Pretty Green is up for a pretty major award tonight. Is it important to you to win?
I was coming through here anyway, since my wife is doing a TV show in Canada and I'm touring down in South America with Beady Eye. But I want people to know I care about this Pretty Green, so I am showing up to support it. You like to win, don't you? But it's not going to make or break my day. We've only been going at it two years, we don't really know what we're doing. We're still winging it – but we're getting better.
Who initiated Pretty Green's collaboration with The Who?
I'm not too sure, I've been on the road. A couple of people in the Who camp had the idea to do the parka for the 40th anniversary of Quadrophenia, and Peter Townshend and Roger Daltrey liked Pretty Green, so we were asked if we were up the collaboration. I said, "yeah, man, without a doubt."
How involved are you in the design process?
We have guys named Pat Salter and Felix Blow that handle all the materials, the design process. I trust them completely. I don't have much to do with that end, but I look at everything. If someone doesn't look cool, we'll have a chat about it. But [Pat] uses his imagination, puts it on the table, and I try it on. If I like it, it stays.
You already have 7 stores in the UK, and more on the way. Any plans to expand to the U.S.?
We'd love to; I'm never really here, but I'd like that. But it's definitely biggest in England.
I assume Pretty Green's popularity corresponds pretty directly to where your music – in Oasis and Beady Eye – has been most popular.
Yeah, that's true. The line's suddenly big in Japan, though. Italy. People really love it in England, though. Of course.
Would you say the line's look is overtly British?
It is, the new stuff's really cool and diverse, though. A lot of it's kind of like Indian caftans and stuff; that's all going down on the Black Label. We're experimenting now.
What's the difference between the Green and Black Labels?
Black Label is the higher-end one. If it was just up to me, it would just be the Black Label, all proper rock & roll gear. But some of the kids can't afford that, so we give them options with the casual Green Label. The Black Label is more suedes, more rock star-ish. Green is jerseys and denim.
Would you do sportswear for Pretty Green?
No, I wouldn't. I did that a lot in the Nineties, but it's time to grow up. It's for kids, man. I haven't worn trainers in ten years.
Has the mainstream fashion audience embraced your line?
I'm not that sure; I don't read that press. I'm sure some have loved it, some have hated it, some don't care. As long as the kids like it, and I like it!
Would you ever present it at London Fashion Week?
I don't think so, man. It's not my vibe.
Have you thought about doing a women's collection for Pretty Green?
Yeah, I'd definitely do a look – not sure I'd do a massive range for girls, but I'm working out how to do a Pretty Green look for women. Girls love the line.
When you started the line, what look were you trying to achieve with it?
The Beatles, The Stones, The Kinks, The Small Faces – all that era. 1967 to 1969 bands.
Were other designers – like Paul Smith, for example – an influence on tailoring?
I like Paul Smith, he's pretty cool. I wear his stuff. But I don't look up to anyone. There's always room for more of that rock & roll look to be done right.
Is Pretty Green confident in its own identity as a brand now?
Yeah, man, that's why we're going for it. Changing it up. Weaving, Indian influences. Looking through old Beatles and Stones books for inspiration.
What's a menswear look you disapprove of?
Pointy shoes, skinny pants. That whole look. They look like girls – and then they turn around, and it's a guy with a big nose. Men should look like men, I think.
And who got their look right in your eyes?
George Harrison, Brian Jones, Paul Weller. The Stone Roses looked good when they first came out, and so did the Sex Pistols.
What is Paul Weller's involvement with Pretty Green?
He's been dabbling with the idea of doing his own line for awhile, actually, and I thought it made sense for him to do a collection through Pretty Green, rather than starting from scratch. I think he'll continue to do it; it looks good. I'd also like to bring on other people.
Do you have any other musicians in mind?
Yes – Kasabian, maybe.
You mentioned stopping through the States for a South American tour with Beady Eye. What else is next?
Still on tour, doing the Beady Eye thing, then hopefully, I'll be starting work on a film – a Beatles film. There's a book called The Longest Cocktail Party, written by Richard DeLillo, an Apple Records asssistant in the late Sixties. It's just about his adventures hanging around that scene. I'm producing it as a movie. We're getting in touch with Apple Records to see if we can use some Beatles' songs for the film; if not, we'll do our own special Beady Eye version of them.
How is Beady Eye doing? Feeling good about it?
Good, man. It's all right, man. Good bits, very good bits, and bits where I ask myself, "what the fuck am I doing?" [laughs] We definitely have another record in us. We're writing songs, and we'll go into a studio in February or April. Then try to get in another world tour.
What are your thoughts on the Stone Roses reunion?
Blown away by it, man, can't wait. Favorite band. To the people who say, "oh, they shouldn't get back together," I say "they're not putting a gun to anyone's head, you can buy the tickets if you want them." They can do whatever they want. Go see them in 2012 and don't expect it to be 1989. But that's fine.
Would you want their new record to stick close to their core sound?
Well, I hope they go for that West Coast harmony, like the first album. That's a fucking magical album. I first saw them in 1989; it was the first live show I'd ever been to. Everyone else was into dance music, and I saw them live, and went "this is it." Blown away by it. It inspired me to start Oasis.
Any new bands you like?
I like Cults. All the reverbs, very New York/London vibe. There's a girl singing on it. That's the only new band I can think of I really enjoy. But I'm hard to please, man. I like what I like.
Has what you liked really evolved since you started music?
No. I don't think rock & roll really needs to change. Don't screw with it.
Have you noticed that trends are favoring electronic sounds again?
Yeah, I don't really like it.
Why? You and Noel both have worked with electronic artists.
I know. Noel worked with Chemical Brothers; I worked with Death in Vegas. Richard's cool; they're more garage, than electronic, though, I think. But yeah, there's a place for that. I just always will prefer guitars and drums!
What do you think of the digital age?
People want everything too fast, and now they've got it, so what's next? Something's got to change. I miss the record shops, the physical releases. I miss when being Number One meant something. I used to love to watch the charts, especially at Christmas. Even the crap songs were something you'd remember as a milestone for the year.
Are you feeling the effects of Nineties nostalgia?
Is that a thing? Oh, I guess because of Nevermind and all that. Well, I'm nostalgic everyday. The Stone Roses reunion reminds of that. You need to embrace the now, go in with an open mind. But you never get your youth back. You shouldn't, I guess: you need to move on, grow old, all that. I don't mind getting old – I'm quite interested in age.
Is that something you might discuss lyrically?
No, man, I don't really discuss anything in my lyrics. I don't even think about them. I should, probably!