Interview with Hugo Taylor – Co-founder & Creative Director of Taylor Morris
Why eyewear? Where did this passion come from?
It was something I had wanted to do from a very young age. I was obsessed with sunglasses as a child and I think it was all our trips to Italy which made me so. My mother would take us shopping in Rome and Florence and I really developed a passion for craftsmanship and classic design .
When and where did you first envisage Taylor Morris eyewear?
Taylor Morris Eyewear was conceived when Charlie and I were at a beach party in Formentera in Ibiza. We were getting fairly trashed and just kept on talking about how great it would be to create our own label. We started sketching out some ideas and things just kind of went from there.
Taking the classic, and modernising it into another timeless piece, is a wonderful skill. Did you inherit these artistic genes from anyone in particular?
I studied History of Art at the Courtauld Institute. They place a very large emphasis on classicism and how all great art is recreated from what has come to pass before. I have since had a great respect for heritage, origin and pastiche.
Which piece are you most proud of?
I have about four or five pieces I am really proud of. Obviously I love them all but Charlie Morris and I are very harsh critics of ourselves and what we create. We always believe we can do better. The company is focused on continual improvement. I would say our blue lens Vredefort and the Ivory RollRight are truly iconic pieces with their own identity and character.
How would you suggest somebody choose the ideal pair for them? Is there a quick sure guide to picking the perfect pair?
Charlie and I love doing pop-up shops and events where we can help our customers pick their perfect pair. My normal advice is your first choice is always the best. Trust your eye and trust your taste. I personally look at the character of the customer and translate that into our glasses. Nine times out of ten I get it spot on.
On the website you have many many celebrities “selfying” or being snapped in your eyewear. How did that start?
It all just kind of did. We are lucky to have lots of celebrity fans from Pippa Middleton to Kylie Minogue and Cara Delevingne.
I understand you were the brainchild behind the Made In Chelsea concept and actually filmed a pilot? Did you have the same characters and where did you get your idea from?
I was involved in making a pilot of Made in Chelsea about two and a half years before I was approached by E4. Rosie, Spencer, Caggie and Millie were all in that original pilot, so I am delighted that we did eventually all get to make Made in Chelsea, as the original pilot was rejected by MTV as they thought it was not quite right. Error on their part, as the show eventually won a BAFTA. I am immensely proud of my time on Made in Chelsea and will only ever look back with happiness that I got to be part of something original and cool.
How was I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here really? What was the best and worst of the experience?
There is nothing better than to push yourself out your comfort zone. I had a great time. It was like starting over again at boarding school but this time instead of being on Harrow Hill I was in a jungle. Best part were the people (well, some of them), worst part was the torturous hunger. I lost two stone in three weeks!
What’s next for Hugo Taylor?
Taylor Morris will almost certainly be moving into other areas. We are starting off with expertly crafted leather goods and some iconic yet simple jewellery. Then after that who knows. I just got offered my first film role which is a lovely compliment and am also in discussion with various networks about making a three-part documentary on the polarization of wealth. Either way I just want to keep having fun!