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Autumn Interview vol. VIII : Sam Carlisle

In our last Autumn Interview we speak to Sam Carlisle, founder of Augustus Hare

The inspiration for what I do was the fact that I grew up close to an incredible silk mill in Suffolk. Working with craftsmen who are expert at what they do, and have honed those skills for generations, is one of my great enjoyments.

The thing I love most about what I do is that fashion is such a global enterprise. Working on Augustus Hare enables me to travel often, and has given me the opportunity to learn about business in diverse cultures.

If I didn’t live in London the city I would live in is New York. I spent 3 months there once and now return at least twice a year for men’s fashion week. It is so dynamic and I always leave inspired to start a myriad of new businesses. However, I also love solitude and would love to live in a small hut in the North West of Scotland, with a river full of salmon flowing past the front door.

The last music I bought is Roo Panes’ (who we previously interviewed) new album, ‘Little Giant‘; I’ve had it on loop.

If I weren’t doing what I do I would like to be a marine biologist. I am fascinated and appalled by the state of our oceans and I’d love to be qualified to help restore them.

My signature style peice is ties! I’ve loved ties and pocket squares since I was about 16 and wear them at every opportunity. I especially like knitted ties at the moment.

The luxury I can’t live without is the ability to escape to the wilderness. This month I was in a hut without running water or electricity high in the Austrian Alps. It reminded me how much I value being able to leave the city and embrace silence and stars.

The last thing I bought and loved is a traditional loden and leather back pack from Austria. I haven’t actually got it yet – but I love their shape and functionality. They are traditionally used by Alpine hunters but I think they look superb.

The book on my bedside table is Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil, which is a true story documenting dysfunctional high society in Savannah, Georgia, as well as the Bible – neither of which I read enough.

The best cocktail I recently drank was a Ramos Gin Fizz in New Orleans. It’s a labour intensive cocktail to make but is perfectly refreshing and tastes like a cloud.

An unforgettable place I have travelled to is Alaska. I spent a week once floating down a remote river on a raft, camping on gravel bars along the way. We saw bears each day and ate our freshly caught salmon for sushi each night. It demonstrated how abundant eco-systems are if we don’t destroy them.

The best restaurant I discovered recently is a Portuguese grilled meat restaurant in Stockwell. Its badly lit and you have to walk through a fish mongers and then head down stairs at the back. It’s incredibly delicious though, and so hidden you can’t even find it on Google! I’m not sure of the name but if you find a Portuguese fish mongers on South Lambeth Road you’re there. I think it’s only open on the weekends.

The artist whose work I would collect is either Henry Moore or Richard Serra. I love both their sculptures because, not only are they beautiful in and of themselves, it’s also intriguing to see how people interact with the work.

Photography by Alex Douglas