We sat down with Original Penguin’s Director Of Design Adam Weir to talk Frank and the mob, the most difficult thing about his job and what direction he see’s menswear heading in.
First things first. How did your career start?
Soon after graduating I got on a plane and moved to Germany where I had a dream job of designing football kits for Puma. I haven’t stopped moving since. On the way, I’ve lived in Hong Kong, Italy and now New York with Original Penguin.
Some iconic figures in American history have worn Original Penguin: Richard Nixon, Frank Sinatra, Arnold Palmer. If you could have 1 conversation with a style icon dead or alive who would it be? And why?
Frank Sinatra is one of the coolest guys who ever lived. I would love to sit down with him and talk about what life was like during the rat pack years, Marilyn Monroe and his ties to the mob….
What’s the most difficult thing about your job?
Leaving the office at a reasonable time. I’m very passionate about my job and Original Penguin as a brand, as it continues to evolve each season. Which means it feels like I can never seem to find enough hours in the day to get everything done!
Do you have a habit or process for preparing yourself to design a collection?
I tend to absorb a lot of references through different media; I watch films, read books, spend hours just browsing the internet. I end up with a gut feeling of what and where we need to go for each season as I truly believe that great research leads to great collections.
We all know winters in New York can be unforgivingly cold, what are your 5 key style pieces?
I was completely unprepared for my first winter in NY- standing on a corner waiting for the lights to change can seem like an eternity. At the very minimum, you need a hat, insulated gloves, a good scarf, boot socks and long johns. seriously long johns. This season we created the 4-in-1 Parka from Original Penguin which is perfect to brave the cold on the New York streets, as it is build-up of 4 elements for this purpose exactly!
Original Penguin Parka with Removable Vest, £210.00 Shop Here
What other brands are you obsessed with right now for your own wardrobe?
My own wardrobe is an eclectic mix of garments from brands like AMI, Beams, Paul Smith and Norse Projects.
Menswear is at a real high at the moment and something of a lightbulb moment has finally hit male fashion; are you seeing changes in your customer?
I think our customer has gotten braver in his choices. He’s willing to try new colours or different fits than he wouldn’t have previously. However he still wants the whole look to feel effortless and have strong classical cuts and styles within his wardrobe. I believe we built each collection with this in mind to ensure we offer a wide range to cater to all needs each season.
If you could give the collective modern man a single piece of style advice what would it be?
You should always feel confident in what you’re wearing. Confidence and style go hand in hand.
And finally, Original Penguin has been around since 1955, worn by many greats and many designers have come and gone. What do you hope to leave as your little mark in the history of the brand?
I hope I have managed to bring back a little bit of the element of mischievous fun from which the brand was founded. Bringing happiness and joy to people’s lives through great design is what strive to do each day. Original Penguin is a brand that is worn for the good times.