Designer, Jerome Taylor from Not For You. Image supplied.
Jerome Taylor made his New Zealand Fashion Week debut last year with his streetwear brand Not For You, his brand’s appearance in this year’s New Generation show caught our attention not just for its slick clothing but also for the important political messaging on homelessness. It was clear from the get-go that this thoughtful designer had a lot to say, the goods to back it up and quite rightly got a lot of attention in a time when fashion is being used more than ever to get important messages across.
We caught up with Jerome to find out more about his brand, what inspires him and what you would never catch him wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
My latest collection was based on the homeless in NZ and the increase over the past few years. It was to raise awareness within NZ and to also share the knowledge. My perception of homelessness was exactly that, just a perception. I wanted to get an actual understanding of how and why people become homeless. I used to walk by and assume that it was a choice or that it was something that could be helped however I was far from the truth. After all of my research I have a whole newfound knowledge of why people can become homeless, it isn’t just something that you wake up to in the morning however a viscous trap that can catch people. Homelessness can stem from a loss of job, unpaid fines or just lack of how to manage money. I wanted to share this with NZ through my garments in the finer details such as screen printing, layering and the overall aesthetic.
What made you become a designer?
Fashion was never my “passion” however I had a love of art from a really young age which then evolved to fashion which is another form of art in my eyes.
Not For You’s collection on the runway at New Zealand Fashion Week 2017.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by art, life around me and most importantly my thoughts and feelings that will always showcase in my garments and collections.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
My personal style is somewhat monochromatic, I love a crisp black tee with black ripped jeans. I also love statement pieces such as my painted bomber jacket or my long denim jacket. My style is forever evolving so you never know you might catch me in a fluorescent jacket one day!
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
My sewing machines, little did I know at the time this would be my lifetime’s work.
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
Black jeans. I know it may seem so basic however a crisp black pair of jeans is the perfect answer to any outfit. They go with everything and are just such a versatile item.
Looks from Not For You’s collection on the runway at New Zealand Fashion Week 2017.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
I try not to restrict myself, however loose fitting and oversized tees are a must. You are highly unlikely to catch me in a short, fitted tee.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
2017 Fashion Week, I was really happy with my collection and I have had such a good response which has led to amazing opportunities.
What can’t you live without?
My daughter – Harper.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
A form fitting tee.
Runway images by James Yang Photography.