Since launching his self-titled menswear range at the age of 23 in 2003, Brent Wilson has paved his way as one of Australia’s leading designers with his signature simple and understated tailoring. We sit down with him today to talk style, motorbikes and fitness.
Brent Wears Brent Wilson Throughout.
OG: Style to me is…
Style is what you see it as. To me it’s one’s own interpretation, it’s personal. Especially when looking at my collections, I love it when customers come in and have their own interpretation of how to wear my clothes.
OG: How did your unique aesthetic of Brent Wilson develop?
At school I really loved art and design in general everything from fashion through to architecture and when I left school at 15 I did an electrical apprenticeship. It’s all just come over time – lots of experiences. I mean my style 10 years ago wasn’t great and probably in 10 years time I’ll think much the same. It’s one of those things that the quality of my clothes, the finishing touches, the make, even the organisation of my business as a whole, has grown over time, and it’s something that is constantly growing, evolving and progressing. I got specifically into menswear because, well I’m a guy (laughs) and I find it easier to dress myself, and at both Volcom and Wayne Cooper I was also doing menswear. I really enjoy it, the tailoring, the clean lines and I guess over the years I’ve probably simplified it, getting it more back to the basics and the tradition behind menswear.
OG: Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind the current AW collection?
I’ve really tried to simplify the collection. I know it sounds really boring but I think when you get to a certain stage in business it’s not just about pleasing yourself. A lot of our designs are based on sales reports and customer feedback, so we design the collection around that, combined with trying to work out what’s going to be coming up in future seasons. I don’t follow trends; I’m not like a lot of designers who go travelling, getting inspiration. I’m the kind of guy who’s in store speaking with my customers and going from there. I really have a think of what I want to wear; what men in general want to wear; and what they are after. So with this collection it’s about the simplified aesthetic with natural fabrics and textures like felted wools, linens, tweeds.
OG: You’re very active in your fitness, can you give us a little insight into your weekly regime?
Weekly regime is pretty full on. My friends think I’m absolutely crazy. My idea of relaxing is going for a 30 or 40km run. My parents live up the Northern Beaches and often I just throw on my runners and run from the city studio up there. People have different outlets, what they find is relaxing, and I’m into those extremities. I like to push myself and see what I’m capable of. I’m like that with my business and also by default like that with my exercise. If something gets harder it makes we want to push that little bit harder, so I do exercise most days, ocean swimming down in Manly, triathlons with my cousin, but for me I find it really relaxing to be able to zone out from work. Healthy mind, healthy body, it just helps everything in life.
OG: Can you tell us a little about your love of motorbikes?
I’m into my racing so I do a lot of stuff with Ducati. Anything they have on I do. They’ve given me a bike and we toured last year through the Snowy Mountains which was great, but I really love racing, so I’d love to check off all the race tracks in Australia and probably go race overseas like the Ducati GP race circuits.
OG: 5 people dead or alive, who would you want at a dinner party?
It might sound boring but I’d probably just invite four of my best friends!
Photography: Trevor King @DLM