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In Conversation With Matthew Williamson

The British fashion designer on his new beauty collaboration with Nivea, his love of travel and his take on suitcase essentials

Nivea approached me earlier this year with the idea of redesigning its classic deodorant. It’s a brand I’m very familiar with. My mum had the little blue tin. 

Diversifying into new categories always appeals to me. Whether it’s a deodorant can or a piece of furniture or wallpaper.

I’ve never been a fashion snob. We started our first collaboration with Debenhams 15 years ago. One of my favourite aspects of my job is trying to work to a brief and a price point. 

I’m not very ‘designer’. My jackets are by Thom Sweeney, a great tailor and friend of mine. If I were to buy a designer label, it would be Dries van Noten. 

I’d love to go into beauty. My next project is candles. 

I’m very low maintenance. I wear Tom Ford’s fragrance which is lovely, I moisturise with Elemis – and, of course, I use Nivea deodorant.

I have a house in Spain. A place called Deià in Mallorca, so I’m back and forth a lot. Going abroad has become not so much an event, but a way of life. 

My favourite place, apart from Spain, is Bali. It’s close to India and so has a similar vibe. I’ve never been to Argentina – I’d go there in a heartbeat.

My suitcase is always jam-packed. My last case had a French glass chandelier, which my business partner very kindly layered in bubble wrap and then sandwiched in cardboard. I was terrified it would break.

I walk a lot. My partner Joseph and I have the app on our phones which tells you how many steps you take in a day. My average is about 4,000.

The job of all these industries – fashion, beauty and interiors – is to make women the best that they can be. It’s about enhancing a woman – her taste, her style, her loves.

I never have an agenda. Especially now, having been in the business for so many years. I think that’s why our brand has such a relaxed vibe. It’s a cliché, but if I love it and it comes from a genuine place, then it just works.