This was a turning point for Biedul and after trying to run his two careers alongside each other, he realised he didn’t have the time for both so took the plunge and delved into the wondrous world of Fashion.
Has anyone in particular inspired your personal style?
My Grandfather. Although he passed away when I was in my early 20’s. He was and remains extremely influential in my personal development. He was the first person to introduce me to the art of craftsmanship. He wore suits from Savile row, shirts from Jermyn Street and shoes from Northampton.
I found it fascinating. Not only the physical products that he wore but the choices he made in terms of where those products HAD to come from.
He taught me about the notion of investing in quality over quantity and to appreciate the work and craftsmanship that goes into making every single garment.
You’ve mentioned your Father in previous interviews being a style hero and inspiration of yours – how did he inspire your personal style?
My Father taught me about the beauty of utilitarian function. He was a mechanical engineer so everything he wore has to have a purpose and it performed that purpose to the best of its ability.
I have a photograph of him and my mother in Amsterdam taken in 1982 which looks like it could have been taken in any city in 2020. He is wearing a beanie, some knitwear and an over shirt. It’s a timeless simple style that is as relevant today as it was 30 plus years ago.
Can you describe your personal style?
It’s always hard to describe my style as it’s constantly evolving and changing but at its core is a desire to reference the past whilst simultaneously embracing the present.
How does John Smedley fit into your personal style?
John Smedley has for the last decade or maybe even longer been a staple part of my wardrobe. Producing high quality garments that are simultaneously classic yet contemporary and above all, handcrafted here in the UK. These are some of the key factors I consider when it comes to determining what brands to wear and also to work with.
Was personal style always important to you or is this something that has developed as your roles in the fashion industry have evolved?
I think it’s fair to say that I’ve always had an interest in fashion, but unfortunately that didn’t automatically translate into having a sense of style. As each decade passed and I grew older my taste changed and developed with me. Manifesting itself into what you see today.
What do you consider your go to item?
I’m never without my headwear. My hair is generally out of control, it’s so unruly that I’ve just given up tying to tame it. So the easiest option is to cover it! My go to in the summer is a simple 6 panel and in the winter a cashmere watchman.
What advice would you give to someone whose looking to make a big career change into fashion as you did?
Have conviction in your beliefs. That’s not to say take the leap without doing some form of research into your chosen field. But if you firmly believe you have an opportunity to do something you love then you should follow that path.
Do you have any heirlooms of style that you still wear today? Or is there a clothing item you wish he had kept for you?
I have a 1978 Rolex Datejust from my Grandfather. It has the perfect combination of history and versatile style. I wear it almost every day.
You’ve mentioned British manufacturing is important to you – why do you think it’s important?
The British manufacturing industry is one of the many jewels in our nation’s crown. ‘Made in Britain’ means unrivalled levels of craftsmanship, transparency and social responsibility. I like knowing that the product we produce here in the UK are not only the best they can be in terms of quality, but they are also sustainable, utilising the best raw materials, traditional factory processes and employing the best artisanal craftspeople possible.
What keeps the fashion industry exciting for you?
The constantly increasing pool of talent that working within it. At every level of the industry there is someone that wants to excel in what they do and that inspires me.
Are there any style ‘rules’ that you abide by?
Not really. It might be a cliche but my opinion, rules are made to be broken.
In your work not only do you model but you also creative direct and art direct your shoots – how do you manage all these elements at once?
I have an amazing team of people around me that all help to not only develop the concepts but to also execute each project. I try to keep the same team as often as possible as we all share the same values and desires to create beautiful narrative lead content. Having this support is invaluable.
Colour is important to you in your shoots and your personal style – do you have a favourite colour and way to wear it?
Colour is very important to my visual work. Although I don’t really have a favourite colour to wear. My preference tends to change with the seasons.
The foundations of my own style lay within three distinct yet similar groups: colour, texture and tone. I tend to stick to one core colour, or tonal variants thereof, whilst simultaneously mixing in subtle elements of pattern or texture into an ensemble to add richness and depth.
What trends are you most interested in for the coming Autumn/Winter 20 season?
I tend not to be a trend lead consumer. That’s not to say the way I dress doesn’t follow some seasonal differences but first and foremost I tend to dress by to suit my body type. Taking the time and effort to look at your body and to understand its size and dimensions enables you to choose clothing that places an emphasis on the positive aspects of your body whilst diverting attention away from areas that might be a little less than desirable. This will lead to a more sustainable shopping process, less spontaneous purchasing and a more cohesive wardrobe.
Do you have a favourite John Smedley style – if so which one and why?
John Smedley are second to when it comes to their range of roll-necks, from Autumn/Winter, Spring/Summer there is always a colour way and gauge to suit my needs.
“Do what makes you happy, not what you think other people would want you to do.”