The Mi­das Touch


DA MAN - - Celebrities - Pho­tog­ra­phy Mitchell Nguyen McCor­mack

As we cel­e­brate the mag­a­zine’s 10th an­niver­sary, we meet up once again with Bri­tish model, gen­tle­man and all-around awe­some fel­low Oliver Cheshire.

Life has been good for Oliver Cheshire. Only a month af­ter sign­ing up with his first mod­el­ing agency— Select Model Man­age­ment, which still rep­re­sents him to­day—the Lon­doner was asked to model for Calvin Klein. Since then, he has be­come the face of fash­ion cam­paigns for Aber­crom­bie & Fitch and Vivi­enne west­wood to Mis­soni and Dolce & Gab­bana. More im­por­tantly, quite a few brands started notic­ing in­creased sales af­ter he ap­peared in their re­spec­tive cam­paigns.

And now, life seems to con­tinue be­ing good—even great—for Oliver Cheshire. For one, he now sports a new look as he dyed his hair blond shortly be­fore head­ing out to Jakarta for this photo shoot. He has landed a cov­eted multi-year con­tract with Marks & Spencer, which is a huge deal in his home coun­try as the brand has grown into some­what of a beloved national in­sti­tu­tion in the U.K. More than that, late last year, Cheshire be­came en­gaged to his long-time girl­friend: English singer, song­writer and actor Pixie Lott. In fact, the two have ba­si­cally be­come Eng­land’s cur­rent “it cou­ple,” from ap­pear­ing to­gether at var­i­ous high-pro­file events, walk­ing the run­way to­gether at Dolce & Gab­bana’s fall/win­ter 2017 menswear show to­gether and pos­ing to­gether in a num­ber of ed­i­to­ri­als that have be­come the talk of the fash­ion world.

The chem­istry be­tween Cheshire and Lott, as well as the cou­ple’s com­bined star power, was quite ev­i­dent as the pair vis­ited Jakarta to at­tend this year’s DAMAN Party as the guests of honor. So, nat­u­rally, we wanted to know even more about the the man be­hind the model per­sona and sat down for a chat with Cheshire.

Also, be­fore we delve into the in­ter­view proper, just a quick re­minder to check out our web­site and so­cial me­dia ac­counts for more ex­clu­sive con­tent and videos fea­tur­ing Cheshire and the ever-gor­geous Pixie Lott.

dAmAn: we last caught up with you for the fall/win­ter is­sue of DAMAN Style in 2016. what have you been busy with since then?

oliver cheshire: I ’ve been work­ing very closely with Marks & Spencer as I’m part of their Au­to­graph range. I’ve also been do­ing a bit of de­sign­ing with them. I walked the Dolce & Gab­bana show with my fi­ancée, Pixie. Trav­el­ing the world as well, to New York, to Swe­den and fi­nally here in Jakarta again.

dA: speak­ing of your long­time col­lab­o­ra­tion with marks & spencer, can you tell us a bit more about how it started and what it en­tails?

oc: I’ve been a fan for years. This is some­thing that’s at the heart of Bri­tish so­ci­ety. My mum shopped there for years; my dad has al­ways shopped there; my nan has al­ways shopped there. I started wear­ing their clothes and then some­body from the brand said, “Oliver, we’d like to work with you.” So, I started shoot­ing their lookbook and then it kind of es­ca­lated from there.

dA: we’ve also been go­ing through your blog, iwear­ okay, first ques­tion about that: where does that name come from?

oc: It’s an old say­ing my dad used to say around the house; it’s kind of like an Old English say­ing. And I used to get asked that ques­tion in in­ter­views: “who wears the trousers in your re­la­tion­ship?” And I def­i­nitely don’t wear the trousers. Pixie does. [ Laughs] I just thought it’s a nice twist on words and it kind of fit­ted. That’s where it comes from.

dA: And you mostly talk about style there?

oc: It’s def­i­nitely more about style; menswear is my love. [Through it] I’m try­ing to teach peo­ple and men how to em­brace fash­ion and de­ci­pher the run­way look. A lot of my friends are say­ing, “How can I wear that? I’ve seen it on the run­way, but it just doesn’t look like some­thing I’ll wear.” It teaches men how to fil­ter out stuff and I also put up the day-to-day things I wear. Just try­ing to in­spire peo­ple, re­ally.

dA: so, what do you think are the most im­por­tant menswear styling rules that ev­ery­body should know?

oc: I al­ways say it: read the in­vite. Dress for the oc­ca­sion. Men don’t re­ally read the in­vite. They just put on what­ever they want. women al­ways ask other women what they’re wear­ing. So, they’ll phone up my girl­friend and say, “what are you wear­ing tonight?” I think men need to do that more so you don’t feel out of place when you go to a party. Next, get a great tai­lor. A great tai­lor will just make won­ders for you. Nips and tucks on suits—a suit should al­ways fit per­fect. what else? I think, know your color palette, be­cause ev­ery­one has dif­fer­ent skin tones.

dA: how do you deal with the in­creased pub­lic at­ten­tion? es­pe­cially since your en­gage­ment to pixie...

oc: I just think that you need to have a good group of friends around you; and good agents and ob­vi­ously man­age­ment that you trust. I’ve been with Select Model Man­age­ment 13 years now, and I trust them. I’ve been with them since the be­gin­ning. And just don’t change,

re­ally. I haven’t re­ally changed. I go to the same places, I see the same friends. I just keep my feet on the ground and en­joy life.

dA: speak­ing of things that don’t change, you’re still re­ferred to as “the model with the mi­das touch.” why do you think the cam­paigns that fea­ture you do so well?

oc: I think there’s an ap­proach­a­bil­ity about me. There’s al­ways been a dis­tance be­tween ev­ery­day cloth­ing and high fash­ion and I want to bring it to­gether. Any man can wear high fash­ion and I think that’s kind of what brands see in me.

dA: you’ve been mod­el­ing for quite some time now. 13 years in to­tal, if we’re not mis­taken. where do you see your­self in, say, five years from now?

oc: That’s a good ques­tion. I’d love to go into the mag­a­zine in­dus­try, do a bit more writ­ing, do some styling, do a bit more cre­ative con­tent, pro­duce some shoots. I’ve been on shoots now for 13 years; I know them inside out, back to front. A lot of the time I’m telling the pho­tog­ra­pher and the stylist what to do. They hate that. And ob­vi­ously de­sign­ing. My pas­sion is clothes and menswear, and just teach­ing men ... no, not teach­ing them, but giv­ing ad­vice and shar­ing what I’ve learned. I’ve been lucky enough to work the most cre­ative peo­ple in the world for years—I’d like to share that with peo­ple.

dA: if some­body came up to you and asked “how do i be­come as suc­cess­ful as you?” what would you say?

oc: First things first, you need to go into the agency. Go straight to the agency and say, “Can I be a model?” They will tell you yes or no straight away. If they can make money out of you, they will take you on. It’s that sim­ple. The next step is to keep your­self look­ing good, keep your­self look­ing fit, well­dressed, but not too groomed. You need to be raw-look­ing and kind of happy-go-lucky. And you need to be able to get changed any­where. Fash­ion and male mod­el­ing is not glam­orous. A lot of the time we’re get­ting changed in carparks or in the back of cars.

dA: out­side of work, what else are you pas­sion­ate about? do you have any hob­bies?

oc: I’m re­ally into my cy­cling at the mo­ment. There’s a great thrill to it and good team ca­ma­raderie. what else have I been do­ing? I like to go to the pub with my mates and just en­joy watch­ing foot­ball. And trav­el­ing. And a lot of shop­ping.

dA: now, you’re orig­i­nally an east end boy who cur­rently spends a lot of time un­der the lime­light. do you ever feel out of place ?

oc: In the be­gin­ning I thought it was mad. I never wore de­signer clothes—I never got the op­por­tu­nity. I mean, I’m from a work­ing class back­ground. My dad’s a fire­man, my mum looked af­ter us. And then all of a sud­den get­ting deal jumpers are in front of me say­ing “wear this” and “wear that.” Some­times I look back and think, “bloody hell, this is crazy.”

dA: still, you re­ally seem like a very grounded per­son. what keeps you there?

oc: I think it’s my friends around me. They all take the mickey out of me. I go down the pub and they’re like, “what are you wear­ing that stupid shirt for?” or “why have you dyed your hair?” And I don’t mind. I think that be­ing with the type of peo­ple that can take the mickey out of me keeps me level-headed and grounded. And Pixie’s very level-headed and grounded and we can take the mickey out of each other. I think be­ing light-hearted, be­ing able to take ban­ter and have the mickey taken out of you is fine. I feel like a lot of peo­ple don’t like that.

dA: speak­ing of pixie, not too long ago you’ve fi­nally pro­posed to her. can you tell us a bit about how it went?

oc: I was get­ting a lot of peo­ple ask­ing me, we’ve been to­gether for nearly seven years. we’re still very happy, we travel the world to­gether, and I thought, this is time, I need to do it. I’ve never bought a ring be­fore, I never pro­posed to any­one be­fore, so me and my best friend went down to Hat­ton Gar­den. we did five min­utes of re­search— we didn’t know any­thing about di­a­monds or rings—but I found a ring I thought she might like and bought it. Then I asked her dad to meet me at a cof­fee shop and I asked him if I could marry his daugh­ter, and he said yes. So, I started plan­ning how to pro­pose. I wanted to do it in an­other coun­try; I was think­ing of New York or maybe Spain or Por­tu­gal, or some­where we go on hol­i­day. And then I spoke to her mum and she so wanted to be there when I do it. That’s when it came to me that I wanted to do it on the steps of St. Paul’s [Cathe­dral], be­cause I know she loves the church and, you know, we’re both Lon­don­ers and it was just spe­cial there. So, I had her fam­ily around the cor­ner, got some cham­pagne and food, and then I told her we’re go­ing for brunch. I walked up the steps and got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. She started cry­ing and there was makeup every­where, and she said yes.

dA: And, how are plans go­ing for the wed­ding?

oc: we haven’t started plan­ning just yet. I mean, we’ve been pretty busy, but we’re aim­ing for June or July next year. Haven’t told any­one that yet. [ Smiles]

Pants by Calvin Klein

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