Ben de Lisi has become such a strong player on the British fashion scene that it's easy to forget that he's not British. Born in America, Ben grew up in New York and was taught to sew by his Grandmother. He went on to study sculpture at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
In 1982 he moved to London to pursue his dream of becoming a fashion designer and promptly produced his first capsule collection, which was very well received. He built up an independent brand with a loyal customer base and an established celebrity following.
Ben's collections were shown at London Fashion Week and won the coveted British Glamour Designer of the Year award twice in 1994 and 1995. De Lisi is best known for dressing Kate Winslet for the Oscars and other red carpet events, gaining many column inches praising his work.
Ben has been designing a diffusion line in conjunction with Debenhams called BDL by Ben de Lisi since 1997 which became one of the largest selling ranges under their Designers at Debenhams umbrella in its first season.
In 2009, Ben launched his first homeware range for Debenhams called Ben de Lisi. The collection was inspired by the designer's own home with the 'Ella' cushion, featuring a graphic print of one of Ben's French Bulldogs, becoming Debenhams' fastest ever selling cushion.
2010 saw the launch of Principles by Ben de Lisi. Distilling the essence of the Principles signature style, Ben has taken classic pieces and reworked them to create a collection of elegant day and weekend wear that can easily be dressed up for evening or worn in the office.
60 Seconds with Ben de Lisi
Style is all about … having an eye! Having confidence! Being secure in your skin! Seeing beauty in all things! Knowing yourself and being true to yourself!
My personal style is … preppy, with a bit of a messed up twist, but always remaining immaculate and polished.
My collection is … '60s inspired, featuring colour blocking, sharp tunics and slim pants.
I’m inspired by … painters ... Picasso, Kadinsky, Rothko, Nicholson, Brancuzzi, Braque, Modigliani, Pollock.
A woman looks great when … she smiles and plays up her attributes. Oh and wears heels!
A man should always … be understated and sharp and never ever be afraid to wear colour!
My most treasured possessions are …my three French bulldogs and then my vintage Rolex watches.
If I weren’t a designer … I would be painting and sculpting at my beach house! Need to get the beach house first though!
My top tip is …Never dress for anyone but yourself, try and refrain from shopping with someone, best to make the decision on your own, never ever overdo anything … remember less in this case is definitely more.
My favourite piece is …the geometric, colour block dress.
My favourite places ...My home collection features prints inspired by London and British culture. Here are a few of my favourite places around London and beyond. Alfies Antique Market in Marylebone, especially the Quadrant; Green & Stone in Kings Road for amazing art supplies; Battersea Park for losing myself with the dogs; The Ivy in London's West End for eating out; The Butcher & Grill in Battersea for informal dining; Itsu for sushi on the run; Ilkley in Yorkshire for catching up with friends; The Lake District in Cumbria for getting away from it all.
Principles by Ben de Lisi is available at Debenhams Shangri-La Plaza, Rustan’s Makati and Abreeza.
Click on the photo gallery to view a sampling of Principles by Ben de Lisi at Debenhams.
Photography by Yayay De Castro
Styling by Nikki Santiago
Model: Irina of Elite Model Management
Makeup by Claire Diokno of Shu Uemura
Hair styling by Ricky Diokno of Kiehl's Stylist Series