Q&A David Keyte Universal Works




David Keyte is Mr Universal Works, a great UK brand doing the business in some of the World’s best stores. I have only met David once, that was (briefly) in Newark Airport, New York last year on the way home from Capsule. David was on his phone a lot, probably discussing deals, sales figures and future collaborations. I was busy too…….Deliberating what fillings I should have in my Burrito…It was that kind of show….Here’s what he had to say..

What did you have for breakfast?

I had scrambled eggs with bacon and a lot of coffee

What’s good about your hometown?

I’m from near Birmingham but I live in Nottingham, I guess Nottingham is where I call home. For me the best thing in the city is that I have a great bunch of close friends here thats why I am here really, but as a city I love the contemporary Art Gallery it is a great modern space and one of the best small galleries in the country, my other favourite place is the great independent cinema, Broadway. Oh and it’s a great city for runners, some great routes around the city.

Provide us with a synopsis for your autobiography in 140 characters and what would you call it?

Fat spotty kid with bad haircut and no education becomes menswear brand owner and designer and while less spotty now has no hair.

If you could punch one celebrity in the face with absolutely no repercussions, who would it be?

I am so not interested in celebrity, and recognise so few of them I would not know who I was punching!! Also, in my experience punching anyone rarely makes a difference, although there have been a few politicians over the years where I would happily suggest abject violence could be the only answer.

You’ve got £300 to spend on one new item of menswear, tell us what you’re gonna be buying?

Assuming it’s not from Universal Works, then it would be a pair of Trickers, a derby shoe in dark brown leather with a crepe sole, if, that is I could find it anywhere…umm maybe we need to ask them to make this

Favourite 3 labels over the last 20 years?

1) Comme Des Garcon, just for being the most radical and directional and for the way Rei Kawakubo still has her hand on it all, always the most impressive set of collections and of course the stores are amazing too.

2) Engineered Garments – this is what I would wear if I did not make clothing myself. Daiki Susuki does an great job.

3) 45 RPM – this is what I would wear if I ever got rich! its looks all washed out and simple but the pieces are superbly made, I love their product especially their work in Indigo dying.

Thats it – there seems to be a Japanese theme running through these, ummm, I guess that the fact I love the Japanese whole aesthetics and working methods their liking of small niche brands rather than championing the large scale all the time and the “Wabi Sabi” effect-that imperfection can be more important than mass produced “perfection”.

If a film was made of your life, tell us four songs that would definitely be included on the soundtrack including one for the closing credits

Young Americans – David Bowie

Rudy can’t fail – the Clash

Time will pass you – Toby Legend

When will there be a harvest for the World _ the Isley Brothers