Interview with James Stewart
For those at London Fashion Week Men’s last June (James missed January as he was in the US), you will no doubt have seen James Stewart sat on a front row or throwing some shapes on a dance floor at an after show party. James loves fashion and lives and breathes music as a host on Heart radio.
In addition to presenting on Heart, James is quickly rising through television’s ranks, becoming one of Britain’s most sought-after presenters across every platform. He’s also caught the eye of male grooming brand and barbers Johnny’s Chop Shop, where James serves as an ambassador. essence met with James to find out more.
Q James, you originate from Guildford. What was the best thing about growing up there, and were you sorry to leave for the smoke?
A I come from a little place near Guildford and Farnham called Upton Grey. It’s literally the tiniest village in the world, perhaps 100 people. We have a pond and a pub. I was kind of sorry to leave, but the best thing about leaving is you get to come back, and I absolutely love escaping London to go home!
James Stewart, Photo copyright: Joseph Sinclair
Q Music and fashion are now large parts of your life. Which interest came first?
A Music! One of my first jobs out of university was at a record label where I worked as a public relations intern at EMI Music. It was crazy: I got to work with some amazing artists right at the start of their careers, such as Katy Perry and David Guetta.
Q What was your first job?
A I had a job working at Jack Wills clothing shop, on Guildford High Street, when I was 16: that was my first ever job.
Q Did you always aspire to presenting?
A Yep, ever since I can remember. I recall watching ‘I’m A Celebrity’ when it first came out and I was in drama class. We recreated it as part of a lesson and ever since then I knew it was what I wanted to do!
Q You present on Heart radio weekly. What do you enjoy most about being a radio presenter?
A It’s such an intimate form of media, that’s what I love. For me, it has to feel as if you’re just chatting to your mate, it’s me and you.
A-COLD-WALL*, autumn winter 2018, British Fashion Council | Photographer: Zoe Lower
Q Very favourite artists from the decades?
A I’m a big 90s and 00s fan: George Michael was so influential, the old school Justin Timberlake stuff, TLC, The Back Street Boys, people like that, love it!
Q You’re interested in male fashion and attend shows regularly. Have you spotted any trends to look out for in 2018?
A I actually missed London Fashion Week Men’s in January as I was in America filming, but from what I can see, I think the 80s revival is going to be huge this year; time to get into your dad’s old wardrobe – pastels, light jeans, boxy jackets, that sort of thing.
Q London Fashion Week happens again this month (16 to 20 February). What’s so special about this show for you?
A I think the very fact we now have a London Fashion Week Men’s is pretty special, it’s a chance to see what’s coming ahead, which is still a new concept, so the whole thing is exciting.
Q What was your worst fashion buy?
A A pair of limited edition red trainers that I got talked into buying because they were a ‘one off’. Being more expensive doesn’t always mean better!
Q What have you got planned for this year?
A I’m heading back to Los Angeles for the Red Carpet award season, which is awesome. I’ll crack on with Heart, continue my work as an ambassador for Johnny’s Chop Shop and we’ve got some fun television ideas coming out soon too, so watch this space.
Blood Brother, autumn winter 2018, British Fashion Council | Photographer: Phil Trengove
essence infoJames can be heard on Heart on Saturday and Sunday nights (1–6am).