Oswald Boateng Fashion Designer


Oswald Boateng is a world-famous  fashion designer, Style icon, Tailor, businessman, celebrity, also showmen yes Mr Boateng has many hats but he’s more famous for his sharp suits & the vivde colors they come in, born in 1968 to Ghanaian immigrants, he had grown up in working-class north London, Boateng was inspired by the immaculate suits his father wore, and received his first suit from his mother aged eight: a double-breasted in purple mohair, he would get up set when his mum put it back into the plastic wrapping, at fourteen, he found a summer job sewing linings into suits,while studying computer science at Southgate college at age 16, he was introduced to cutting and designing by his girlfriend. he started to make his own cloths soon he was designing and selling to his fellow students, he realized that a career in fashion would be more appropriate for him and switched to graduate in fashion and design.  he became obsessed with design, devising a signature fusion of traditional tailoring with exotically colorful fabrics, unmistakable even to an eye as undiscerning as mine, it was not long before Oswald was getting noticed by major fashion designers, he was asked by a friend to help him with to make clothes for a fashion show, and after receiving praise for his work, he was able to sell his own menswear collection to top fashion boutiques in London, very soon he was able open his first studio on Potabello Road in London in 1991, During this time Oswald was mentored by Tommy Nutter but inspired by Giorgio Armani, In 1994, Boateng staged his first catwalk presentation during Paris fashion week, the first tailor to stage a catwalk show in Paris.

wpid-ozwald_boateng.jpg

Oswald Boateng the youngest tailor to open a store on Savile Row

In 1995 Oswald opened up his first store on Savile Row,he became both the youngest and first black tailor to open a store on Savile Row, a lot of people said he was too tailored for fashion and to fashion for tailoring  , but Oswald put his doubters to one side & moved on, he wanted to offer some thing different to the younger crowd, his idea was unstructured tailoring, he wanted to create something fashionable but stylish, his design is based on the shoulder line this is key on a bespoke suit, but with an infusion of traditional tailoring with exotically colorful fabrics.

 wpid-ozwald.jpg

People said he was too tailored for fashion and too fashion for tailoring

Since then Oswald has dressed film stars to many African leaders, he has been involved in many collaborations, he was made creative Director of Menswear at French Fashion house Givenchy, in 2004 he was asked to design The Coutts ‘World Credit Card’, even designed an affordable line for the high street – o-z for Debenhams, his cheapest suit will cost you more than £1000, while some of his most expensive bespoke suits can fetch up to £20,000

wpid-ozwald_boatengs_flagship_store_no._30_savile_row.png.png

Ozwald Boateng’s new flagship store and headquarters at No. 30 Savile Row

Boateng’s first flagship store opened in 2008 on Saville Row and Clifford Street’s corner, it was the former old Anderson and Sheppard store, Boateng merged the corporate headquarters of his company with his redesigned flagship store, he currently produces two collections every year which are manufactured at the former Chester Barrie factory in Cheshire, he has a new online store opening soon too.

wpid-ams_dc.jpg

The poster for the Man’s Story documentary film.

Oswald has been all so involved in television & movies, he has designed bespoke costumes for,  Hannibal, Lock stock and two smoking barrels,Tomorrow never dies, Sex and the city, Ugly Betty, Eastern Promises, Gangster Number One, Alfie, Assault on Precinct 13, The Matrix, Miami Vice, Oceans 13, and Rush hour, Oswald had a film made about him, it was about Boateng and his business it was filmed between 1998 and 2010, it was a fly-on-the-wall feature documentary, A Man’s Story, it was released in March 2012.

wpid-1738154.jpg

Oswald Boateng style is traditional tailoring with exotically colorful fabrics

Oswald has now been in the fashion business for over 25 years, in that time he has gone bankrupt once got divorced twice, he`s been awarded a OBE for his services, set up a charity for Africa opened up a flag-ship store on Savile Row and even had a film about him, at 45 there’s lot more petrol left in the tank for this fashion designer to accomplish yet.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD