A WASHINGTON man whose career as a designer has seen him work with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and actress Sienna Miller is back on home soil.
Trevor Lough has returned to his native North East for the first time in almost 20 years – and set up new design company Big Chief.
He joined Pepe Jeans London – where his girlfriend was already employed as a womenswear designer – in 1996 and within four years had worked his way up to art director.
He was selected to help the brand set up its new HQ in Madrid in 2000, and has lived there for the last 14 years.
Pepe Jeans is part of the PVH group of companies, which also includes Tommy Hilfiger Europe, Arrow, Hackett and Calvin Klein Europe.
“It was a truly exciting time for me, especially with the move to Madrid, and seeing the brand expand so quickly,” he said.
“One minute it was a scrap to get a decent print or shoot budget together, and then all of a sudden with the new investment company there were giant budgets available to work with.
“You began working with big name photographers, celebrities, top models and sports people like Sienna Miller, Laetitia Casta, Alexa Chung, Cara Delevingne and Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Like the rest of Europe, Spain has been hit by the economic recession. “Madrid became a difficult place,” said Trevor.
“Spain’s economy was struggling, government taxation was ridiculously high and the self-employed or growing small businesses in the creative sector, weren’t given any encouragement or support.”
“Many of our friends, both ex-pats and Spaniards, started to leave the country to pursue careers in the UK, USA or Holland.
“We had more or less made our minds up that we were going to come home anyway, and this just speeded that decision up.”