5 fashion Qs: Stuart Davies

Meet the man behind Alexander Wang's and Pharrell Williams' adidas Originals collaborations

Stuart Davies is a cyclist, but don't hold that against him, because when not dressing up as a prawn, he cuts quite a dashing figure. Which is what one would expect from the former Head of Originals at adidas South Africa. In fact, a 'congratulations' is in order, because Stu recently took on a new role at the global HQ and is now working on the Alexander Wang and Pharrell Williams collaborations with adidas Originals.

The Way of Us got in touch with the new Category Director at adidas Originals in Herzogenaurach, Germany, and asked him to school us in cool.
style questions stuart davies

What is your earliest fashion memory?
To be honest, I don’t have a pure “fashion memory”, but I vividly remember seeing the punks when I went to London with my folks in the early nineties. Obviously, the true punk scene was over, but for a south African boy from the leafy south, it was quite eye-opening!

As a young dad, how do you use clothing to keep you rad?
I don’t spend hours getting dressed, but I do think about what I am wearing. When you're jaded from screaming kids and trips to the Spur, its nice to at least appear like a human again. Obviously my role, and now global role, has allowed me access to some amazing clothing and footwear, so that’s helped the wardrobe expand. But essentially I wear what I like, kids or no kids.

Who are your style icons and why?
I’ve got a few…
Tom Ford from a fashion point of view. He’s just cool. His style is timeless, but he’s taking risks at the same time. His brand, his power, the communication, the product, the style... It's just power. All of it.
David Beckham, for being a pioneer in bringing sport and fashion together, and for taking risks before anyone else really did. Call him cheesy, but you can’t deny how he fused sports (primarily football, of course) and style, and brought many of the looks that we now see every into fashion.
Keith Richards — I really like the 'zero fu**s given attitude'. Wear what you like, do what you like, f**k the rest. I don’t think he’d consider himself a style icon, and I wouldn’t say his style inspires me, but his attitude and his willingness to dress for himself is what resonates with me. We spend so much time trying to impress other people. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, it's all so vapid. Do it for you. Not for the likes.

What have you learned from working in fashion for so long?
Haha, I’ve learned a lot – to see through the bullshit, and to realise that we can do all the rad things we want, seed all the rad cats, but ultimately we need to sell stuff. Whether that's a pinnacle collection, or mainstream pieces, sales drive everything. Obviously marketing is important, vital even, but ultimately it needs to drive a purchase decision. That decision can happen in two days, two months, or two years. But sales have got to be the goal.

Describe your typical travel outfit and why this works for you?
Not as exciting as you might like… adidas Originals XbyO track pants, a loose-fitting tee, a hoodie, my Cote & Ciel backpack and Yeezy V1 350s. Comfortable with a touch of cool.

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