Oliver Proudlock’s on screen persona is very reflective of his mannerisms outside of the media. A naturally outgoing character who many would presume he lives at a similar pace to what we see on screen. But as I discover Proudlock’s story goes far deeper than reality TV. An artist in his youth, he has renewed his creative efforts via his label SERGE DENIMES - a label fast gaining credibility in its own right. Yet not only is his artistic side coming to the fore Oliver also underwent a change in outlook after going through a fitness and nutrition plan that saw him gain 6kg of muscle mass. This saw him adapt a better approach to not only his daily life but also his work, rekindling a focus that has seen him step away from the bright hue of popular culture.
AE: How would you say your approach to fitness influences your daily life?
OP: Fitness has become a massive part of my lifestyle, and is now part of my daily routine. I am a strong believer in a healthy body, healthy mind, which of course in turn means you perform much better within your field of expertise. I like to train Monday to Friday in the mornings around 7am, before I head to my office. You burn endorphins, which in turn means you are more energetic and positive for the day ahead. At the beginning it may be hard to try and fit training into your daily routine, but once you make time for it, you will notice the difference and you will be hooked!
AE: Do you have any particular training tips that help you stay in shape despite your busy lifestyle?
OP: I swear by pull-ups, press ups, and roll outs for your abs. These three exercises work three core muscle groups, and you can do them in the comfort of your own home. You can buy a simple pull up bar that you can hang from a door frame, and buy an abs roll out, they are amazing for strengthening your core as well as working your lower back.
AE: There are always ‘peaks and troughs’ when training, how do you overcome the ‘can’t be bothered‘ feeling when it creeps in?
OP: This is true, and I find a lot of this is to do with sleep patterns and making sure you rest your body. The mind is a very powerful thing, and whenever I go to the gym feeling a bit sluggish I use it to overcome my body. However a lot of us - me included - are guilty of not letting the muscles recover sometimes. Although you need to push yourself, you also need to listen to your body, and if you are exhausted, take a break; it is very important to rest in order to repair the body, and not put it under too much pressure.
AE: What advice would you give to those looking to work out more but are not necessarily gym goers?
OP: Like I said earlier there are so many exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home, without having to spend a lot of money on equipment. I love TRX ropes, I've just started using these, and they’re awesome — if you prefer to workout outside you can simply loop them around a tree, and target a lot of different muscle groups. Another amazing start to the day is going for a morning run, I much prefer doing this outside as opposed to a running machine in a gym, you can even combine this with a TRX workout and then you have done your cardio, as well as working key muscle groups. Another amazing workout is boxing. I have just started doing group classes once a week, and it is not only an incredible high intensity workout, but it is also a great way to break up your usual gym routine.
AE: Has becoming more focused on regular training stimulated other creative avenues in your life?
OP: I would say that regular training has made me more positive, and focused within my daily routine. Whatever it is you do in life if you are more focused and positive, you are more likely to flourish. For me it has helped me to achieve more within my creative field.
AE: Where did the brand concept for SERGE DENIMES come from?
OP: I have always been very creative from a young age having studied fine art. So SERGE DENIMES was born from by artistic background. I wanted to create something that was more than just a brand, but also a lifestyle - you don't just love it, you live it. SERGE DENIMES is all about being young, creative, daring and passionate. The clothes are for the style conscious who want to be comfortable, stand out, and be a part of something.
AE: Would you say sport has an impact on your collection for SERGE DENIMES
OP: My collection has a lot of pieces within it that are about comfort and some of these can be linked to active wear. I believe in comfortable, wearable, clothes that style conscious men will love to wear.
AE: Your unique style is an extension of your personal brand in that case. What would you say influenced your image growing up? Were there any particular designers?
OP: I was bought up with my mum in a very creative household. For her, style and creativity is everything, and this definitely rubbed off on me since a young age. She was a model, photographer, and designer, and she would always include me in all of her projects as I grew up. I think being nurtured in this environment gave me a natural love and appreciation for fashion and style. She also used to have a company called ‘Denim In Style’ – as the name suggests, we were denim obsessed, the whole of our house was and still is covered in denim, even my room was covered in black denim wallpaper! The material is embedded in my blood, it’s the reason why I called my brand SERGE DENIMES; after the very origin of the material.
OP: As I grew up I became more and more into art and fashion, I liked to customise my own clothes with rips, and paint marks, drawing inspiration from artists like Robert Rauschenberg. Then in terms of brands I was always, and still am, obsessed with Ralph Lauren. My mum used to design his knitwear, and she told me stories of how he would visit our home when I was too young to remember. His brand is always so classic, and on point – to this day he’s one of my style icons.
AE: There has been a movement from the 'high-fashion' brands migrating into the Sport-Luxe sector; what do you think of this trend? Is it something that you feel is set to continue? Do you think this is due to the increase in health awareness by the general public?
OP: As an active individual and someone who likes clothes that not only look good, but also serve some sort of purpose, I am a big fan of this trend. It shows the amazing development in manufacturing, and the levels at which people can now reach in creating active wear. People are becoming more and more health conscious, and fitness clothes aren’t just designed for the gym now, they reflect this lifestyle, so I can’t see this trend dropping off anytime soon. If anything I think it will continue to rise, and the quality and creativity within this field will only improve. I think this trend is down to a number of reasons, but the main one being a rise in health awareness – Sport-Luxe is the ‘high-fashion’ brands response.
AE: You love your trainers and footwear, is that an area SERGE DE NIMES will move into in the future?
OP: I hope so. Season on season we are expanding in terms of our product range, and this growth is something I wish to continue in an organic manner. I collaborated with Oliver Sweeney a couple of years ago, and designed some High top trainers and chukka boots for them – I absolutely loved the process. For me trainers are something that can be so unique and really complete ones look. However, as with everything I do with Serge, when we do move into this department I want to make sure we’re ready. I always get excited getting creative and want to get my ideas out there as quickly as possible, but I know I need to take my time so that everything I do is done to the best of my ability and I’m 100% happy with the end results.
AE: What ambitions do you have for the immediate future, both professionally and personally?
OP: For me right now in my life I have three main passions: fashion, style, and health & fitness. These are all intertwined, and I am looking to push myself in all these avenues in the near and distant future. I want to continue to develop SERGE DENIMES, to eventually become a respected and recognised brand worldwide. In terms of me as Oliver Proudlock the designer I hope to work with like-minded people, building my presence more and more within the fashion sector. I love collaborating, it is one of my favourite things about the creative industry, and I hope to work with both well known and up and coming brands over the next few years. Then in terms of health and fitness, from a personal perspective, I want to gain more knowledge on nutrition, and to try out new training techniques in order to enhance my understanding in order to project a healthy lifestyle that I can then share with others.
Photography by Jonathan Daniel Pryce | @garconjon
Styling by John Jarrett | @_johnjarrett
Featuring Oliver Proudlock | @proudlock
Art Direction by Nas Abraham | @nas_abraham
Hair: Josh Thom | @barberink_
Grooming: Jenna Jarrett | @_jennajarrett
FIND OUT MORE AT SERGEDENIMES.COM
Shot at Grosvenor House Suites by Jumeirah Living, combining the refined services of a hotel with the privacy, comfort and generous living space of a contemporary Mayfair residence.
Deputy Editor | SAMSON