Giles Deacon is a noted English fashion designer. He is the founder and creative director of Giles Deacon group, Couture Fashion House. Although as a child he was always drawing, he never showed any interest in clothes until he discovered fashion designing was fun while doing the foundation course at Harrogate College. Eventually, he entered Central Saint Martin in London, graduating from there at the age of 23. Thereafter for ten years, he worked in various capacities, eventually presenting his first collection under his own label, Giles, at the February 2004 London Fashion Week. It made him highly acclaimed and very soon, his collections started being available in all well-known retail stores, including Barneys, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. He launched his first haute couture collection at the age of 47. Considered as the fashion industry's most fêted figure, he has many celebrities in his client list.
Childhood & Early Life
Giles Deacon was born on January 10, 1969 in Darlington, England. His father, David Deacon, was an agricultural salesman while his mother, Judith, was a homemaker. He has an older sister, whose name is not known.
He spent his early childhood near Ullswater in the Lake District where their house was located three miles away from the nearest village, forcing him to spend his free time roaming the countryside alone. He also drew a lot, mainly plants and animals.
While studying at Barnard Castle School, he developed an interest in music and started taking riding lessons. Soon he became a keen competitor at the junior dressage events. He also developed an interest in marine biology, but dropped the idea of studying the subject when he failed in chemistry A-level.
After graduating from school, he joined Harrogate College of Arts simply because it had a vacant seat; he didn’t yet have any specific plan his future. But while doing a foundation course at Harrogate, he became interested in fashion designing and eventually joined Central Saint Martin in London at his teacher’s suggestion.
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In 1992, Giles Deacon graduated from St. Martin and began collaborating with his friend, Fi Doran, to establish their own label, 'Doran Deacon’. But later that year, he moved to Paris, where he worked for Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and learnt how to commercially use brand name from him.
In 1994, he returned to London, where he began working freelance. Shortly, his friend Katie Grand recommended him to the noted Italian leather goods firm, Bottega Veneta. Eventually in 1998, he joined the company as its head designer, remaining with it for three years.
In 2000, he presented his first collection under the brand name of BV, establishing it as a hot label. Attracted by its prospect, the Gucci group acquired Bottega Veneta in 2001.
Although the new management did not renew Giles Deacon’s contract he was hired by Gucchi’s creative director, Tom Ford, to assist him with Gucci women’s wear line. He worked there for one season, thereafter returned to London because he fell ill due to an infection.
While in London, Giles Deacon was hospitalized for several months. It was while recuperating at the hospital that he decided to start his own label, ‘Giles’.
Sometime in 2003, he set up a communal studio along with his classmates in East London. Eventually, he took bank loan and used his entire savings to create his first collection, which he presented at the London Fashion Week in February 2004.
For walking the ramp, Katie Grand helped him to recruit supermodels like Karen Elson, Eva Herzigova, Erin O'Connor, Nadja Auermann, Lily Cole and Linda Evangelista. The show was a big hit and attracted international acclaim.
In 2005, he was offered the top job at Givenchy on condition that he abandoned his label. But he refused the offer and instead continued to participate regularly at London Fashion Week under his own label.
By 2006, he was able to establish himself fully. His turnover too began to double every year and he started having such big names as Thandie Newton, Princess Beatrice, Scarlett Johansson, Cate Blanchett and Kerry Washington as his clients.
In 2007, he presented ‘Gold by Giles’ collection in collaboration with the High Street fashion chain, New Look, and ‘Mulberry for Giles’ collection with British fashion company, Mulberry. Also in the same year, he collaborated with Daks to create outstanding collections.
In 2010, he joined French fashion house Ungaro as their creative director and remained with the company till September 2011. Meanwhile in October 2010, he showed his first collection for the company, garnering high praise for his work.
In 2011, he debuted on television, appearing as judge on ‘Britain's Next Top Model’, a fashion reality show on Sky Living. Later in the same year, he took part in ‘New Look Style the Nation’, a Channel 4 entertainment series to find "exceptional new fashion stylist".
In 2016, he launched his first haute couture collection, temporarily setting aside his ready-to-wear line. Since then, he has been creating gorgeous dresses for his celebrity clients like Victoria Beckham and Drew Barrymore.
Giles Deacon is best known for creating the wedding dress for Pippa Middleton, sister of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in May 2017.
In 2006, Giles Deacon was voted ‘British Designer of the Year’
In 2009, he was awarded the French ANDAM Fashion Award's Grand Prix.
Family & Personal Life
Since early 2013, Giles Deacon is in a relationship with actress Gwendoline Christie.