Much can be said about a designer who, at the ripe age of 22, has already been deemed one to watch by Donatella Versace, herself. This past year, William Tempest was handpicked by the icon as a finalist in the “Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden” competition that is held annually in London. Each year, an Advisory Panel including such influential figures as Anna Wintour and John Galliano seeks to discover and nurture promising British designers. And although he did not secure the top spot that time around, making it into the final four definitely spoke volumes about William’s talent and potential.
Just like many other budding designers from the UK, William Tempest pursued his degree at the London College of Fashion. While in school he worked at Giles Deacon, where he was able to exhibit his fine patternmaking skills. During that same time, he also freelanced for Diesel, working on such major projects as the re-launch of the company’s flagship store in London; Tempest designed the new window displays, installations, and denim treatments. William even got the chance to work with another icon, Madonna, during her worldwide Hard Candy tour. Several of the pop star’s flashy frocks and accessories were none other than William Tempest originals!
In 2007, after graduating with distinction and completing a four-season stint at Giles Deacon, Tempest went on to design the ready-to-wear women’s collection at Jean Charles de Castelbajac in Paris. That move would be short-lived, however, as London soon called him back to pursue a line of his own. And what a great thing he did! The debut William Tempest collection for A/W ’08 set the precedence for his strong design aesthetic: a cohesive blend of fine tailoring, bold geometric shapes, and quirky feminine details. In fact, his focus on shape was made even more apparent when the designer revealed that if it weren’t for fashion, he’d be an architect: “…[it] is all about cut and construction and high quality. [The collection] is for the woman that appreciates luxury but at the same time wants to be innovative.”
William Tempest is now working on the fall collection, which he’d been planning to promote independently just as he did with the first two. But this time around, he’ll have a little bit of extra help. A couple weeks ago, William was announced winner of the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Merit Award, which will grant him the opportunity to stage his first solo show at London Fashion Week later this month! In addition to the runway show, the award also comes with a three-season sponsorship and professional mentoring from Vauxhall’s panel of industry insiders. Thus, we don’t have to worry about him going anywhere anytime soon. “It is fantastic to be the first recipient of Fashion Scout’s new sponsorship award as it will not only provide me with a great platform to showcase my work but also the opportunity to develop my label.” What a way to make up for the narrow loss at Fashion Fringe, huh? CLUTCH congratulates William Tempest on his recent achievement – we can’t wait to see what’s up next!