Giles Deacon in 2009
|Born||1969 (age 43–44)
|Education||Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design|
|Awards||British Fashion Designer of the Year 2006
ANDAM Fashion Awards Grand Prix 2009
Giles Deacon (born 1969) is a British fashion designer, best known for his playful designs and his collaboration with High Street retailer New Look. Deacon was employed by the fashion houses Bottega Veneta and Gucci, before founding his own label, GILES, in 2003. He launched his first collection for GILES at the 2004 London Fashion Week and was named "Best New Designer" at the British Fashion Awards. Deacon's designs have been met with critical acclaim and have sparked a renewed interest in London fashion. Having become one of the fashion industry's most fêted figures, Deacon was named British Fashion Designer of the Year in 2006 and was awarded the French ANDAM Fashion Award's Grand Prix in 2009. The designer was appointed creative director of French fashion house Ungaro in April 2010. Deacon retained the position until September 2011, when he and Ungaro mutually decided to end their collaboration.
Deacon was born in Darlington, County Durham, but grew up near Ullswater in the Lake District. Deacon is the youngest child of David, an agricultural salesman and Judith, a housewife. He has one older sister. He attended Barnard Castle School in County Durham which he credits with instilling in him "the mindset of aesthetics". Deacon initially wanted to become a marine biologist, but he failed his chemistry A-level. He later joined Harrogate College of Arts, where he completed an art foundation course. After completing his course he went on to study at Central St Martins and was in the same class as fashion designers Alexander McQueen and Luella Bartley. He graduated in 1992 and began collaborating on the label 'Doran Deacon' with his friend, Fi Doran as well as contributing illustrations to Dazed & Confused.
Deacon chose to travel and gain experiences at fashion houses, before starting his own label. During his time in Paris, Deacon was hired to work with fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, where he learnt how to use a brand name commercially. Deacon worked with Castelbajac for two years, before returning to London to work for High Street fashion houses. During this time, Deacon met the owner of Italian luxury goods house, Bottega Veneta, and was hired to work for the company, becoming the head designer and debuting a much acclaimed collection in 2000. Deacon was dismissed in 2001 when the Gucci group bought the company and terminated his contract, so they could hire German designer, Tomas Maier. However, he was immediately hired by Tom Ford to assist with Gucci womenswear. Deacon was forced to leave Gucci after one season when he became ill from an infected saliva gland.
Once he had recovered, Deacon decided to take out a loan to start his own label and he launched GILES in 2003. He launched his first collection at London Fashion Week in February 2004, styled by his friend Katie Grand, the show saw models Karen Elson, Lily Cole, Eva Herzigova and Linda Evangelista walking the catwalk. The collection received international acclaim and began a renewed interest in London fashion. Deacon regularly shows at London Fashion Week and the GILES collection is bought by over thirty retail stores including Barneys, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. Deacon counts Thandie Newton, Princess Beatrice and Scarlett Johansson among his clients. Since Deacon launched his label, he has seen the turnover double every year and sales increase during the recession.
In April 2010, it was announced that Deacon had been appointed the creative director position with French fashion house Ungaro, following the dismissal of Estrella Archs. Deacon became the fifth designer to be hired by the house since the it was sold to entrepreneur Asim Abdullah in 2005. On 19 September 2010, Deacon made a return to London Fashion Week, after spending two years showing his collection in Paris. Deacon showed his first collection for Ungaro in October 2010. Vogue previewed the new collection, which was designed by Deacon, styled by Grand and accessorised by Katie Hillier and Stephen Jones, on their website. Vogue reporter, Dolly Jones, described the collection as one of the "most hotly anticipated shows" of the week and she added "[Deacon] looks like he'll be credited with bringing the house of Ungaro back to life, at last."
From June 2011, Deacon took part in the Channel 4 entertainment series, New Look Style the Nation. The designer joined New Look's creative director Barbara Horspool on a panel tasked with finding an "exceptional new fashion stylist" from contestants, who demonstrate good creativity and style. The winner is hired by New Look as a stylist. Deacon has previously appeared on Britain's Next Top Model as a judge. On 15 September, it was announced Ungaro and Deacon had "mutually decided" to end their collaboration.
Deacon has been known to challenge the traditional ideas of womenswear and often uses wild prints and pop culture references in his designs. He has described his designs for GILES as humorous, dark and sexy and has stated that he wants diversity in among them. He said, "My dresses should be worn by young, cool girls just as much as by 55 to 60 year old women". Deacon often designs "structured big-entrance" dresses, which are aimed at women who want to be noticed. At the 2008 London Fashion Week, Deacon presented a collection with a futuristic theme based on the 1980s arcade game Pac-Man. The character was embellished on many of the dresses and the models wore oversized helmets in the shape of Pac-Man. The designer's New Look menswear collections have been described by GQ magazine as "straddling the line between quirky and wearable".
On Deacon's style, fashion website Style.com has said, "His work is randomness incarnate. It can't keep to any one message, or develop an intellectual thesis. If you're looking for a point, he'll never get to it". Susannah Frankel of The Independent has said that Deacon's collections are "a much-needed injection of grand-scale glamour". Frankel added that a playfulness and humour have also found their way into Deacon's collections. In May 2011, Deacon said he does not design for wallflowers and that his collections would always be a "little bit sideways", "quirky" and "British in feel." The Scotsman said Deacon's designs are not brash, but "they suit a woman who has the confidence to take centre-stage."
Deacon has worked on many collaborations with companies including Sky, Converse and Evoke, with whom he created his first jewellery collection. Deacon has called collaborations "practical", because they "bring the money you need for your own company". In a two season collaboration with British fashion company Mulberry, Deacon introduced a line of accessories called "Mulberry for Giles", which was both a commercial and critical success. Deacon was then appointed to design for the classic British tailoring label, Daks. He showed his first and second collections for the brand in 2007 and his third in 2008.
In 2009, Deacon designed and created a strapless dress with polka dots for the Cadbury's Caramel Bunny, to celebrate the launch of Caramel Nibbles. A limited edition scarf was also created and 1400 were given away via the world's first online Pop Up Boutiques. The scarf then went on sale at selected John Lewis stores and online. In the same year, Deacon teamed up with Norwegian water company Isklar and created a limited edition Tote bag with fifty per cent of the proceeds from each bag sold going to Oxfam. The following year, Deacon designed a T-shirt for the Environmental Justice Foundation and in January 2011 it was announced that he would be designing a capsule collection for Nine West.
Deacon's best known collaboration has been with the High Street fashion chain New Look. The collection called Gold by Giles began in March 2007. On choosing to collaborate with the clothing retailer, Deacon said: "I chose New Look as the high street store to work with, as we both have a sense of fun and believe in fashion for everyone." Actress Drew Barrymore starred in the first ad campaigns for the collection, following a chance meeting between her and the designer in a lift. British model, Agyness Deyn took over and modelled the key pieces for Deacon's 4th collection. Deacon's first menswear collection debuted in 2008 and his first beachwear collection launched in early June 2009. On 22 March 2010, Deacon launched his tenth Gold collection. Three years after starting the collaboration with New Look, Deacon said; "My tenth collection focuses on dresses which are easy throw-on pieces with a glamorous edge to ensure that you'll get noticed". In November 2011, Deacon launched a line of nail varnishes with New Look. The following year, the designer launched a full make-up collection.
In 2004, Deacon was named 'Best New Designer' at the British Fashion Awards and in the following year he was given the Young Designer Award at Elle magazine's Style Awards. 2006 saw Deacon win the British Fashion Council's Fashion Forward Award, as well as being named British Fashion Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. He was named Best British Designer at the 2007 Elle Style Awards. Two years later, Deacon won the French ANDAM Fashion Award's Grand Prix, becoming the second consecutive British designer to win the award following Gareth Pugh's win in 2008. In the same year, he was named GQ magazine's Designer of the Year.
Deacon divides his time between his home in Islington, London, his apartment in Paris and Italy. He has previously dated stylist Katie Grand, whom he met at Central St Martins. The couple lived together for a year and a half before splitting amicably. He has also dated singer Beth Orton and former model Sophie Dahl. Deacon's hobbies include swimming, hiking and gardening.
- "My Secret Life: Giles Deacon". The Independent (Independent News & Media). 24 October 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- "Giles Deacon: King of London". The Independent (Independent News & Media). 10 February 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Barber, Lynn (7 September 2008). "Why the fashion editors love Giles". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 13 April 2010.
- Slater, Lydia (3 July 2009). "Giles Deacon: Cutting A Splash". London Evening Standard (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- Day, Elizabeth (30 May 2010). "Giles Deacon: the down-to-earth northerner who has stormed the heights of Paris couture". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- Cavendish, Lucy (1 December 2009). "Giles Deacon: The unlikely lad of fashion". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Alexander, Hilary (30 September 2009). "British designer Giles Deacon wins French fashion's 2009 'grand prix'". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Rothe, Marcus (10 December 2008). "Giles Deacon Interview". Style Magazine. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
- "Giles Biography" (Doc). London Fashion Week. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Giles Deacon: An audience with the king of British fashion". The Independent (Independent News & Media). 6 March 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
- "Britain's Deacon of light". The Times (Times Newspapers Ltd). 7 February 2007. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- Clydesdale, Lindsay (17 May 2008). "Designer Giles Deacon Tells How He Rose To The Top". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- "Giles collection 'inspired by Pac-Man'". Metro (Associated Newspapers). 17 September 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
- "Giles Deacon's Fashion In Motion". Fashion United. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- "Giles Deacon - Designer Fashion Label". New York. New York Media Holdings. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
- Alexander, Hilary (21 April 2010). "Giles Deacon for Emanuel Ungaro?". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "Giles at Ungaro – It's official!". Grazia. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. 26 April 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- Frankel, Susannah (20 September 2010). "Giles Deacon: The boy is back in town". The Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- Giles Deacon, Katie Grand, Katie Hillier, Stephen Jones and Anna Della Russo. The Ungaro Preview (FLV). Vogue. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- Jones, Dolly (4 October 2010). "Show Report". Vogue. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- Davidson, John (31 May 2011). "Interview: Giles Deacon, fashion designer". The Scotsman (Johnston Press). Retrieved 8 June 2011.
- "New Look Style the Nation". Channel 4. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
- Abraham, Tamara (23 August 2010). "Keeping their cool". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 8 June 2011.
- Socha, Miles (15 September 2011). "Ungaro, Giles Deacon to Part Ways". Women's Wear Daily. Fairchild Fashion Group. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Giles Deacon". William Morris Gallery. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- Motevalli, Golnar (16 September 2008). "Pac-Man the muse for London designer Giles Deacon". Reuters (Thomson Reuters). Retrieved 21 March 2010.
- "Giles Deacon: GQ Designer Of The Year". GQ. CondéNetUK Limited. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Mower, Sarah (19 September 2007). "Giles Spring 2008 Ready-To-Wear". Style.com. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
- Obi, Michele (8 August 2008). "Giles for Evoke: Giles Deacon to Launch his First Ever Jewellery Collection". My Fashion Life. My Life Media Ltd. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
- Mower, Sarah (22 February 2007). "Daks by Giles Deacon". Style.com. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Mower, Sarah (28 September 2007). "Daks by Giles Deacon". Style.com. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Phelps, Nicole (20 February 2008). "Daks by Giles Deacon". Style.com. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Barnett, Leisa (16 October 2009). "Giles has designs on Cadbury". Handbag. Archived from the original on 19 October 2009. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- "Style Icon Meets Design Genius For New Nibbles Collection". MSN. Microsoft. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- "British cool meets Scandanavian contemporary as Giles Deacon presents the Isklar tote". Isklar. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
- Milligan, Lauren (11 March 2009). "T-shirts For Justice". Vogue. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- Alexander, Ella (25 January 2011). "Giles Goes West". Vogue. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- "Giles Deacon designs for New Look". Fashion United. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- Bumpus, Jessica (9 March 2010). "Giles' Tenth Look". Vogue. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
- "Gold by Giles Deacon". Fashion United. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Craven, Jo (22 April 2008). "Giles Deacon Biography". Vogue. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Levine, Nick (13 March 2007). "Drew Barrymore to model for New Look". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi (UK) Ltd. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- "Giles Deacon new beach look". Fashion United. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- Barnett, Leisa (10 September 2008). "A Giles Kind Of Guy". Vogue. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Alexander, Hilary (15 February 2010). "London Fashion Week: autumn/winter 2011 designer preview". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- Beer, Rose (4 April 2012). "The Gold by Giles Deacon Makeup Collection Has Landed: First Look". Grazia. Bauer Media Group. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- "British Fashion Awards 2004". British Fashion Awards. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- Alexander, Hilary (13 February 2007). "Elle Style Awards". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- "Previous Fashion Forward Recipients". British Fashion Council. British Fashion Council. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- Jones, Dolly (3 November 2006). "The 2006 Winners". Vogue. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Jones, Dolly (25 May 2010). "Giles Arrives". Vogue. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- Copping, Nicola (15 February 2008). "The Smashing Style Of Giles Deacon". The Times (Times Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved 21 January 2010.