For the past 15 years Toby Meadows, 37, has acted as consultant to some of the biggest designers and brands in the fashion business, from Gap, Zara and Topshop to Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Christian Dior and Alexander McQueen. He is the founder and director of Three's Company Creative Consultancy as well as a director of the London-based womenswear label Belle & Bunty (the childhood nicknames of the designers Alice Shreever, 31 - Meadows's wife - and Hannah Coniam). He and Alice live in north London with daughters Mae, 5, and Darcey, 2. As a visiting lecturer at the London College of Fashion, Meadows is one of many industry insiders tasked with offering insight into the business. The role has made him a regular visitor to Dubai as this May was his third year delivering the short courses Buying and Merchandising and Starting Your Own Label to UAE audiences. He is the author of the best-selling book How to Set up & Run a Fashion Label, and will return to Dubai this month offering short courses in fashion design. He tells Laura Collins about his life and passions.
London College of Fashion and Chelsea College of Art & Design are offering fashion and interior design courses, lasting from one to five days each, at The Pullman Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, from October 13-28. Visit www.fashion.arts.ac.uk/middle-east
MY MOST DEFINING MOMENT WAS... was becoming a father. I'd been thinking about writing a book for a long time but didn't seriously get on with it until Mae was born. Looking back I think I wanted to create something for her. MY LIFE MOTTO IS... don't settle for mediocrity. Somebody has to be the next Anna Wintour or Alexander McQueen. Set your sights high and be prepared to work for it. MY CAREER HIGHLIGHT HAS BEEN... I suppose the book so far but the process was hard and initially I felt more relief than excitement it was done. MY PERSONAL STYLE IS... is shabby chic. I'm fairly lazy when it comes to grooming - hence the beard. MY GUILTY PLEASURE IS... Glee. Both my parents were dancers in the West End and many of my childhood memories are of meeting them at the stage door or or sitting in the lighting rigs watching Chorus Line or West Side Story. Glee taps into all that. I have many favourite designers including Yasmin Kianfar and Georgia Hardinge.