CREATE LIKE THE WORLD DEPENDS ON IT
BY Ben Hooke
The purest form of creativity is born out of problems - or perceived problems.To create like the world depends on it is to create out of a need - and to apply yourself entirely in that process.
Richard Oxley’s original route in creating was born out of the desire to make the everyday exciting - through clothes that weren’t dependent on context, whether that be farming in the countryside, or going to the pub in London and an ultra-competitive edge. He decided to design an unwavering uniform applicable to everyone’s now.
“After I finished school I had no desire to go to university but couldn’t even get a job in any local pubs or restaurants. My godmother said I should apply for a summer course at Central Saint Martins because she knew I liked or at least cared about clothes. “ During his childhood the self-proclaimed ‘fussy’ kid ‘hated being uncomfortable in clothes’ to the point he remembers being taken to school in his boxers, slung over his dad's shoulder, for refusing to put on a certain pair of socks.
“I remember thinking I’m just going to get my parents off my back and do the damn course. It was every Tuesday night and Saturday morning for six weeks over the summer and timidly started to get a real buzz for it. At first I think I just fell in love with the challenge.”. What was meant to be a quick fix after school, suddenly turned into a foundation year and a BA in Fashion Design Menswear at CSM, as he became enticed to release years of suppressed creativity after dropping art at the age of 13.
So the problem was understood - uncomfortable clothes that weren’t wearable.Richard’s experience at CSM clarified his desire to make stylish clothes that made you feel good, gave you the freedom to express yourself and most importantly were functional for the everyday.
Though his time at university fed the designer in him, it starved the outdoor lover behind the seams, and upon graduating, Richard escaped the city for cash-in-hand gardening in the countryside with his friend. Travelling across the country and sleeping in attics and caravans, the pair began to learn about the true importance of nature and holistic eco-systems, leading them to begin their own biodynamic farm up in Norfolk.
Whilst working on “the patch”, Richard’s mind led him back to this idea of functionality, style and comfort in clothes, this idea of creating visually beautiful garments that are actually made to be worn. “[Gardening] is a cool job but no-one looks cool. Everyone blends in. I think it would just be better if you had a bit of spark in what you’re wearing!”
“I bleached my runway designs from uni onto a pair of jeans because I really wanted to make some great f*****g jeans. I garden in jeans anyway, why can’t I wear these? Wore them to the pub that night and sold two pairs on commission!”
“Clothes cool enough to be worn on the high street but wearing them in the dirt - that was the idea.”“I just kept making them and selling them through instagram. Patch in the morning, jeans in the afternoon”.
After selling 200 pairs of his now synonymous handmade jeans he established his brand in July 2021.
Oxley’s journey takes creating like the world depends on it and quite literally applies it to the business practices used now.“It’s hugely important [sustainability].
Our shorts and shell jackets are made out of SEAQUAL YARN - yarn made out of recycled ocean plastics.”
"When we started the brand, I said we’re never going to be 100% sustainable - no one ever is. But as long as it’s at the forefront of everyone’s mind, to search and strive for the best innovation in sustainable fabrics and processes within our financial means, then that's cool with me. There’s always room for improvement”
Richard Oxley is wearing the limited edition “Create” LegacyTech T-Shirt in Slate.