My London: Bill Amberg – Luxury-leather-goods designer

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Raised in the home of British shoemaking Northampton, Bill Amberg was surrounded by leather craftsmanship and the ‘Made in England’ philosophy from a young age. A trip to Australia and a leather design course ignited his passion for the material and led him to open a studio in London in 1986, relocating to Rivington Street in the East End a year later before moving to Shepherd Market in Mayfair. He has since collaborated with Paul Smith and Donna Karan and had his Rocket bag exhibited as a design classic at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Popular from Japan to America, his designs are stocked at MR PORTER. We caught up with him for the latest in our Q&A series.

 

1. When did fashion/a sense of personal style first become important to you?

It is something that has never been that important to me, but I guess punk music era during the ‘70s is when I first took notice.

2. Who is your style icon (living or dead)?

Henry Fonda.

3. How would you describe London style?

Mashed up.

4. If you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be (and why)?

It would be Brazil for me. I like the music and there is a real culture there.

5. Limited to just a suitcase, which items from your wardrobe would you have to take with you?

I would fill the suitcase with shorts.

6. What are your most used grooming/beauty products?

Trumpers shaving soap is the key product for me.

7. When and where did you look your best?

Tomorrow I hope…

8. Which is your favourite season of the year (and why)?

Autumn – I love the September/October sun.

9. Who in your own family most influenced your sense of style?

My Mum and Dad.

10. If life was a movie, which film would you most like to live in?

Roman Holiday.

11. Which grooming or fashion mistakes most irk you in others?

I am really not drawn on others. I love the way everyone just expresses themselves.

12. Cat or dog?

I have both so I am going to have to say both.

13. What lesson would you pass on to younger people following in your shoes?

Be happy in what you do.

14. What motivates you in your career?

To make sure that I enjoy what I do every day!

15. If you could trade looks with anyone who would that person be?

My brother – he’s dark skinned, good looking and nobody knows him.

16. What category of clothing are you most drawn to/are most likely to overspend on?

Tailoring. The feeling of a custom-made piece is like no other.

17. Which is your most treasured sense?

My wife.

18. Name three elements of a perfect holiday

Sea, sand, family.

19. If you could change a single aspect of your appearance what would it be?

No nasal hairs!

20. Your ideal lunch venue and guest

In the yard of my house in Somerset with my family and friends.

Bill Amberg, 9 Shepherd Market, London, W1J 7PF – Tel: 020 7499 0962