Simon Carter clothing and accessories is tailor-made for Brighton as Daniel White finds out
Q – Who is Simon Carter and how did you first get into the industry?
A – I was raised in East Anglia and lived there until I moved to London in the eighties to study immunology at Chelsea College. I soon realised that a career in Immunology wasn’t for me, so got myself a job in a trendy boutique – and that’s really when I fell in love with the ‘glamour’ of the fashion industry!
Whilst working at the boutique I became obsessed with a vintage pewter motorcycle broach, I got it copied 100 times and tried my luck selling it to stores up and down The King’s Road. Eventually, the jewellers, Cobra and Bellamy, bought half of them; this really was my lucky break. In 1985 the Simon Carter company was established. Initially Simon Carter was a wholesale brand, but by the early 90’s it was doing so well that I decided to open my first store in Quadrant Arcade just off Regent Street.
Q – What is unique about Simon Carter stores and clothing compared to other shops?
A – I would have to say British Wit, I try to incorporate a light hearted side into every collection; from the early days with the Aspirin cufflink to the latest collection which features bright, quirky shirts and wellington boots, watering cans and bull dog cufflinks. I think it is this attitude that also sets our stores apart from others, from the manner of the staff to the decoration; everything is done with a personable and fun attitude.
Q – Why was it you chose to open in Brighton?
A – I have loved Brighton since I was a child – it has a wonderful creative energy and gifted individuals are drawn here. We feel that the Simon Carter style will be appreciated – we prize individuality and humour in our designs and combine them with classic British fabrics from Scottish tweeds and Irish wools to antiqued leathers. Plus it will give me an excuse to spend my weekends here – all in the name of research you understand!
Q – How do you feel your shop will fit in with Brighton culture?
A – I think that we both combine an ebullient, quirky English Style – just look at the Pavilion! Brighton has classical roots and a thriving, lively and thoroughly contemporary artistic culture, which really echo our own values. And I have made sure that we have lots of insulating coats and accessories to keep the sea breeze at bay!
Q – What has been your best business move?
A – Opening our own retail stores has been a wonderful experience. Being able to meet with our customers face to face and listen to what they need from our collection has been a pleasure and an education. A good designer listens!
Q – What does the future hold for Simon Carter?
A – To continue doing what I love, designing beautiful clothing and accessories. I also hope to continue expanding the brand and open more stores around the country and internationally.
Simon Carter Clothing and Accessories
5 Kensington Gardens
01273 626 978
Open Mon-Sat 10.30am-6.30pm