I was probably 20 years old when I met Christopher Nemeth at his first shop in Tokyo called Sector.
It was the late ’80s. He apologized for having a bad cold as he sneezed into a tissue.
I remember being overwhelmed by the unpolished store and the Japanese kids that trickled in.
I bought the John Moore shoes, a Judy Blame hat, a John Galliano dress, and a Nemeth suit.
Through the years I made it a point to visit the shop whenever I was in Tokyo.
His wife Keiko has always been the shopgirl and their baby whom I saw as a baby, is all grown up.
That’s how old I am.
“I think Christopher Nemeth is the most important designer to come out of London alongside Vivienne Westwood,” said Kim Jones, Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton.
“He is Savile Row, he is the street, he is the club. His designs define London. He trained as a fine artist and came into fashion from being an illustrator. I can see the influence of his work in so many collections, and yet it is not often acknowledged and still seems unknown to many. That’s why, as we approach the fifth anniversary of his death, I wanted to openly celebrate Christopher Nemeth’s life and work this season at Louis Vuitton.”
Christopher Louis Nemeth was born in 1959 in Birmingham, England. In 1979 he moved to London to study painting at Camberwell College of Arts. It was after college that Nemeth began making clothing for himself.
Self-taught in pattern cutting, he made use of use canvas he would paint on, as well as discarded sacks and old suiting. Each became distinct signatures of his ‘deconstructed’ style.
He was ‘discovered’ by photographer Mark Lebon who had seen the young artist riding his bicycle, wearing his self-made clothes. Mark Lebon was already a fixture in i-D and The Face, which were our ’80s bibles.
By this time, Christopher had started selling his clothes at Kensington Market.
In 1986 he moved to Tokyo, where his spirit of creativity and craftsmanship remain uncompromised until his death in 2010. He was 51.