After making his name at Diane von Furstenberg, designer Nathan Jenden has more modest plans for his fledgling own label.
Have you been in a fight?” our fearless photographer inquires of designer Nathan Jenden, who is sporting a red crease mark just below his eye. The creative director of Diane von Furstenberg laughs. “This? This is just tiredness mate,” he replies.
Jenden bears the scars of exhaustion well, but his schedule is more than hectic – it is just over a week since he showed DVF’s spring 08 collection to an expectant bunch of press and buyers at a runway show in New York. Now he is back in his home town of London, just 48 hours away from showing his own label for the second time at London Fashion Week.
Settling into a leather chair in the café bar at London’s Intercontinental Hotel, surrounded by breathtaking views of the city, he outlines his schedule. “The day after my show I’m booked on the 5.30am Eurostar to Paris to visit Première Vision, where I have a day and a half to source fabrics for DVF and also for my own label for next season. I spend a hell of a lot of time overseas. It’s lucky I travelled a lot as a kid, which means I’m used to being all over the place,” he says, ruefully rubbing his eyes with his fists.
Jenden is aware that launching his own label two years ago has made life a lot more complicated.
“When I finally told Diane [von Furstenberg] that I wanted to do it, she was wary,” he admits. “But this is something I have always wanted, from when I was at college. I realised that I wasn’t getting any younger.”
He is 35 now. “I’ve actually lived a lot of my life while I have been at DVF. I’ve got married and had two children, and there came a time when I felt that if I was ever going to do an own label, I had to do it sooner rather than later. Diane was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. She needed time to think after I approached her with it, then she came back to me and said ‘OK, you can do both’.”