How do you describe Nigel Cabourn? Outerwear legend? Genius? Overlord? With a career spanning decades, he's enjoying a renaissance in the menswear world due to his ongoing and obsessive attention to detail. We decided to ask the man himself for his favourite pieces from his upcoming autumn collection.
1) Tenzing Harris Tweed Jacket (above)
"This jacket is my favourite tweed jacket, and is actually inspired by Tenzing Norgay. He accompanied Sir Edmund Hilary in reaching the top of Everest in 1953. On a lot of occasions he would actually wear a Harris Tweed jacket while he was on Everest. Also accompanying the crew were Sherpas who wore jackets similar to my Tenzing jacket. I also like it because it's a practical, hard-wearing jacket. It's real, that’s what I like about it."
2) Everest Parka
"This piece symbolizes Sr. Edmund Hillary. As well as Everest, he was also the first man to travel across Antarctica in a Ferguson tractor in 1958. My Everest Parka is actually inspired by these two events. The Parka is a serious parka, it was actually worn by Ben Fogle during an expedition he did for the BBC."
3) Bombay Bloomers
"My dad (second one on the right in the picture above) wore Bombay Bloomers in Burma during WW2 and I just love them. I do this piece again and again. It’s a true British Army Short. They are big and baggy, and were ideal for soldiers stationed in the desert. I have a great picture of my dad in a pair of Bloomers and it offers me a great deal of inspiration."
4) Cameraman Jacket
"The reason I love this piece so much is because it comes from real vintage pieces. I have a vintage collection of over 4000 pieces, because I love real things. This jacket is a combination of 2 vintage pieces I have. The top is from a British army naval jacket, which is waterproof and has big metal clips, which were designed to open with ease if you had gloves on your hands. The bottom comes from an old British Hunting/Fishing jacket with big functioning pockets. I actually photographed the two, cut them in half and stuck them together. That’s how I got the Cameraman Jacket."
5) Budgie Jacket
"The last item is the first jacket I ever designed, which I did at fashion college in 1970. It’s a Budgie Jacket and came from Adam Faith, who was a pop star and wore a jacket like this. His jacket inspired me to design my Budgie Jacket. I've been designing for over 40 years but the first 10 years of my career I was very much inspired by pop music of the late 60s."
Interview by Jason Dike