Meet the Makers “PART 1” – KEVIN SOAR
Can you tell us a bit more about your life as a writer?
Like most writers past, present and future, it’s less of a life and more of a struggle. You have to accept that there is a 95% possibility you might never make sustainable income from it, so writing, for me, therefore comes in pockets of moments around working a 9-5.
Many things can inspire my writing including family history, suburbia, the everyday person, film noir, politics, and the thought of a dystopian future.
Menswear style and vintage aesthetic is important to your work. What does work wear denim mean to you and have any of your characters sported the worn denim look?
I wouldn’t say a vintage aesthetic is vital to my work; it’s just useful in my writing that I have an interest in the history of menswear, just another tool in the box so to speak. Work wear is an interesting concept to me because the ‘look’ pretty much centres around clothing that miners and dock workers wore from the 1800′s well into the 1960′s and in particular, denim. Saying that, I am more interested in the clothing worn on people at work, and made to work in, rather than clothes made to look like you have already worked in them. I work in a clothing warehouse and I love and appreciate a British crafted work jacket or raw denim jeans. The cost of some such items can sometimes be unreachable for some people, but there are some good brands coming through at the moment, like Lee Cooper for instance, who are continuing to make work wear affordable and that can only be a good thing.
None of my characters have had a work wear look as of yet, but I am in the early stages of writing a novel about a Great Britain set in the not so distant future. The idea being that the country is split into several states whereby you cannot import or export, people, food or any raw materials. These must be created and made in the state. This of course leads to civil wars, and the rise of a criminal underworld, vigilantes and a lot of bootlegging. Due to the states being separated in such a way, certain state’s ‘gangs’ would therefore adopt a specific look that is determined by what materials and factories exist in their state. To cut a long story short, I am dabbling with introducing a little socialist gang, who adopt the look of Dockers thus a bit of work wear would definitely be in their uniform.
Could you describe your personal style?
If someone were to put a label on it I guess they may say Football Casual meets JFK on his holidays.
Has moving from Essex to East London influenced the way you dress and or even changed your creative process?
I am very proud about my county and also always impressed how Essex boys put a lot of effort into looking sharp. I am not talking about TOWIE by the way, that’s just people from Brentwood. I guess the Essex boy in me means I am a sucker for an expensive label especially the Ralph Lauren’s, Lacoste’s and Burberry’s of this world; and I have always wanted a pair of Gucci Loafers. I like how the guys in Essex have claimed luxury brands meant for rich Ivy League students in America and made them their own.
When I first moved to London at 18 it definitely changed the way I dressed. The idea of individualism kicks in. But as I got older I came to realise that in most cases, trying hard to be individual in your style leaves you being more conformist than those that don’t think about it and are just comfortable in themselves. Capitalism, after all, is all about making people buy into the idea being individual. I like the aesthetic of groups of people dressing similar, can’t beat it.
Who is your favourite author and favourite book?
It’s a tough one, I want to say George Orwell as I love every book in his back-catalogue particularly Down and Out in Paris and London but I’m tempted to hand it to William Burroughs.
Stay tuned for more interviews with the Lee Cooper makers soon.