During his short career designer Nabil El-Nayal has made a huge impact on the fashion industry. Since graduating with a fashion degree from Manchester Metropolitan University, not only has he won best womenswear collection at Graduate Fashion Week in 2008, but he was awarded an MA scholarship to study Womenswear design at the Royal College of Art, he designed a show-stopping selection of futuristic yet gothic-glam dresses for River Island’s Christmas collection and, top to it all off, he was asked by Harrods if he fancied being stocked online as part of the luxury retailer’s Harrods Launches initiative. We caught up with Nabil to get the lowdown…
Talk me through what you’re wearing today
I’m wearing a huge digitally printed t-shirt featuring a fox with a white Alexander McQueen shirt and metallic Burberry trousers.
What do you most like wearing?
Most of the time, I love starched white shirts and black jeans. Though there are occasions where I will be caught wearing insanely bright colours all at once. It’s either one extreme or the other and nothing in between.
What are you inspired by?
I love Marchesa Casati and Marlene Dietrich but in my own fictional stories; these stories are often dark, twisted and unexpected. Away from this I am currently inspired by black holes and, just recently, by Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous!
What’s been your career highlight so far?
Meeting the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at a fashion convention at Buckingham Palace.
You must be really excited about being showcased on harrods.com’s Harrods Launches. How did that come about?
After my MA graduation show at the Royal College of Art back in June, I was approached by two buyers at Harrods who were keen to meet me and look at my collection. Harrods later contacted me asking if I would like to be stocked on their website. Would I…? It has been my lifelong dream to be associated with Harrods – Harrods is perfect for my brand.
What are the key pieces of your autumn/winter 2011 collection?
Rich jacquards in opulent greens, reds and golds. It’s a journey from Elizabeth I to the Tudors.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Winning a scholarship from the British Fashion Council and winning the womenswear award at Graduate Fashion Week back in 2008.
What are you up to at the moment?
I’m mostly in my studio designing and sampling my spring/summer 2012 collection.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Nobody should have guilty pleasures…
Which is your favourite London shopping street?
Camden Passage in Islington.
When are you happiest?
I really love working through the night; at sunrise I stop and look out over the city for about half an hour. Then, I go for a long run.
Who are your heroes in life?
My mother. She has always supported me in every way possible – we are more like best friends than mother and son.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
I have always wanted to achieve everything all at once – although I do believe in a hard work ethic, I feel it is important to pause, step back and look around you. Then when you get back into it, you’re full of new ideas and are ready for anything.
What are your greatest fears?
Coming soon… StyleJunkee.com interviews upcoming fashion designer Jung-Yoon Shin.