Raf did. Valentino did it. Now Idris is doing it.
Having snagged a pair of Screen Actors Guild Awards earlier this year for his roles in “Beasts of No Nation” and “Luther” as well as a Golden Globe four years ago, British actor Idris Elba is chronicling his latest role — as fashion designer.
The 43-year-old is filming his first foray into the fashion industry in a documentary titled “Cut From a Different Cloth.” Similarly to how cameras followed Raf Simons at Dior, Valentino Garavani at his own house and other fashion insiders who lifted the veil on how clothes are made, a camera crew trails Elba, along with Superdry founders Julian Dunkerton and James Holder, as they create the first collaboration in Superdry’s 13-year history. Produced by Woodcut Media and Elba’s own Green Door Pictures, both based in the U.K., the one-hour documentary was unveiled this week at MipTV in Cannes, France.
Elba and Superdry premiered their 250-piece collection for fall 2015 last June at London Collections: Men, where the actor said he chose to work with the brand because he had developed an “honest” relationship with the founders. “They don’t usually do celebrity endorsements, I don’t usually do fashion endorsements,” Elba told WWD at the time. “And I didn’t want to. If I had the opportunity to have any influence in fashion, this is it.”
Priced at a slight premium compared to the main line, the tie-up with Elba is part of Cheltenham, England-based Superdry’s strategy to create a global lifestyle brand with a foothold in new markets such as the U.S. and China. In its latest fiscal year, Superdry’s parent company, Supergroup plc, reported revenue of 486.6 million pounds, $688.6 million at current exchange, and a retail network of 231 stores in 69 countries.
Aside from his acting skills, Elba has been recognized for his style. He was voted one of GQ’s best-dressed British men last year, and his turns on the red carpet often include luxury labels like Dior Homme, Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani and Christian Louboutin. He’s just as recognized for his smooth baritone, which will reverberate in movie theaters on April 15 when he voices the sinister Shere Khan in Disney’s “The Jungle Book.”
“The film presents a side of Idris never seen on television before, that of designer and entrepreneur,” said Green Door’s Nicholas Yearwood, who serves as executive producer with Woodcut’s Derren Lawford.