Wales was quite a difficult place to grow up. Being interested in fashion back then, say 10-15 years ago, it wasn’t a thing, you just wore clothes. It was almost a bit embarrassing to be interested in the way you looked, especially as a boy or that’s how I felt. The other kids were just running around the countryside, which is something I also did and loved, building treehouses, making go-karts because there was that element of creativity and imagination involved. But there was this other side of me, where I was just really interested in clothing – obsessed really.
I remember the non-school uniform day or the local disco was the best day ever, it was that one day where you could really express yourself, and I would save my pocket money to buy these outlandish items just for that day, that was the highlight of the year for me. I guess age 13 you start going to town with your friends on a weekend, hanging out with other kids, and you’ve maybe saved up Christmas money and you have that spending power to buy clothing, I mean there wasn’t that much on offer so you had to be creative. It was a thrill to buy something a bit out there, and get a look or a comment from a passer-by, it gave me a weird sick thrill, but it also made me feel ashamed it was very confusing.
I denied my heritage for a long time as I think the shame of my interest and passion made me feel weird or uncomfortable. I wanted to escape but as the years have gone by, I now really look back to my roots and embrace the aesthetic or non-aesthetic of the people I saw growing up, so it’s really fed into my work and I now even make use of the Welsh flag.