John Richmond is an English fashion designer based in Italy, he was born in Manchester in 1960 and moved to London, then eventually to Milan to pursue his dreams.
He graduated in fashion design from Kingston University in 1982, and straight away designed his own collection under his own name, while collaborating with such brands as Armani, Joseph Tricot and Fiorucci.
In 1984 he formed the The Richmond-Cornejo label with Ravensbourne graduate Maria Cornejo. Since 1987, Richmond has worked under his own name producing three lines, the main line: John Richmond, second line: Richmond X, and the denim line: Richmond Denim.
To put it simply, John Richmond is the iconic designer who fused elements of biker chic, street smarts and rock music with the classic elements of haute couture to create his own unique style. Through his keen eye, his masterful tailoring, and his impeccable attention to detail, he has made himself a breed apart from the other fashion designers who are trying to make a name for themselves by being edgy.
The slogan “Destroy, Disorientate, Disorder” was an invention created for John Richmond’s Destroy collection, which was introduced in 1990. It was soon followed by Destroy Denim in 1991. His first boutique in London opened in 1992.
In the 80s, whilst the International, big gun brands Versace and Calvin Klein were dressing money happy, rocked out yuppies ( the kind that wouldn’t look out of place in a Bret Easton Ellis novel) in designer attire, in Britain it was designer John Richmond feeding the younger, style hungry consumer. Although Richmond was acknowledging that on this side of the pond, this type of customer was more street savvy and wanted to channel a rebellious look that would match their record collections. Whilst celebrity endorsement from Madonna, Mick Jagger and even Alice Cooper kept his mainline on the barometer, Richmond was passionate about keeping tabs on his younger customers, the ones well-versed in the club and street culture he wanted his clothes to be a part of.
In 1987, the designer made sure he hit his desired audience and launched Destroy, a diffusion line consisting of t-shirts and jeans that came in at a far more affordable price range compared to his pricey mainline. The first collection was all about the more for way of thinking and the denim came in packs of eight with t-shirts and jackets that offered a different look to his popular, expensive leathers. Word got out to packs of cool kids across Britain and in no time, Destroy matched the John Richmond label in popularity. Naturally, America’s MTV generation heard news of this cutting edge, Brit label and along with the rest of Europe made sure it hit stores near them.
With all this diversity on offer, Destroy became just as popular as his core label and it soon became all about having to differentiate the two as separate brands. At the time this was retail breakthrough, who knew the cheaper version could sell as well the expensive, hand-made one? With designer diffusions and celebrity brands all available on the high street these days, you could say it was Richmond’s tactics that helped pave the way in making high fashion all the more accessible.
The rock-loving designer has put his own spin on country classics like equestrian boots and city staples like leather jackets and jeans. Every collection is heavily influenced by music and blended with the designer’s own personal style. The fusion of “street chic” formed a fundamental part in the label’s philosophy that can be summed up in the brand’s slogan “Destroy, Disorientate, Disorder.” The first collection was all about giving “more.” The denim came in packs of eight with t-shirts and jackets that offered a different look to his expensive leathers. The word spread across Britain, and quickly Destroy matched the John Richmond label in popularity.