With the launch of both men’s and women’s lines under his widely-lauded eponymous label, British designer James Long has been going from strength to strength over the past few months. His most recent design efforts have seen a capsule collection of knitwear with Topman that takes elements of his own clothing line, making them available to a more mainstream demographic. Inspired by rock ‘n’ roll icons like Kurt Cobain and Keith Richards the British-made collection gives a modern twist to classic silhouettes. Dazed Digital recently caught up with the designer to talk about the collection. For an additional interview with James Long, head over to POST NEW.

What was the idea behind it all?
I wanted to create a collection of knitwear that referenced all the techniques that are familiar with my own designs. It was inspired by all my favourite jumper-wearing men – Kurt Cobain, Keith Richards, The Sex Pistols…

With knitwear there is so much room for contrasting the traditional with the modern…
I do think knitwear is great for creating amazing colour combinations and making something new and modern. In the collection there are some new spins on classics like the engineered Aran, and everything was made in Britain which equals amazing quality.

What music were you listening to whilst designing the collection?
‘Studio Music’ by Rose Blake. I was also listening to a lot of Pulp.

Who are your knitwear icons?
Nancy Spungen, Kurt Cobain and Blur.

Since debuting at the MAN show, you’ve become part of a cluster of local labels that have really taken off, going on to introduce womenswear too. How does it feel to be part of that community?
I love that the menswear scene has grown so much – it’s great. It’s crazy that there was just that one-man show when I debuted and now there’s a whole week dedicated to menswear, with designers selling internationally.