Gary Harvey at 125 Magazine

Gary Harvey was Creative Director for Levi’s until 2005. He has also worked with major industry names and brands such as Terry Richardson, Stephen Klein, ID, 10 Magazine, Comme des Garcons and Vivienne Westwood.
Here is his chat with Models1’s Joe Tootal about designing, styling,and being Fashion Editor of 125 Magazine.

Joe: How was it being one of the creative heads of the worlds largest denim labels?
Gary: It was an amazing time, hard work but great fun!, when I arrived at the brand, nearly all their business was tied up in one Jean, so we designed a new collection and re-launched the brand using Levi’s Vintage styles and concept styles from Levi’s RED and took this new collections to a new younger audience.
For 10 years I got to work with some of the worlds best photographers and advertising directors, Rankin, Stephen Klein, Terry Richardson, Glen Lutchford to name a few, I was casting and styling all the advertising and TV campaigns with more edgy and multi-cultural models and we all had such a laugh working there and learnt so much.

J: Now you are free and freelance can you express yourself a little more?
G: What’s great about being freelance is you can take on so many different projects, that address all your talents, experience, hopes and dreams.
I can do pioneering creative projects like my Eco-Couture collection and Fashion Director at 125 Magazine, I work with the charity Mencap and assess at various Design colleges in the UK. I also work on lots of very commercial projects relaunching and consulting for brands, art directing and casting campaigns. But I still have time to train for triathlons and walk the dog, but the best thing is you don’t have to work with people you don’t like.

Models1’s Betty for 125 Magazine
J: Is there pressure being fashion director of one of the hippest magazines in Town?
G: The only pressure comes when editing out anything/anyone that doesn’t make the grade, there’s five of us that go through everything with a fine tooth comb.
Everywhere we look we are being lured into saving the planet, going green and recycling. Do you think one day we’ll all be wearing re-cycled clothes? Is this the way forward?
It’s one of the ways forward, as resources get scarcer we’ll have to find of new and creative ways of dressing.
It’s great to see the amount of vintage clothing being worn/recycled by people who would have previously only bought new labels from the right stores it’s a small step in the right direction and looks more interesting and creative.

J: Who or what inspires your work?
G: Many people, usually people who don’t follow the expected path and find their own creative solutions, Leigh Bowery, Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons), John Waters, Ghandi, John Galliano and Vivienne Westood.
I love watching children solve problems that haven’t yet been taught the ‘right’ way.

J: Is living in our amazing city an influence? if so tell more!
G: I’m a born and bred Londoner, so London and maybe New York are the only cities that have enough energy, danger, sub-culture and all round wierdness that gets me inspired, i love visiting new countries and taking breaks in the countryside but I always end up yearning for the energy of London.
J: Any ideas on a next collection?
G: A continued evolution of Eco-Couture and the recycled icons.
I hear that as a young fashion design student you were brave enough to walk round your south London neighbourhood in not very much! Can you share?
As a student I lived on an estate in Thamesmead in South East London and was working at Blitz magazine, we were all into the ‘Buffalo’ look in those days which was fine hanging out at clubs in the West End, but cycling up the Old Kent road in a kilt or walking through Woolwich to get the bus in DM’s and white cycle shorts was not a look that was appreciated by most, I thought I looked cool and they were all just jealous, ha ha!

Gary’s favourite “images/things”