I started tailoring suits in my bedroom about five and a half years ago, before opening up a small pop-up unit in Spitalfields to showcase my first micro-collection. The pop-up became a shop, and I stayed there for two and a half years before opening a flagship store at 68 Great Portland Street three years ago. We’ve got two floors there, so we have our retail store on the first floor and the bespoke department in the basement where we do custom designs.
My brand resonates with characterful individuals who like to stand out in varying degrees – from wearing a classic suit with a little bit of an edge, to a really mad patterned suit because it really reflects the personality of the individual. I think I have always been very well known for creating suits that reflect someone’s personality.
We create all our fabrics from scratch in the UK, so everything is completely unique to us, and I love the fact that someone can spot a Joshua Kane suit before they even see the label.
The first suit block shape I ever created was called the ‘Brummell’, and I even wrote a piece on Beau Brummell at university as a character reference of him being the original Dandy and I explored how it paved the way for modern suits. Brummell’s trajectory is really inspiring for me, as he came from nothing and created his own style, asking his tailor to change the cut of his suit to help shape his identity.
And, not everyone loved him for it. Sometimes it’s similar with me – at Joshua Kane we create a look and some people love it and think it is amazing, but some people don’t like it because it’s different. I think being different, especially in this day and age, where things are getting more and more simplified, is what people are craving.
I always go down to a theatrical root with my designs and that’s quite personal to me, as I love dressing up and I love theatre. We do the classics from business suits to dinner suits, but when it comes to the show I really love to push the theatrical side. We also do a lot of work with film and TV, blurring the line between costume and fashion.
To add personal flair to your business wardrobe, it is really down to subtlety – the pinstripe being a bit more vibrant, or the base navy fabric being one shade brighter – it makes all the difference.
Joshua Kane trained as a fashion designer and bespoke tailor at Kingston University, graduating with a first-class honours degree in early 2000. He moved to New York and worked for Brooks Brothers as a designer for six months before returning to London and working for Jaeger Menswear. He then moved to be a designer at Burberry with Christopher Bailey, where he designed the runway collections for a number of years. He became Senior Designer with Paul Smith for three and a half years, designing all men’s tailoring and some of the men’s collections, before setting up his own company and becoming an independent designer in 2014