Jonathan Kelsey is one of the names in the global fashion industry whose work became recognizable and popular since the very beginning of his career. Having worked for Cacharel and Jimmy Choo, he is currently designing the footwear collections for Mulberry and Matthew Williamson, while his personal footwear brand becomes more and more established. We met the designer at his studio in London and discussed with him about his work, the way he approaches design and his view over fashion at the moment.
MM.: You have been working for international big brands for years, yet you choose to live and be based in London. Why?
J.K.: I've always lived in London (since St Martins) and I find it the best place to be for inspiration. There is always so much happening here and so many creative people all exchanging ideas. Plus it is just two hours from Italy so it's easy to travel there each week - sometimes twice a week. I actually enjoy being in Italy Monday to Friday and then arriving back to noisy London for the weekend.
MM.: What is, in your opinion, the most important knowledge/experience that a designer can get by working for big brands?
J.K.: I think it is really important to be able to adapt your work to whoever you are working for. When you go into an established brand, of course you need to bring new ideas to them but it is also equally as important to take on the DNA of the company. Being able to produce work that "fits". It is also important to understand the relationship between footwear and everything else within the collection. The full look needs to balance properly, working alongside jewellery designers, ready to wear and other accessories can be really great fun and inspiring.