Prince Charles Talks Sustainable Fashion and His Upcoming Collection on Yoox Net-a-Porter
The fashion spotlight may usually be on Prince Charles' daughters-in-law Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, but the heir to the British throne is a style icon in his own right, with a preference for tailored suits from Savile Row.
In a rare interview with British Vogue for the magazine’s December 2020 issue, Charles spoke about his personal sense of style and his commitment to sustainable fashion.
“I thought I was like a stopped clock—I’m right twice every 24 hours. But no, I mean, I’m very glad you think it has style. I mind about detail and colour and things like that—and colour combinations,” he told Edward Enninful, when the British Vogue editor-in-chief praised the royal for his sartorial sense.
“I’m lucky because I can find marvellous people who are brilliant makers of the things that I appreciate, and because of that, I try to keep them going for longer.”
Known for his support for environmental conservation, it’s no secret that Charles is also a purveyor of sustainable fashion. His mantra is “buy once, buy well” and this extends to his wardrobe, which includes wearing a 1984 morning coat by Anderson & Sheppard to Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018.
“I happen to be one of those people who’d get shoes—or any item of clothing—repaired if I can, rather than just throw it away. And that’s why I think, from an economic point of view, there are huge opportunities for people to set up small businesses involved with repair, maintenance and reuse,” Charles said.
“When I was a child, we used to take our shoes down to the cobbler in Scotland and would watch with fascination as he ripped the soles off and then put new soles on.”
(Related: Prince Charles Is Launching A Fashion Collection With Yoox Net-A-Porter In Summer 2020)
It is this passion that led him to launch The Modern Artisan, a training programme co-founded by The Prince’s Foundation and Yoox Net-a-Porter.
As we reported in November last year, the project will be debuting a capsule collection of sustainable fashion pieces, designed by six Italian fashion students from Politecnico di Milano and manufactured by six British students in the luxury small batch production program at Dumfries House, a historic estate and educational centre in Scotland acquired by the Prince’s Foundation in 2007.
Called Yoox Net-a-Porter for The Prince’s Foundation, the mens- and womenswear collection will soon retail online at Net-a-Porter, Mr Porter, The Outnet and Yoox, with profits going towards The Prince’s Foundation.
“Having not seen them since the beginning of the year, it was fascinating to see the full collection. And it was fascinating to see what they’ve been able to do and how their skills have improved; because what was so difficult for them at the beginning has now become almost second nature,” he told British Vogue.
“I felt very proud indeed of what they’ve been able to produce. There are some very beautiful pieces, and I will be interested to see how this collection goes and what the reaction is. But the great thing is that now they’re all either setting up their own businesses or going on in different ways. And this is why we need to help develop these skills, because they go on to be really valuable members of the fashion community.”
(Related: The Court of Queen Elizabeth II Launches its Own Brand of Gin)
On top of the upcoming fashion debut, the prince has also launched a gin in recent weeks, which features herbs from the garden of his family home at Highgrove House, Gloucestershire.
Named the Highgrove Organic Botanicals Gin, the Prince of Wales collaborated with Cory Mason from Oxford Artisan Distillery to create the alcohol, which is described as “traditional, elegant, refined, but with complex herbal notes of a traditional English garden” by the master distiller.
The gin is sold at Fortnum and Mason, with proceeds donated to the Prince of Wale’s charitable fund.