Best known for his tailoring and dramatic, curving silhouettes, Thomas Tait said his fall collection was something of a watershed. “I’ve reached a point where what I am doing creatively is talking back to me,” said the London-based Canadian designer. “The brand itself is getting its own voice and growing and surpassing me as a person.” Indeed, anyone who’s been following Tait’s trajectory could see that his latest lineup, with its exaggerated angular silhouettes and Bauhaus and Constructivist touches, was his boldest outing yet. “I really let loose,” the designer said.
This story first appeared in the March 26, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Tait, who at 24 was the youngest student to complete the Central Saint Martins women’s wear master’s degree program, is evolving in myriad ways. He won the inaugural Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize a few months after showing his first collection at London Fashion Week in 2010, and is now quickly building an international business. Wholesale clients include Louis Boston, Jeffrey, Blake in Chicago, Corso Como in Milan and Seoul independents Boon and Space Mue.
With that success brings the typical young designer’s dilemma. “The reality is that you need to make your brand a commercial success and you need working capital to meet your orders. That is the main struggle for me,” said Tait. “If you don’t have that money, then you don’t want to take on an order and potentially ruin a relationship because you cannot fulfill it.” He said winning the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize would ease the pain: “Often you don’t know where to turn or who to ask for help. The bigwigs at LVMH have seen fashion from every angle.”