many agree. And it seems we are moving in the right direction already, with names such as Hardy Amies choosing to debut their mainline collections in London  instead of Milan or Paris after the first London Collections showcase. Isaac is somewhat optimistic, but adds: “I do think Milan will always be seen as the menswear fashion capital, though.”

The authority in this opinion comes not only from the fact that Isaac has walked in all three cities, and possesses a model ‘CV’ that reads like the brand directory of high-end department store, but is also the co-director of independent charitable T-shirt brand Mercy & Wild; which isn’t doing too badly at all – considering it’s being worn by everyone from weekly mag favourite Fearne Cotton, to MTV’s new presenters, to the groups of East London twenty-somethings who also just so happen to hang out in London’s most exclusive nightclubs.

Yet he doesn’t claim to know it all just yet, “I absolutely love being on both sides of the industry, but there’s so much more to do and to learn.”

But who would a top model cast in his own show? The response is initially a “Hmmmmm, that’s a hard one!” Why? “Because there’s always an ‘it’ girl or boy in fashion” – before he eventually settles on icon Kate Moss. “She’s my pick of a bunch.”

Isaac is represented by Nevs Models in London. Mercy & Wild T-shirts are available to purchase online.

- Marin Daley-Hawkins

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