Oliver Spencer talks personal taste: Part One

Oliver Spencer’s eponymous fashion label bridges the gap between streetwear and bespoke tailoring

Image: Richard Grassie

My personal style signifier is a 1969 Omega Speedmaster watch. I swapped a made-to-measure suit for it with a friend a decade ago. I like that it is from the era of space exploration – and that this actual model went to the moon. I also enjoy that it’s sporty, and that I have to wind it up. www.omegawatches.com.

The last thing I bought and loved was a pair of Han sunglasses. They’re called Timeless and come in a tortoiseshell frame that is stylish and laid-back at the same time. I like their simple Danish design and the Wayfarer-type shape works well for city life. £107; www.hankjobenhavn.com.

Han Kjobenhavn Timeless Amber sunglasses, £107.
Han Kjobenhavn Timeless Amber sunglasses, £107.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is La Grave in France. I go backcountry skiing there with four friends every year and it is the Alps as they used to be – completely untouched. The area is accessed by a single lift, and skins and crampons are required for the rugged terrain. It’s both very low-key and hardcore at the same time.

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe is a pair of classic 2750 Superga trainers. They’re completely simple and go well with the chinos I design. £40; www.superga.co.uk.


A recent “find” is Excelsior, a new boutique department store in Milan. From the food hall to the wine shop to the contemporary men’s floor, the whole experience is amazing. The merchandising is very well done and you’ll find great brands such as Maison Kitsuné and YMC. Galleria del Corso 4, 20100 Milan (+392-7630 7301; www.excelsiormilano.com).

The people I rely on for personal grooming and style are Carlo Anichini for haircuts and the discussion of property matters, and my friend and stylist, William Gilchrist. He has dressed the Rolling Stones and Jude Law and he certainly helps me. Carlo Anichini Hair & Beauty, 14 Piccadilly Arcade, London SW1 (020-7409 2749). William Gilchrist, clmus.com.

Darkroom on Lamb’s Conduit Street, London.
Darkroom on Lamb’s Conduit Street, London. | Image: Peer Lindgreen

The last music I downloaded was the album Last Night on Earth by Noah and the Whale. I love their sense of style, as well as the fact that they are genuine musicians. They have an eclectic sound – sometimes folksy, or layered with choir music – that’s unique. www.noahandthewhale.com.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the area surrounding Lamb’s Conduit Street in London. I love the Espresso Room for its coffee and croissants, and Darkroom for unique gifts and leather goods. The Wagyu beef from McKenna Meats is fantastic, as are the tapas at Cigala. Cigala, 54 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1 (020-7405 1717; www.cigala.co.uk). Darkroom, 52 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1 (020-7831 7244; www.darkroomlondon.com). Espresso Room, 31-35 Great Ormond Street, London WC1 (07760-714 883; www.theespressoroom.com). McKenna Meats, 21 Theobald’s Road, London WC1 (020-7242 7740).

Bauhaus building, Dessau.
Bauhaus building, Dessau. | Image: Martin Brück, 2005, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation

The books on my bedside table include Keith Richards’ autobiography, Life, which I find completely engrossing. He is living in a very different, yet fascinating world. You will also find an issue of Monocle. I get through about a page a night.

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be an architect. I have a passion for Bauhaus and I love everything to do with shape, form and working within space. I like to think that I design my clothes for architects. I’d love also to be a chef, but I would need a lot of help.

Last Night on Earth, by Noah and the Whale
Last Night on Earth, by Noah and the Whale

In my fridge you’ll always find blueberries, endless pints of milk for my children and my dad’s homemade marmalade from Warwickshire – it’s the best ever, and I’m not biased. And my friend Alex James’s Blue Monday cheese, as well as bacon from McKenna Meats just down from my shop. Blue Monday, £14.95 for 650g; www.buycheese.co.uk.

My favourite websites are Mr Porter, which reads like a well-edited magazine, and I love the graphics; Primelocation – an addictive form of real-estate pornography – and Spotify, for the wide range of music. www.mrporter.com. www.primelocation.com. www.spotify.com.


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