Christmas Catch-Up With Jaeger’s Stuart Stockdale…

Earlier this week, we were fortunate enough to get a slot in Stuart Stockdale’s increasingly busy schedule. Fresh from a whistle-stop tour – presiding over Jaeger’s press-days and presentations in New York – he was kind enough to let us have an hour of his time, giving us behind-the-scenes access to his chaotic working life. And in the spirit of giving, to mark the festive season, we thought we’d share some of Mr Stockdale’s thoughts with you all. Enjoy…

1. How have you settled into your working life at Jaeger since leaving Pringle?

I have been at Jaeger for over two and a half years, so I now feel very settled. Jaeger’s has an abundant, rich heritage dating back to 1884 that has great charm and originality and never ceases to amaze me. I discover something new everyday which continues to be hugely inspiring.

2. How did you decide that leaving Pringle was the right decision for you?

Being the Design Director of Pringle for five years in the crucial stages of it’s reinvention and repositioning was invaluable experience. Then a new, exciting opportunity arose and I felt it was the right time to carry on my learning and development.

3. Did you choose Jaeger or would you say Jaeger found you?

I had been watching Jaeger for a while and was inspired by how the brand was revitalising. I was approached by an executive search agency and had already speculatively contacted Belinda Earl, Jaeger’s Group Chief Executive. It was very good timing!

4. Where do you get your best ideas or your best work done?

It depends – it can be anywhere or anything – in the studio, an exhibition, the theatre, in the park, socialising in the evening – usually in a situation where my mind is the most open and free.

5. What do you think you add to the Jaeger brand?

My wealth of experience of working with heritage British brands and my International experience having worked in the major fashion capitals. I also have an equal amount of experience across men’s and women’s collections.

6. You have worked in all the major fashion capitals in the world, where do you feel most at home – where do you feel most inspired?

I definitely feel most at home in London, and most inspired in a hammock in my garden with a glass of vino.

7. Where is ‘work’?

Work is in Soho, London, W1

8. What inspired the Spring 2011 collection?

The collection was inspired by Andy Warhol and pop art of that era. We particularly liked the floral motif Warhol reworked over the years, and translated that as a print on the garments.

9. Where do you see the Jaeger brand going in the next fiver – ten years?

Continued international growth, online growth and product development – reinforcing Jaeger’s status a world-class luxury brand.

10. How accurately do your initial concepts, reflect the final garments as they appear on the Jaeger shop rails?

Mostly the shop rail reflects the initial concept perfectly except in certain circumstances when we feel that making minor changes will enhance the garments commercial appeal and desirability for our customer.

11. Who are your favourite designers?

That’s difficult to answer, as I love loads of different designers. But if I had to choose I would say Lanvin for creativity for both the male and female collections, and for their customer focus; old school YSL; and Prada, as a company and for their design especially the success it has achieved since the relaunch. I also like young British designers such as Erdem. We have a lot of great talent in the UK and great fashion colleges, too.

12. What did you get for Christmas?

Hmm… well my parents really struggled with what to get me so they gave me some money when I went to New York earlier this month and so I bought myself a great Prada key ring which doubles up as a USB which is both stylish and handy.

13. What’s in your sketchbook?

My sketchbook is a mixture of initial scribbles to finished looking sketches, some ‘to do’ notes, images from books I am inspired by, some colour combination swatches, and a few Polaroids from our advertising campaign shoot.

WORDS: Keji Mustapha

IMAGES: Adrian Eric Morales: