1. Please describe yourself and your brand and its evolution in the past seasons.
All my collections are deeply personal–with each one I attempt to explore an aspect of my life and interests. My last collection is a reflection from when I lived in southern California in my late teen/early 20’s. The previous collection had lots of floral embroidery and silk and was sort of a love letter to my boyfriend who I had just met. I’m also self-taught so with each collection I want to learn and employ new techniques, and I layer these techniques to produce more complex and interesting designs.
2. Best and toughest part of designing a menswear collection.
The best part is showing the collection at the end and having people find meaning in it. Sometimes it connects with people in unforeseen ways, reminds them of something, or makes them feel things I didn’t intend, but that’s what is so interesting about creating something unique. And the toughest part is making buttonholes–I think any designer will tell you buttonholes are a nightmare.
3. What sources of inspiration are your biggest influence?
A big source of inspiration for me is folk art–not just aesthetically, but also technically.
I’m drawn to craft and the way I begin a collection is by collecting ideas for techniques I want to employ–like 3D applique, embroidery, etc.–and after that I choose the fabrics, so the process and materials strongly influence the design. Besides that, my designs are informed by a wide range of subjects: costume history, interior design, art history, film, and nature (particularly the pastoral landscape I grew up around outside of Washington DC.)
4. What was your favorite collection so far?
My last collection was my favorite. The collection consists of eight shirts with each shirt cut from the same pattern. This allowed me to really focus more on the details rather than the shape and fit. Each shirt had a different yoke, fabric, and ornamental design, so there was plenty of room to experiment and play around, and therefore my own style came out strongly.
5. How much of your success do you credit to the education you had?
I don’t have formal training in fashion design, I mostly taught myself from books and online videos. In that regard, I credit a lot of my success to those sources. I also have a bachelor’s degree which I completed in Los Angeles in media and cultural studies. That has helped me equally by giving me a critical lense through which I view culture and the world more broadly.
6. What genre of music best describes your collection?
I love Sade. I don’t know what genre you call that… soul? Smooth jazz? But whatever it is, that’s what I listen to a lot when I’m working. There’s something genuine and timeless about Sade and her music, and maybe that’s what I’m going after.
7. How do you choose your models for your shows and campaigns?
For choosing the model for the last shoot, I had seen Oscar Grunert on instagram because he’s the brother of someone I know, and I just messaged him and I was very happy when he said yes. For the photoshoot before, I used my good friend Thierri and my boyfriend Fritz.
8. Do you have any favorite male models?
Well since Thierri (Nest), Fritz (TIAD) and Oscar (Viva)–the three models I’ve used for my last collections–all did an amazing job and helped me to create beautiful images with my designs, they are my favorite models. But as someone who shamelessly follows male models instagram, I really like Liam Kelly, he’s special.
9. Where do you plan to take your brand next?
Well I started doing these smaller editions, which are basically mini collections that are about one specific idea and are released every few months. Before I was doing two collections a year, one for fall/winter and one for spring/summer. It wasn’t good working in such big time frames, because I would try to say too much with these larger collections, and the message would get muddied. Plus, when I only release a collection once every six months, people don’t hear anything in that time and they start wondering, “Is Teddy still doing fashion?” Yes, I will always be doing fashion.
10. Beside fashion – do you have any special talents?
I love cooking, and my boyfriend tells me I’m good at it, although he has to say that or he won’t get fed, haha.