Nick, how does music translate into your designs?
Bebop musicians like John Coltrane or Thelonious Monk, their looks were paired down, sharp, crisp, clean and simple, but at the same time quite rich. And that’s within the aesthetic perimeters of what Spencer Hart represents, so it’s about less-is-more and sometimes throwing in a surprise detail to give things an edge.
What kind of detail?
For instance, Thelonious Monk would dress monochromatically, pared down. But he often wore interesting rings. Because he was a pianist, there was an enormous amount of emphasis on his fingers. I’ve always been fascinated by this relationship between musicians and clothing. They would take traditional clothing and lend it a subversive edge. They might wear the tie-knot slimmer, or wear the hat tilted at a certain angle, or wear sunglasses 24 hours a day. It’s about slightly upsetting the norm and the viewer not being able to put their finger on why the person has that edge. It’s a game of playing with people’s perceptions.