In this easy small conversation, the man behind the brand Smart Turnout got the words. I had a contact with Philip Turner from the nice ladies of Zambuni PR, agency that handling almost all the Smart Turnout public relations activities. In the collaboration in a form of a review for one of his favorite watch, The London watch. Read my review here and below you will have a nice easy small talk with Philip.
What do you like about menswear so much?
You can wear very simple clothing but give it a twist with one of the colourful watch straps or a pair of the striped socks.
So, from the army to the fashion, why?
I joined the Scots Guards in 1988 and it was during this time that I was due to ride in a military race called the Grand Military at Sandown. It meant that I needed my own racing colours, which, incidentally were designed when I was at school and bored of revising! At the same time as having the racing colours knitted I decided to have a jumper knitted in the colours of the Scots Guards.
One order let to another and gradually orders began arriving from far-flung corners of the world, followed by requests for ties, then socks. What started as a favour for a few friends soon took over my weekends, then garage, and finally the home. Other regiments soon came knocking at the door, asking to produce jumpers in their regimental colours. It didn’t take long before schools and universities came calling too and now, to our continued delight and surprise, smart dressers from around the world
What is it like being in the industry so far?
On leaving the army I always wanted to create a brand and have something that was tangible and I had always been interested in fashion starting with the original jumper. I love what we are doing at Smart Turnout and the ability to be able to use so many different colours but at the same time maintaining the authenticity.
It is a challenging industry, there is never any down time because once a line hits the stores you are already working on the next season’s designs and campaigns. I love the fast paced environment and the people I have met since I started the business in 1999.
Cinema or theatre?
The theatre as I find having the proximity to the actors and performers gives the effect of being more in the scene than just watching it from a distance.
What is your most special fashion moment so far?
We produced a jumper with SMART on the front and saw Harry Styles from One Direction sporting it holding a Koala!
What is your responsibilities at Smart Turnout?
There is never a dull moment in the office one minute we are discussing new designs and the next we are talking about our plans for Korea where we are working with a partner or talking to our colleague in Japan, where we opened an office in January. Otherwise making sure our shop in Princes Arcade is running smoothly or sorting out new pop ups. We currently have one at El Corte Ingles in Lisbon until 9th November and another one on 28th October until the end of December at 147 Kings Road.
What are the top three favorite items from your collection?
Without doubt the London watch with the Yorkshire Hussars watch strap and of course the Royal Navy inspired wallet.
Please share your thought about fashion blogger.
The beauty of fashion bloggers is that it is instantaneous and has the ability to reach a huge global audience. You are able to view an article online or see a picture are able to click through to the website. This is very important and beneficial to the brand.
Coffee or tea?
I prefer Tea, I like how there are so many different flavours to choose from but nothing beats a good old English breakfast tea. Not that I ever have time in the week to have one before I leave for the office!
Who is your muse, if you have one?
I don’t actually have a muse but I have had a lot of people that have inspired me on my journey with Smart Turnout. Never under estimate the importance of friends and family when running a business.