House & Garden | Diary of a Somebody

William Yeoward

The designer’s day begins with a selection of his favourite cocktails

William Yeoward

September 22 2011
William Yeoward

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Having breakfast with people isn’t my strong suit as I really prefer to keep quiet until I’ve had my coffee and time to focus, but today I’m meeting with my publisher Cindy Richards at Cico books.

I have worked with Cindy on four previous projects and I like the way we work together very much. I love enthusiasm and high heels and Cindy has both of these in spades. At present we are putting the final touches to my fourth book, William Yeoward’s American Bar, for publication early next year.

We came up with the concept in July and in August Gavin Kingcome and I were lucky enough to be able to photograph some of the finest bartenders in the world at work and using beautiful crystal either from our collection or crystal that had been supplied by Tim Jenkins. Of course, looking at cocktails at 8am can be a little off-putting but I have to admit that I learnt so much about the art of cocktails working with my five magicians.

The thing about books is that, as with most successful projects, you need to keep momentum up and I really like to photograph, lay out and write the books at breakneck speed. Cindy and I tend to agree on all major points and therefore we have a happy time making sure that the book reflects my best efforts. Because we have quite a following in America and because I adored the film Some Like It Hot as a child, I wanted very much for the book to make a nod to these two elements.

I will soon see a proof and before we know it I will don the best trousers and go off signing books. I love this part of my job as I get to travel and meet people from so many countries and hear what makes them tick.

In my office at 10am we are putting together some ideas for a product development trip in Asia. Although most William Yeoward collections are made in either the UK or Europe, we are becoming increasingly aware of talents the globe over.

At present we sell in 30 countries and are making in about 10, so in a small way we are quite a global outfit, though it doesn’t seem that way! My job has to be to come up with ideas and to help my design team to develop those ideas in collections that both reflect fashion and my feeling as to where the company should be heading.

Travelling is so important both to keep one’s eye fresh and also to see what’s possible. I’m amused when folk ask, “Do tell me what inspires you”, and I have to admit that my inspiration comes often in abstract. In other words, I don’t know I’m being inspired until after the event, but travel has to open one’s eyes.

Recently I went with a dear friend to the Benaki museum in Athens to see its collection of Greek textiles. Well, watch out, something’s brewing – but as yet, I know not what.

After an afternoon of being a good bloke and working in my shop, it’s time for a visit to John Martin Gallery in Albemarle Street to view the work of Fred Yates, sadly deceased.

Colin and I have several of his works and we have just loaned a very special one to an exhibition being held at Penlee House in Newlyn, Cornwall. I really loaned it because it’s a great excuse for a visit to St Ives! I like private views and despite the fact that I got the wrong day we had an enjoyable time.

A quick supper with my friends at Kazan, my favourite Turkish restaurant in Victoria, and home for sleeping.

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