Thomas Penfound || Creator of T.Penfound || EXCLUSIVE Interview
We had a chat with our model and fashion designer Thomas Penfound, creater of T.PENFOUND clothing designs. Applying his background in graphic design with a considered approach to quality, detail and garment construction, he creates original and functional pieces for the discerning individual.
Where did your desire to design start?
I studied graphic design at college and went on to start a degree in Design and Art Direction at university but came to realise that although there were elements of it which I loved, it wasn’t the direction I wanted to go in. I left my course and got a job in a shop stockroom to pay the bills. Around this time I started to hang around with a bunch of people who studied fashion design. I had always admired personal style but through them and meeting my girlfriend, I was given my initial introduction to the process of designing clothes and the industry surrounding it.
My interest in the context of menswear grew and I realised that the elements I loved from graphic design and art direction could be applied to it, at the same time opening up many new areas of creativity for me. It seemed to fit. I took a course in pattern cutting for menswear and began producing designs for personal projects, learning as I went. Around this time I was scouted to model, a job which unexpectedly changed my life.
I owe a lot to modeling. Through it I have learned so much that has progressed my design work. Working closely with some of my favorite designers has given me an amazing insight into how collections are put together, seeing each stage in the process. I am extremely grateful for this.
These are some of the contributing factors that have led me to the point I’m at now, enjoying designing clothes.
How did T. Penfound come about?
I launched T.Penfound last year. After doing personal design projects over the last four or five years and with encouragement from friends in the industry, I feel I am now at a level where I’m proud to show my designs and have strong principles on which to base the label.
Does the brand reflect your own personal style?
The clothes reflect my design ideals more than personal style, in the way that pieces have to be functional and relevant to what I believe the modern man needs. I don’t think clothes alone can give a person style and I don’t want to dictate exactly how they should be worn. That is what makes style interesting. I want to make pieces of clothing that can become part of a mans wardrobe, not try and sell him a new identity.
Who/ what do you have in mind when you are designing?
In general I’m designing for the needs of the modern man. I have friends in mind a lot of the time, but inspiration comes from all sorts of places. Researching is one of the most rewarding processes of design and I’m constantly inspired by exploring architecture, furniture, pattern and other areas of design.
What has inspired this collection & why?
The Way Out/ No Exit collection of shirts is inspired by journeys on the underground. It’s an example of where you can become completely inspired by the seemingly mundane. It made a boring commute into an exciting experience, learning and seeing stuff you otherwise wouldn't bother about.
How would you describe T.Penfound in 3/5 words?
Contemporary, Functional, Luxury.
Where can we get hold of your pieces?
The first collection of limited edition shirts is available now exclusively through www.TPENFOUND.com
What would you like for the future of T.Penfound?
Collaboration, Expansion and Longevity.
Name one of you been your biggest fashion disasters growing up?
What is your most prized possession?
My Dad and Grandpa’s signet rings.
Check out the T.Penfound Website http://www.tpenfound.com/