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Fashion Q&A: Matthew Miller

What inspired you to start your own eponymous collection?
I felt like I'd been fucked over by the generation before to be honest, and thought 'Fuck you!'I'll make my own way and my own luck!' At the time the credit crunch had a firm grip on the nation, mass unemployment, no social housing, no pension pots for us and in the words of the Sex Pistols "no future". I find that quite ironic really. Generation punk sang 'No future' and in reality they made no future for our children. That's the reason I started to do what I'm doing...through petulance I suppose. Being selected by Selfridges as a "Bright Young Thing" this year with a window of my own and showing in both Paris and London Fashion Week has helped build Matthew Miller as a label as has winning the McArthurGlen Spirit of Fashion Award which provides me with full PR services and support.

What are the challenges of running your own business? What things have surprised you about being your own boss and having your own company?
The challenges are that I have had to become an all-rounder not just a designer, the Freddie Flintoff of fashion. I have to be a designer, logistics manager, pattern cutter, production manager, chief finance officer and everything else day-to-day life throws my way. But at the same time I fucking love it! I went to see a government business advisor when Ifirst had the idea he said,'don't do it,' and gave me a statistic on youth, fashion and failure. I told him to shove his stats up his arse. If I fail, then I'll fail trying and you cant knock a man as long as he puts his heart and soul into it.

What are some challenges you've had to overcome in your career?
Finance, is a big hurdle to achieving at such a high level. I make no excuses for lying about mine to get onto the MA at the RCA, I lied and then I wrote a cheque I knew would bounce so I could get my access card. I knew once I had that card they wouldn't be able to remove me from the building - I just felt that this was my right, and I was going to get the education I wanted no matter what. It took me a year and half out of a two year MA to get the tuition fees but I got there eventually. It's hard working in the fashion industry, and 100 times as hard trying to go it alone, but life's fucking hard.

What advice do you have for aspiring designers? If you could go back in time and talk to yourself from five years ago what advice would you give yourself, knowing what you know now?
Give yourself targets, and not overly ambitions ones, as a fall can give you a real knock, and no one else is going to pick you up. So just think about the situations you're putting yourself in.

What do you when you're not working, to let off steam and relax?
Run, walk, cycle and explore. I'm quite an energetic person and can't keep still to be honest.


Who do you see as your customer? If you were to bump into him on the street, where would he be going? What would he look like? What would be his occupation?
He'd be a graphic designer/filmmaker and would be going somewhere totally obscure, possibly Greenland on an expedition. He is both rugged and beautiful at the same time, no mean feat.

What are you usually doing on Wednesday at 2pm? Saturday at 11pm?
Wednesday running, or tutoring at the RCA, Saturday wandering the streets of the Big Smoke looking mischievous.

Describe your own style...
Rough

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