TWC Worn Your Way Part Ten: Harris Elliott

First of all can you introduce yourself to our audience and explain a little about your background/ career to date?

I am a multi-disciplinary artist with a foundational study base of interior architecture and design followed by an expansive career in art direction, curation and style. I am one of the rare born and bred Londoners, my studio is my namesake. Jamaica and Japan are my spiritual homes, I have curated exhibitions worldwide and have worked with Usain Bolt, Gorillaz and Erykah Badu to name a few.

What is your connection to TWC & how did you cross paths with the brand?

A shared love for vinyl, utility and military referencing.

What drew you to select the pieces that you chose to wear from TWC’s collection?

I was thinking about 'Yardies' in the early 90s with their matching denim 'click suits', I was always inspired by their matchy matchy style of double denim, which was always a no-no in fashion - but of course fashion doesn't denote style.


 Harris wears our Japanese denim jacket in natural rinse paired with our slim-fit Japanese selvedge denim jeans in natural raw.

Do you have an ultimate/favourite item of clothing that you own?

My favoured items change based on how I'm feeling and I go through phases of favouring certain pieces but the ultimate is my Christopher Nemeth brown tweed jacket with exposed satin lining bought at the Nemeth shop in Tokyo.

What would be your pick for one desert island album?

Errrrrrr too many to chose from but Innervisions by Stevie Wonder.

How do you define your style?

Jamaican attitude with Japanese sensibilities, both of those cultures are having a soundclash in my mind when I construct my daily silhouette.

How have both of your style exhibitions 'Return of the Rudeboy' and 'Punk In Translation' impacted your career?

Both of these projects have helped establish my working practice as a curator and cultural commentator with a strong visual and referenced perspective. Having published a hardback book for Return of the Rudeboy with my co-creator Dean Chalkley it set a bassline of intention for how I develop future projects and has gained industry wide recognition as both projects are referenced for their visual strength and cultural sensitivity.


How has your interior design background influenced your career?

My design training is what first gave me a taste for Japan, I fell in love with the work of architects Kenzo Tang, Tadao Ando and British architect Nigel Coates who was designing interiors in Tokyo. A foundation of spatial design means that I often first consider peoples relationship to form and structure other before I think about the body architecture of cloth.

You have a long-standing relationship with Japan, its music, architecture and design - what draws you to it and how does it influence your visual storytelling and creative direction?

I often feel more understood and embraced in Japan. Japanese sensibilities are effortlessly elegant yet challenge my western perceptions of how things should be. I love the constant opportunities I get to visit and rethink my design rationale for a culture that has different reflections to my own. The explicit attention to detail and freedom to express oneself without critique allows me to design without constraint.

What are you currently working on that you are enjoying?

I recently launched an art conversation platform. Amidst a concern for losing fragments of cultural history through fast fashion, Le Tings celebrates how we can reinterpret references by reconstructing African diaspora narratives.

 Check out Le Tings : A conversation of art, identity, fashion and sustainability.

What has shaped your visual identity the most?

Learning to trust my instincts, Anglo-Jamaican cultural nurturing and a willingness to embrace different artforms with great collaborators that inspire and encourage me to be me. A love of music which means theres always a soundtrack in my ether, subtly providing frequencies to create to.

London has always had so much connectivity to music culture- how do you feel that still continues to fuel new creative style developments and fashion evolution?

Londons' blessing is the influx of international settlers that congregate and assimilate with an ease unlike anywhere else on the planet. This fusion of cultures, class and race has meant that our influences in the metropolis are broader than most places and that has an infectious impact on us. There are some exclusion zones but the international references of sound, sight, smell, touch and humanity are indelible and permeate everything around us which is why its an amazing city to create in.

How have people such as Ray Petri and Judy Blames work impacted your creative direction?

Both Ray and Judy resisted creative definition in their output other than that which they created for themselves under the banner of Buffalo. An unashamed celebratory cultural referencing with socio political stance in silhouette and intent. They both celebrated Jamaican attitude and it's discordant reference codes- Buffalo culture is a spirit which I draw upon creatively and have developed my own visual codes from that spirit.

Who/which mentors have influenced your career the most?

There's actually quite a few and all different but in equal measure, three artists that unofficially took me under their wing and who all create like contemporary masters [art] Barry Kamen (RIP), Hassan Hajjaj and Zak Ove. The incredible reverberations of the resolute creative mind of David Bradshaw, the genius of designer Takeo Kikuchi, the pursuit of constant creation of Zowie Broach (Boudicca/ RCA) and the foundations provided by all members of London's first black owned media company The Watchmen Agency.

Which is the first trip you'll take after we come out of this pandemic?

Well for work hopefully it will be on a familiar long haul flight to Haneda Airport, Tokyo, or my favourite chill spot in Europe, Sardinia.

Shot by Alex Natt

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