Simon Spurr - British fashion designer and current creative director of Eidos, the younger cousin of ltalian luxury label Isaia - took part in the panel discussion “What’s in a name? Eponymous Fashion Brands” at New York’s Luxury Law Summit, co-hosted by EY and the Luxury Law Alliance in November.
After stints designing at Saint Laurent under Hedi Slimane and holding top jobs at both Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, Simon launched his eponymous brand in 2006. Lauded both critically and commercially and with a CFDA nomination under his belt, his label SPURR went from a collection of three distinct American-made selvedge jeans to an expanded range which included suiting, sportswear and accessories, crafting the label SIMON SPURR into a full lifestyle brand. Simon left the company in 2012 and went on to explore disciplines in art, furniture, architecture and footwear, before emerging as creative director at Eidos. His design ethic balances British punk, European sophistication and American tailoring, and his Spring 2019 collection was applauded by WWD as ‘managing to elevate the label with an international point of view’. Most recently, at the Luxury Law Summit, Simon shared his thoughts on current and pressing issues in the luxury fashion sector.
Luxury Law Alliance: What trends do you see in your sector that have a significance within the luxury law space generally?
Simon Spurr: I see brand identity or rather the dilution of the identity as an issue for the fashion sector. Already a grey area for many brands with regards to who owns the design IP, the ever-increasing amount of collaborations that brands are engaging in also has the possibility of diluting the brands’ original DNA that made it successful in the beginning. Whilst there may be advantageous short-term gain in the collaboration through brand exposure to new markets and consumers, overuse of this strategy could result in becoming ‘jack-of-all-trade-and-master-of-none’ for otherwise distinct labels.
LLA: What legal issues are you currently dealing with that you see as challenging?
SS: I recently started a footwear brand called MARCH NYC and we are currently in the process of registering the brand on the supplemental trade mark registry. Due to the fact that the brand name is also a month of the year (despite also being a family name), we had to add the NYC (New Youth Culture) to the branding to show clear distinction of the mark.
LLA: Are there particular opportunities within the luxury fashion sector right now?
SS: Non-traditional application of thought and processes are shaping the way we do business today, and being part of the new digital and process-driven revolution is essential to success. The direct-to-consumer model and storytelling component of brand building is still vital to any business, old or new. As the consumer is now their own brand, how they communicate with and what they want from a brand has changed drastically. Some may even say the power has transferred from the brand to the customer; we see customer design participation being at the forefront of this. Allowing the customer to have a feeling or level of co-designing the product builds loyalty and creates individual, unique product.
LLA: How did you end up in your role?
SS: Hard work, high blood pressure and 2 divorces (1 marital and 1 corporate). Seriously though, I think my path has been determined by many contributing factors - consciously working with brands that share elements of my personal aesthetic, self-motivation, continuous creative flow, help from others, respect for others, passion for my craft and - I’d like to think - at least some inherent talent.
LLA: How would you define ‘luxury’?
SS: Luxury to me is freedom. Freedom to be creative, freedom to express yourself, and to be able to live life the way you want.