Seven Questions From Seventh Man: James Bay
This month sees the launch of Topman's latest collaboration, which is with none other than James Bay. Bringing a sense of his unique style to the Topman table, the British singer-songwriter has worked with the high street brand to curate a 13-piece collection.
As a regular at the Topman Design show, he has always been closely aligned with the brand. Now he has worked more closely than ever before, helping the design team in choosing everything from stitching type to pantone on this special collection. The collection takes inspiration from Bay's love of music and art, and splattered across it is the interlocking two hands that represents and featured on the cover of his debut album Chaos and the Calm, while one T-shirt even features lyrics from his song Incomplete.
The collections consists of everything you'd expect from Bay, with skinny jeans, a rocker substance and leather jackets sitting at the heart of it. What we're really into though, are the pieces of evening wear - one highlight is the two-piece jacquard print suit which actually incorporates Bay's finger print in an all-over jacquard design.
Of the collaboration, Gordon Richardson, Topman's Creative Director, has said "it's always exciting for Topman to collaborate with personalities outside the world of fashion as it challenges all our normal perceptions. James [...] has diligently translated his unique sense of style into the perfect 13 piece capsule collection with as much care and attention he would one of his albums."
We spoke to Bay ahead of the release of this stellar collection and asked him seven questions...
What made you want to work with Topman?
Until I walked into Topman, on Oxford street, when I was 15, all I really owned were torn apart, hand-me-down clothes that I used to skate in. I've stuck with Topman ever since, so when they asked me if I'd be interested in working with them it felt like a pretty easy answer.
What is your favourite piece in the collaboration?
That's a tough question. I genuinely love them all. I am really excited about the sequin jacket because that's one of the more obvious departures from what I usually wear. I also love the denim jacket for the interlinking design on the back. I enjoyed sketching a lot of design ideas straight onto paper to come up with various details throughout the collection.
How would you describe your own style?
It's pretty organic. I haven't (yet) tried to present myself in much of a high fashion way. Generally what I wear on and off stage tends to be the same sort of stuff - lots of high cropped denim and leather jackets. I prefer boots over more traditional, low cut shoes. I don't like jeans to look too new or clean, they need to be lived in, a bit battered.
What would you say are the biggest yardsticks of your career so far?
Given I'm still only at the beginning of my career, with only one album to my name, it's all the sold out shows I've achieved so far that I feel are the moments important moments. From a pub basement in London to Radio City in NYC, to 3 nights at Brixton academy, 4 at Hammersmith Apollo, sold out tours in Australia, throughout Europe, and believe it or not, more!
How did you start this design process?
It was a really easy and fluid process from the start. I was sketching ideas from the first meeting I had with Topman and as the design of each piece became clearer, mock ups would start to be made. It carried on that way right up until the last piece was finished.
Who would you most like to collaborate with musically, dead or alive?
No one, at the moment. I'm good right now, just mining my own sources of creativity. When that starts to dry up, maybe I'll start thinking about cool collaborations...dead or alive.
What's one random thing you always carry with you?
Curiosity. Because you never know...
Shop the collection at Topman.com from 17.08.17