The Herald Magazine - - COVER STORY -

Here’s the thing. Christo­pher Kane is only 34 years old. He has been at the cut­ting edge for more than a decade, mak­ing his mark with neon bondage dresses and en­dorse­ments from Anna Win­tour and Donatella Ver­sace in the early days to pimp­ing crocs and cov­er­ing cash­mere with foil in his lat­est col­lec­tion, in­spired by fac­tory work­ers and lab tech­ni­cians. The boy won­der is now a fix­ture of fash­ion, helped by the in­put from lux­ury goods group Ker­ing, which bought a ma­jor­ity share in the busi­ness in 2013. Be­fore that Kane, from Ne­warthill in North La­nark­shire, was sup­ply­ing goods out of his bed­room. Now he has a London store, has teamed up with Nars on makeup and, be­fore that, with J Brand on ac­ces­sories, and has the fi­nan­cial mus­cle to back his cre­ativ­ity. That backing has freed Kane, and his right-hand woman Tammy, his sis­ter, to push the en­ve­lope of what fash­ion can be while never los­ing sight of the fact the craft mat­ters too. Back in the early years of Kane’s rise I re­mem­ber sit­ting on his bed in east London while he told me about his am­bi­tions, about who he wanted to see in his clothes and who he didn’t (he has never been one to mince his words). Draped in scarves and long hair he was an out-of-time hip­pie princeling. All th­ese years later, he has grown up but not grown out of the de­sire to go his own way. Here, he tells us about his back­ground and his am­bi­tions. Do you think your Scot­tish­ness feeds into your de­sign and if so in what way? The land­scape of my child­hood and my fam­ily has cer­tainly had an in­flu­ence. I love that I can call on cer­tain char­ac­ters from my child­hood as a source of in­spi­ra­tion but, most im­por­tantly, it is the strong work ethic which was in­stilled in me from a young age. I was raised know­ing that to suc­ceed you have to work hard. I also think Scot­tish hu­mour has got me a long way. I don’t take my­self too se­ri­ously which is help­ful when you can some­times be sur­rounded by the rich and fa­mous. I do not take any­thing for granted even after 10 years. Now that you’ve achieved so much what does the word am­bi­tion mean to you? I never wake up and think I can re­lax be­cause of what I have achieved. I know that to achieve all of my dreams I have to work hard ev­ery day. You don’t get handed things in fash­ion – you have to find your place and de­fend it ev­ery sea­son. My am­bi­tion is to see my busi­ness grow at a steady speed and open shops in ma­jor cities all over the world. In say­ing all that, as I’m a lit­tle older I re­alise the im­por­tance of fam­ily and friends. What’s the point of it all if you can’t spend time and en­joy­ing life and what you have? (TJ)


Christo­pher Kane: ‘Scot­tish hu­mour has got me a long way’

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