Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY 10th Anniversary Interview

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Scotland’s very own Charles Jeffrey has marked the most significant milestone of his career, blowing out his 10th-anniversary candle with a grandiose runway show in London. Charles Jeffrey is entering a new era, ramping up the bold, queer, and quirky designs that define his LOVERBOY imprint. Known for its eye-catching theatrics, the British label is a testament to the capital’s unraveling creative scene and was birthed inside Northeast London’s queer venues. Nurtured by Lulu Kennedy‘s Fashion East and starring in London Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 2016 season, Charles Jeffrey is sitting on top of the world, showcasing a 41-look collection that celebrates his creative journey thus far.

After becoming a mainstay at Milan Fashion Week, Jeffrey returned to London to mark the achievement and welcomed hundreds of guests to Central London’s Somerset House. “London needs to be nurtured as a fashion capital; it’s the dark horse that produces the greats, and it needs to be cherished and reassured,” he says. Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY’s anniversary line was nothing short of a spectacle, featuring slumber-driven models, alter-ready wives, and animated sailors — and don’t forget about Beth Ditto‘s spectacular finale performance.

The collection was a turning point for Jeffrey, who wants to explore new avenues moving forward while continuing to expand the LOVERBOY universe. His next objective? Diving into music. Whether it be LOVERBOY club beats or fashion-forward records, the Scottish designer is making noise, and you need to tune in.

Following his theatrical runway at London Fashion Week, the Scottish designer takes us through the evolution of his eponymous label to mark LOVERBOY’s 10th anniversary.

Hypebeast: How did the idea for Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY first come about?

Charles Jeffrey: The idea for Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY originated at my 24th birthday party. The name was inspired by my love for André 3000’s album, “The Love Below” with LOVERBOY starting as a club night at Dalston queer space, VF (Vogue Fabrics) where I used the event to help fund my MA in fashion at Central Saint Martins. LOVERBOY was then chosen to show at Topman and Fashion East’s MAN initiative at London Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2016.

How would you describe your initial design language and how has this evolved over the past ten years?

My initial design language was rooted in availability, utilizing limited resources. It was queer DIY and very in-your-face. Over the years, it has evolved to focus more on the world and our place within it. It now tells larger stories, engaging with the world around us and having meaningful conversations with our customers.

Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Why have you chosen to return to London for the runway show?

London is where I’ve lived for half of my life and where I work every day. It made sense to host the show in the Grade I listed building we walk through every morning. London needs to be nurtured as a fashion capital; it’s the dark horse that produces the greats, and it needs to be cherished and reassured.

Break down the collection for us. What historic CJL references are present within the looks?

The collection features British classics through wardrobe choices and textiles, a staple of our brand each season. Some items have been revived from our archive with new proportions and colors. The finale look is a re-imagined wedding dress, viewed through the lens of a video game.

What has been your biggest milestone throughout these ten years?

This current moment is my biggest milestone. Every day should be seen as a milestone because life is unpredictable. The fact that we wake up and get to live one more day is a blessing. I love my life, my family, my friends, my team, and the opportunity to listen to music and answer these questions before starting my day.

What new avenues do you want to explore following the 10th anniversary of CJL?

Music, music, music, music, music.

How do you feel the UK and your Scottish roots influence your work?

Having such a rich cultural heritage to draw from is both a blessing and a curse. As a designer, my role is to use our history to tell new stories, playing with and challenging traditional narratives.

In what other ways will you be celebrating the anniversary throughout 2024?

LOVERBOY has a lot of exciting things lined up for the rest of the year, of course including the Lore of LOVERBOY exhibition at Somerset House which opens on 8th June and runs until early September.

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