When Browns boutique bought up the entire graduate collection of fashion designer Hussein Chalayan in 1993 and put it in its window, limitless possibilities opened up before him. Chalayan, however, didn’t leap to take advantage of the remarkable situation. “I wasn’t really planning to do anything,” he recalled in an interview many years later. It was Joel Bernstein, main buyer at the boutique at the time, that made the designer see sense.“I remember him saying to me ‘if you don’t do something now, with this interest, nothing will happen’. So I said ‘OK, I’ll take this opportunity to turn this into a business’.”
And what a business it became, turning Cypriot-born Chalayan into one of the UK’s most sought-after and respected designers, but also enabling him to launch a parallel career as an artist, with work exhibited in museums and galleries all over the world. This autumn the innovator is adding yet another string to his bow with Gravity Fatigue, a new piece of contemporary dance theatre presented at Sadler’s Wells.