Interview with Hale-based menswear designer Richard Smith

PUBLISHED: 06:58 16 April 2020

Richard Smith inside his Hale store Photo: Contrast Creative

Richard Smith inside his Hale store Photo: Contrast Creative

CONTRAST CREATIVE LTD

Richard Smith is a menswear designer and garment maker based in Hale. Here he tells us about his inspirations and day to day life

Richard's store in HaleRichard's store in Hale

What I do...

I inspire and assist gents of all ages and sizes to look the best they can. I started the business in 2010 in the centre of Manchester and in 2019 decided to relocate to larger premises in Hale to launch my first ready-to-wear collection and haven’t looked back.

My customers are...

I am very fortunate to have a wide range of clientele. On one side I have traditional business and wedding clients who consistently desire classic pieces. On the other hand, I have customers who are completely bonkers (in a good way!) who love to push my creativity and create pieces from truly unique materials and patterns. I love them all. I have also had many celebrities walk through the doors too - but that would be telling! The part I enjoy most is the relationships we form with our customers. People who know the business are fully aware that we like to have a natter and put the world to rights, so it’s always worth putting that extra hour on the parking!

How I got to where I am today...

Pure passion and dedication. Having started the business during the financial crash, I learnt from day one that this was not going to be easy. I believe any successful business needs to have pure passion and belief behind what they do. From day one I have treated anyone who walks through my door as if they have stepped into my home. The first few years were challenging, but to think I am now in my 10th year is unbelievable. Time flies when you’re having fun!

What inspires me...

It has to be music and culture - where have the 60s gone?! To watch Strawberry Fields by The Beatles just blows my creative little mind. I wish people would have more confidence in expressing themselves more and wear something from time to time that just makes you feel unique and individual. Bring back the high street of independent tailoring and invest in British textiles, which are simply stunning.

My top tip for those just starting out...

Ask yourself “would I be a regular customer?” Having that raw passion and belief in your business/product will get you through those quiet times. And cherish every customer you have; their feedback is priceless in your development. I have clients from the first few months of the business who are now telling me if they don’t like my sock colour or to get my hair cut!

205 Ashley Road, Hale, richardsmithbespoke.co.uk

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