Known for his zesty colour palette and eccentric prints (from flowers to fish to cars), Iran-born businessman and designer Hoss Salimian launched his affordable luxury brand Claudio Lugli in the early 90s.
Since then his designs have been worn by a smorgasbord of huge names, from Chic’s Nile Rogers and bookies’ favourite I’m a Celeb winner Jack Quickenden, to talk show host Alan Carr and Mysterious Girl singer Peter Andre. And just last weekend, X Factor star Andrea Faustini was seen hitting the high notes in a Claudio shirt.
Here, Hoss chats about styling the stars, valuing gay customers and the importance of paisley…
How did you get the company started?
I’ve been in the clothing and retail industry for over 34 years. I started Claudio Lugli in 1994 as I always wanted to bring my own brand out, and I’ve been manufacturing shirts, suits and jackets ever since – you name it, I’m the man, sir!
Have your gay customers always been important to you?
Every client is important, but gay people love to dress well and look good, and they love colour – I’ve always had gay customers interested in the brand.
How do you feel when you walk down the street and see someone in one of your designs?
That gives me great pleasure, absolutely. It’s the best thing that can happen, to see people relate to you.
You have a lot of celebrity fans..
Just last week I noticed Alan Carr wearing my shirt, which made me feel so great. Keith Lemon, Peter Andre and Louis Walsh have worn them too, and we’ve sent Andrea from X Factor a few: the apple one, the guitar one, the hummingbird one. His stylist will then choose which one he wears on the show.
Above: Alan Carr (flanked by the likes of Bette Midler and Sam Smith) wears a Claudio Lugli design on Chatty Man, Channel 4
What happens when a celebrity wears one of your designs?
Peter Andre presented a Brit Award in one of my shirts about three years ago – I got so much feedback on it, everyone was calling up looking for it.
How would you describe Claudio Lugli in a sentence?
Very colorful and into detail – I like to be unique; individuality is my goal feeling, and good fabric makes an item flourish.
What would your advice be to a young, budding designer?
You’ve got to get out and start dealing with real people one-to-one, and understand what their demands are. Digital marketing is quite easy. And people love small details on their clothes – they make them look better. You need to be original.
What is your favourite design of yours out at the moment?
My favourite at the moment is my paisley print, in wine and blue. It’s even got little prints inside.
To visit the official Claudio Lugli website, click here