FAB L’Style

FAB L’Style is the global voice of established & emerging luxury. An international, fashion, art, beauty and lifestyle magazine in English based in Vienna, Austria. Ever mindful of equality, we embrace the diversity of inclusive beauty, and having a sustainable mindset.

Tony Ward: His brand, his details, and the man he is

Portrait of fashion designer Tony Ward covering FAB L'Style Magazine Fashion Icon design, celebrating the essence of his brand and personal style

Tony Ward’s designs have graced red carpets and draped celebrities, including the iconic Whitney Houston. The exposure on high-profile platforms has not shaped his vision; instead, it acts as a heartwarming acknowledgment that propels him to create more. When it comes to haute couture, he sets the pace. In this exclusive chat with FAB L’Style, Tony Ward, the architect of details, provides a captivating glimpse into the genesis of his illustrious career, the inspirations that fuel his creativity, and the innovations that define the Tony Ward brand.

FAB: Your inaugural collection, ‘Eden,’ received widespread acclaim. What motivated you to choose this theme, and how did it set the tone for your future collections?

Tony Ward: The diverse woman of Tony Ward has always been my muse and inspiration: bold, determined, fierce, sensual… That is why I designed the Ready-to-Wear Spring 2024 collection around her edgy spirit, which no one talks about; it’s the other side of her.

These off-topics, or taboos, that you don’t hear much about are how I plan to set my tone for future collections. Find more Exclusive Conversation With Tony Ward on SS 2024 Collection ‘The Other Side of Eden’

FAB: Where do you draw inspiration from when conceptualising new collections, and how do you translate these ideas into tangible designs?

Tony Ward: Everything around me inspires me, literally. Whether from my travels or my everyday life, I get inspired, envision it, blow it up to scale, meet with my team, and start sketching!

FAB: The intersection of three-dimensional craftsmanship was a notable feature in your Spring/Summer 2024 Fashion Show. Could you delve into the technical aspects and creative process behind bringing these intricate details to life?

Tony Ward: The innovative techniques and architectural aspects of the craftsmanship will always define Tony Ward’s DNA, no matter how variant the collection is. 

I have learned that from my father. He used to create timeless pieces that were hard to replicate, and his intricate techniques were always innovative. We still use them up to this date in our ateliers. 

FAB: Spring fashion often brings a sense of renewal and freshness. How does your latest collection capture the essence of spring, and what elements did you incorporate to evoke this seasonal vibe?

Tony Ward: I usually don’t stick to trends or seasons. I like to create based on what inspires me under the DNA of my brand; for me, every collection should bring a sense of renewal and freshness. Innovative techniques and intricate detailing are what I aim to incorporate into every single piece I create.

FAB: Over the years, your couture collections have attracted a large international clientele. What do you believe contributes to this international appeal and recognition?

Tony Ward: Simply pushing ourselves further, adapting our strategy, riding the waves, and whatever it takes to brighten our craftsmanship on an international level, worn by beautiful and diverse women.

FAB: Your designs have graced many red carpet events and been worn by many celebrities, including Whitney Houston. How does this exposure on such high-profile platforms influence the vision and direction of Tony Ward Couture?

Tony Ward: I never based my designs and direction on exposure; nevertheless, the celebrities gracing my designs will always warm my heart and push me to create more. As mentioned, the diverse women of Tony Ward are my fuel to keep on creating.

FAB: Being chosen to dress the 12 finalists for Miss France is a significant achievement. In your opinion, what unique qualities does Tony Ward Couture offer that make it the preferred choice for such prestigious events and competitions?

Tony Ward: I will of course be objective of my designs, but I believe the flattering silhouette with a twist and the sculptural forms showcasing the woman’s body in a subtle yet edgy way are what made me part of this amazing event.

Tony Ward Forecasts 2024 FashionTrends

Tony Ward: Macro-scale detailing, voluminous shoulders, tight waist, statement pieces, minimalistic with an edge, pop of colours but also black.

FAB: The concept of luxury is evolving, with many consumers prioritising experiences and values over material possessions. How does the Tony Ward brand redefine luxury in a way that resonates with today’s discerning consumers?

Tony Ward: While it is true that consumers are redefining luxury in their own way through experiences rather than craftsmanship, I believe that both worlds can collide perfectly together; one doesn’t have to go without the other. And that is how we define luxury at Tony Ward. 

Creativity vs. Commercial Viability

FAB: Building a successful fashion brand requires more than just design skills—it also requires strong business acumen. What are some key lessons you’ve learned about the business side of fashion?

Tony Ward: It is a bumpy ride, but designing without having a real vision of the bigger plan and the management could be very tricky. It won’t lead anywhere; beautiful pieces are here to be worn so that more pieces can be created and more collections can be showcased. And my advice is to always have a forecasting plan with concrete numbers; this is what will sustain a business. 

FAB: Many young designers face challenges when it comes to balancing creativity with commercial viability. How do you strike that balance in your own work, and what advice would you give to budding designers navigating this dynamic?

Tony Ward: It’s not easy to create this balance, as statement designs are what will motivate any designer to do more and to stand out from the crowd. However, the clients’ needs (while keeping the designer’s touch, of course) are what will sustain a healthy fashion design business. Finding the right balance in designing commercial yet stand-out pieces or to divide a collection in order to create awareness but also a sellable one is key to moving forward.

FAB: As a mentor to aspiring designers, what do you believe are the most important qualities or skills that young designers should cultivate in order to succeed in the competitive fashion industry?

Tony Ward: Always stand out in your own way! Trends come and go, but your style remains the same.

FAB: Looking forward, what excites you the most about the future of Tony Ward Couture, and what aspirations do you have for the brand in 2024 and beyond?

Tony Ward: We are looking to go more sustainable, to always find innovative techniques and deep research in integrating them into the designs. Each day is a new day for us, with new creations. I plan to create and recreate and to keep pushing my brand further. The sky is the limit!

Fashion, Beauty, and Fitness with Tony Ward

FAB: What is your favourite fragrance (which fragrance do you surround yourself with)?

Tony Ward: Amouage. I love the smell of ‘oud’

FAB: What fashion item always makes you feel confident and empowered?

Tony Ward: Pins!

FAB: Can you share your favourite quick and effective workout routine?

Tony Ward: I play basketball twice per week and go biking every other month.

Fun Zone: #FABFastFive

  • FAB: What fashion items would you not live without?
    TW: My rings
  • FAB: If you had 24 hours to create a design, what would you like to create? 
    TW: Elegant and sophisticated hoodies
  • FAB: What was the first fashion show you ever attended?
    TW: The Saint Laurent show in 1989
  • FAB: What’s your all-time favourite collection you’ve created?
    TW: The dragonfly collection in January 2020.
  • FAB: What is your favourite fashion season?
    TW: I don’t have a preferred one; I work for 365 days of fashion.
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