Published on February 24, 2014 | by Ellie McKenna0
Made In Chelsea‘s Proudlock’s brand is going global
He made a name for himself on the hit reality TV series Made in Chelsea– now Oliver Proudlock chats with Ellie McKenna about focusing on his own brand and how he is helping young creatives along the way.
Having first graced our TV screens in 2011 in E4’s BAFTA-award winning series Made in Chelsea (MIC), Oliver Proudlock, 28, has since become something of a household name.
Steering clear of the show’s drama, Proudlock has managed to maintain his position as one of the series’ favourites. Whether you love the show or hate it, there’s no denying that Oliver Proudlock is making a name for himself outside of MIC.
Since launching his brand Serge DeNimes in 2011, Oliver has received attention from fashion editors and bloggers worldwide; his business is expanding and has a number of international stockists. The brand – starting as a range of luxury, printed t-shirts – has since branched out into jewellery, hats and jumpers.
Alongside this, Proudlock has launched a new division called Serge Platform, which supports up-and-coming talent that is heavily embedded in the ethos of the brand.
“My profile was launched by the involvement in the successful television show Made in Chelsea, which is a fantastic experience and has provided me with the most amazing opportunities,” Proudlock says. “I have met some brilliant people, and I love how many creative people get in touch with me through Twitter and social media.
“This is part of the reason that Serge Platform has launched, as I have the opportunity to leverage young creatives who perhaps don’t have the public profile to showcase their work to the right people, or accelerate the time within which they can make their ideas successful.”
ALN caught up with Proudlock to hear about his influences, the brand and what the future holds.
How would you describe your style?
Laid back and individual.
How would you describe the style of Serge DeNimes?
Our style is urban street wear; we want to end up as a denim-based fashion brand so you can see lots of small bursts of that at the moment.
What were your influences growing up? Has London life been a strong influence on the brand?
I’ve always been into art. My mother was a photographer and artist; she was the inspiration for my initial Rio collection. In terms of being in London, I have always said that my inspiration is my immediate surroundings – the chaotic, culturally diverse and volatile urban atmosphere.
As a Fine Art graduate, was starting the brand always your plan or had you considered an alternative career path?
I’ve always been into fashion and art from a very young age; when I returned to London from Newcastle, having studied fine art for four years, I felt I needed a slight change in terms of creativity. The development from art to fashion was an organic process. The brand is not only centered around fashion but also has a strong ethos of promoting music and art, acting too as a platform for young creatives.
Made in Chelsea has obviously been a great bonus with the publicity of the brand, how would you have gone about launching Serge DeNimes without the public profile?
I have a great team on board and we as a group are very focused towards the goals I have set out. We work well together and I believe that with a strong team, anything can be accomplished. Then show has had some impact, however we have built up a strong client base who are genuine about the clothes we produce. I like to think with time it all would have come to us anyway.
Do you fee l that, despite providing you with amazing opportunities, MIC could somehow hinder the integrity of the brand?
I hope not, as an individual I tend to stay out of the drama so the brand shouldn’t be damaged. It’s a great platform to show off our hard work and it is a big part of my life so it’s only right that I showcase it.
What does 2014 hold for Serge DeNimes?
This year I plan to take Serge to the next level. The foundations are set, and we now have a great team on board. I hope to expand the wholesale accounts as well as the product range – taking Serge around the world. I am currently designing the new collection, which is not only bigger but also includes a heavier introduction to denim.
Are you working on any other unrelated projects?
I’m starting a project for Plant 4 Peace. It is is an initiative designed specifically to assist rural communities and small farmers in conflict and post-conflict territories around the world, to achieve food, security and sustainable economic development. I have an exciting trip planned with them soon. As well as this I am developing my style blog, proudlockstyle, into an online men’s retailer for up-and-coming brands, which I hope to launch this year. There are also some design collaborations that will be dropping this year, all of which is very exciting.
What advice could you give to other arts students who have similar aspirations?
I wish I could have told myself to always set goals and ambitions otherwise you have nothing to gear yourself towards. Be positive at all times, and be grateful for every moment.