Martine Rose: the menswear designer from Tottenham making waves

Menswear designer Martine Rose is influenced by Tottenham and was based here for ten years. She has had fashion shows at Seven Sisters Market and Stronghold Climbing Centre.

Martine Rose

When did you first realise you were interested in fashion?

I’ve always been really into clothes I would say more than fashion – what people wear, why they wear it, where they wear it – it’s fascinating. I loved watching my cousins and siblings get ready to go out when I was small. I’m also from a Jamaican family and I feel like style, not fashion, has always been an inherent part of Jamaican culture.

What’s your relationship to Tottenham?

Tottenham nurtured me and my label – it gave me an affordable way to grow and manage my little label out of the glare and expense of the East End. It inspired me daily and contributed greatly to my designs.

Martine Rose_SS18_001s
Fashion show at Stronghold Climbing Centre

You have had shows in both Seven Sisters Market and Stronghold Climbing Centre – what was the idea behind this?

It’s about celebrating communities in parts of London that traditionally do not usually host the fashion crowd. Small business people working hard in their corner should be celebrated and both these places welcomed me and my ideas and I’ll always be grateful.

Is it important to you to use local venues?

When it’s right, yes – it has to be connected and feel real and honest, not exploitative.

You also produced a fashion zine about Seven Sisters – what was the motivation behind the project?

It was an extension of the show.

LOOK 10s
Fashion show in Seven Sisters Market

Where is your line manufactured?

The UK, Italy, Portugal and Turkey.

What’s been your biggest success so far?

That’s a tough one, but ultimately it’s been holding on to my vision and making it work.

What are your biggest influences?

People, music, subculture.

This article first appeared in the Fashion & Beauty issue of Discovering Tottenham which was released in September 2018.

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