Myles Bailey is a self-taught designer from Birmingham who combines hard work alongside working in architecture. We sat down with Myles and discovered his sci-fi inspirations and long creative process, which highlights his discipline and learning of the foundational skills necessary to execute a vision or idea. This eventually birthed Foxdale1651 in 2015, in which his distinctive designs have been worn by the likes of Big Sean.
As winter approaches, we take a look at Myles’ clothing line Foxdale 1651, founded alongside his brother. As an all round creative and a member of this year’s BLUP50 Creative Talent, we delved more into the depths of how fashion design influenced him growing up.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
How did you like first begin your journey into fashion design and how did your passion develop?
I’m self taught in fashion design so it just came out of necessity as you can’t always buy the pieces you want. When I started university, I didn’t have much time to focus on a brand. We started this brand [FOXDALE] in my second year of university. It just naturally turned into a business as people liked it and we always wanted to work for ourselves – it just felt natural to start selling pieces.
We [me and my brother] were always into fashion from young, 15, 16. It was a joint decision to just start making our own because we couldn’t buy it. From that, it just developed into learning more.
What’s your creative process like?
It varies. Sometimes I’ll get an idea in my sleep, I wake up, get to the studio and if I’ve got like a whole weekend or day, I’ll just sketch it and sample it there and then. For most pieces it always starts with a sketch. If I’m just sampling, I’ll just grab some fabric that I’ve got in the studio and just get making. There’s a lot of trial and error.
What’s like your go to song for 2022?
On your journey so far, what would you say is your proudest moment?
One of my favourite artists growing up was Big Sean and in 2018, I managed to get one of our vests to him. I’m cool with one of his boys from social media so that was like a childhood goal which was really cool.
If you could spend a day with anyone in your industry to pick their brains, who would it be and why?
Craig Green, a London designer mainly because of the way his pieces are constructed inspired a lot of my pieces – like from the construction side of it. He also does a lot of conceptual and sculptural work so I’d just like to see how his mind works and how he solves problems.
So in terms of fashion design what kind of problems do you intend to solve?
It depends on what kind of finishes I want for pieces. I don’t like having unnecessary stitch lines in terms of its construction. I like it to look like there’s nothing visible. So in order to do that, you’ve got to figure out how to construct them in a way where you get the desired outcome. So for technical pieces, it’s trying to figure out how it is all being put together.
If you could collaborate with any brand of your choice, which would it be and why?
Burberry – I like the heritage of the brand as well. Then again, it all comes down to the construction, I like the really well made pieces. I feel like I could bring something new and exciting to the company by bringing my aesthetic and different sci-fi inspired elements as well to create something interesting.
You mentioned sci-fi…how does that inspire your work? Do you watch a lot of sci-fi movies or books?
I always look at the costume design of the characters, whether it’s films or cartoons or animations. I take cues from the shapes and shoulder pads or chest plates and then that would inform the shapes that I use in my designs.
Outside of your fashion brand and even like your day job, is there anything else you enjoy doing?
I don’t really do much other than be in my studio, like, besides fabric shopping or even just window shopping, like going through town [Birmingham] or London or whatever, I tend to get inspo there.
I also like going to art galleries and exhibitions and you can get inspiration from things like prints, shapes and colour palettes. Since lockdown, I started going on nature walks with my mom as it just clears your head, and inspires me to come back and start creating.
What would you want to see more of in the fashion industry?
I feel like especially with brands that are starting out, I’d like to see more authenticity with what they’re putting out. A lot of people start off copying and imitating what they see, which is fine when you’re learning, but I just feel like people aren’t tapping into what they can really accomplish. Especially in menswear, there isn’t a lot of variety in it. I feel if people were just more organic with themselves, they would make what they really want to make, not just what people are buying.
Where do you see the future of the industry going? Is there anything you’re excited about?
One thing that I’ve seen that I think is really cool is like the crossover between fashion and the automotive industry, like Virgil [Abloh] at Mercedes, Daniel Arsham and Porsche. So I think that’s an interesting crossover because you wouldn’t expect it, but it works.
I think it really works, especially when the designers aren’t just like fashion designers – they’re multidisciplinary as well. They really bring something exciting into the field of motoring. That’s one thing I’d love to do myself as well at some point.
What’s the biggest struggle or challenge you’ve had to overcome in your journey?
Just having patience because the journey is long. I’ll have days where I want to quit like at least once a week or once every two weeks. But then you just have to take breaks when you can and then look back at what you’ve done and that then pushes you to go forward. But I know for me, I could never quit anyway as there’s so many things that I want to do.
What’s next for you this year and beyond?
I’ve got a few collaborative projects with people in the city. There’ll be more exhibitions that we’ll work on with pieces and prints. There’s an independent store that’s been around for a couple years now in Birmingham that we’ve recently been stocked in and have a small quantity of the new collection – we’re also planning to have an event for that in the new year.
We are really inspired by Myles’ journey and we can’t wait to see what lies in store for Foxdale1651. It’s definitely one to watch – given the sheer passion and drive behind the brand.
Site – www.foxdale1651.com
Follow Myles – @trenchcoatkiller