February 19, 2018

INSIDE THE HEAD OF…

Designer Todd Oldham

Though not technically a Texan, Todd Oldham began his career here in a studio/warehouse near the Trinity Levee. A move to New York and focus shift from fashion to other realms (furniture and interior design, TV gigs, book publishing) followed.

But Oldham recently returned to clothing in a small way—as a subset of his Kid Made Modern arts, crafts, and creativity collection. The imagination-sparking children’s dresses and jackets convey the same joie de vivre as the collections that made him a ’90s fashion superstar.

Designer, author, television host, screenwriter/director, collector—what does your passport list under occupation? It says industrial designer. In my head, that’s closest to what I do and the job title no one has follow-up questions about.

Formative fashion memories? When I was four, I noticed how nice my tan corduroys looked with the bright blue Texas sky. In fifth grade, I remember thinking my mom looked particularly fantastic in a white polyester sailor-inspired evening gown she made and wore on a date with dad. When I first started designing, I received a letter from Christian Lacroix and for me that’s as good as it gets.

Moment you first felt you’d made it? While standing in line at Taco Bell, I started to get asked a lot: “What are you doing here?”

Three words to describe your design aesthetic? Precise, considered, cleanish.

Piece of art you’d love to have created? SCTV or anything by Brâncuși, Alice Neel, or Diane Arbus.

Possession you feel most sentimental about? Any of the truly beautiful paintings and sculptures made by my mom, dad, or my partner, Tony.

Most enjoyable collaboration? Anything I do with Amy Sedaris.

Favorite MTV House of Style moment? Showing guys how to cut their own hair. To this day I still hear about that one. 

Craziest fan encounter? Save for the necrophilia cannibal stalker I encountered in the ’90s, most people are very nice to me.

Time travel destination? Los Angeles, 1920.

One thing you’re exceptionally good at? I am a good gardener.

One thing you’re embarrassingly bad at? Singing.

Last thing you binge-watched? Fawlty Towers, still perfect.

Things you miss most about living in Texas? Fair Park, Tex-Mex, flea markets, the giant sky, and Fort Worth museums.

Cause you feel passionately about? Causing animals no harm.

Best thing that happened to you this year? Kid Made Modern really kicked into high gear with the new clothing collection. Now our reach is worldwide.


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