The Fashion Folk S02 ep11 : Roy Christou, Christou Fashion, [Melbourne]

Interview with Roy Christou

After 25 years in fashion and a three year hiatus, designer Roy Christou is back with his new label, Honor Among Thieves. Equal parts dashing and disheveled, the Honor Among Thieves label pioneers a return to easy dapper that plays to the scoundrel in all of us. Roy is dedicated to the pursuit of luxury without pretense, and in advocating a smart interpretation of casual. He bears all the marks of a fashion veteran – perfect shapes, cuts and lines; fine fabrics sourced from Australia and Japan, designed to be worn stripped back or piled on. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Oscar Wilde and Nick Cave, Roy's collections embody a refined 1950's rascal aesthetic.

 

11.27
KM What is Roy?

11.28
It is something I have found myself drawn into.

11.40
KM How did you get here?

11.41
Through being unable to find anything that I wanted to buy.

11.46
KM Seriously?

11.47
Yeah, so I just started by making shirts and....

11.50
KM When was this, how old were you?

11.52
I was 24

12.01
KM Were you born here?

12.03
I was born in the U.K. I worked for Aramis, as the first male grooming consultant in the U.K.
my claim to fame, did that for a couple of years and got out of there.

12.25
After being there for 3 years and coming back and what was in fashion then here I looked
at with big eyes and thought where the hell did that come from.

12.46
KM How would you describe what you do?

12.48
It has to have some form of design element whether it be in the garment, or the cut of it,
something tweaked.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

13.05
I don't know how I ended up just doing denim, My main point of starting up was to make
everything out of cotton. I'll even damage it in machines, which is something I have always
done, so when the customer gets it is a bit harder for them to damage it as I have already
done it and it ends up that it is supposed to be like that.

13.43
KM What can you do with denim that hasn't already been done?

13.46
Pretty much everything has been done, and I think that the art is to not do anything to it at
all, that is what will be.....

13.54
KM That is coming full circle?

13.55
Yeah. It was interesting in the beginning using hand tools, and electric power tools on it.

14.02
KM What, are you serious?

14.03
Yeah

14.04
KM What do you mean using electric power tools on it?

14.07
You just go to the hardware shop and buy grinders and things...

14.13
KM Really and then what? People are looking for just that?

14.17
I don't know if that is what they were looking for but they ended up looking for it, you know
it used to be stone wash, and acid wash, now it is power tool wash.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

14.39
Some denim I have used is too good, and it just takes forever to bash up.

14.46
KM Oh really,

14.47
So the manufacturer of the fabric will spend so long making this bullet proof fabric and then
only for me to come along and think, it has cost me too much money to fuck it up. Or they
will make a denim that is really tight in its weave where I will want one that is looser in its
weave so that it can release the fibres, so it is a bit hairier, there are all different aspects to
everything.

15.20
KM Where do you get your denim from?

15.23
Local, local market.

15.25
KM They actually manufacture it in Australia?

15.27
Yeah

15.28
KM What is the difference between the local denim and the imported denim?

15.31
Oh, just accessibility even I don't know it is like trying to make an average, the way I do it, it
is like making an average denim good. Where you can buy overseas denim and you don't
have to do so much work to it, it is what you want, it achieves what you want with a rinse
wash, whereas I know the stuff here through experience, and lots of it, like I said it is just
heaps of work to get it to what you want it to do. Australian people try too hard.

Jewellery Theatre Elements

16.09
KM Is that what it is?

16.10
Yeah, we've got the best denim in the world - it won't tear. We want it to tear! We want it to
fade! We want to get it to where it is going quicker.

16.29
KM How long have you been doing this for?

16.30
Five years, six years including this one.

16.33
KM And before?

16.35
Ten years in women’s wear, with a women’s wear label

16.39
KM What was that called? Roy as well?

16.42
No, we don't need to know.

16.45
KM O.K. sure but when you were doing the women’s clothes was it different to doing this
sort of stuff?

16.50
Oh yeah, completely, but then the market was different as well, it was a lot sharper .... if
you put holes in it, they would say "Ah there is a hole in it?"

17.06
KM Is there enough in denim to keep you motivated, if you know what I mean?

17.09
No,

17.10
KM What is the next step Roy?

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

17.12
Who knows. You don't know until you start on it

17.25
KM When did you first start playing with this sort of stuff?

17.33
Ah about 15 years ago, everyone was wearing Levi's belted in, pulled up high, blah blah,
blah and in this other business I had started making jeans for chics and boys wanted them
so I just....that particular jean was unisex and they were low ....

17.57
KM and off they went.

17.58
Off they went.

18.09
The funniest thing is when I thought I wasn't going to do it anymore, and I went to North
Africa and I'm in Morocco at the pool side and I met this Aussie guy and we were talking,
blah, blah, blah and by the time I get back to Australia having gone around the world a bit
wanting to get back into.....I found myself not wanting to be in business but being dragged
back into it and then finding this store I wanted, finding out that it was this guys store that I
had met in Marocco
18.42
KM You're kidding?

18.43
No, I rang him up and said.... he said it is your lucky day and off I went from there.

18.51
KM So this guy you met in Morocco at the swimming pool, had this store

18.57
Yeah, had the store yeah.

18.59
KM and just by accident

19.00
From that I thought well, looks like it is meant to be.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Roy Christou, Christou Fashion, Melbourne