The designer haven celebrates more than years in business and his showpiece Linthorpe Road store has won scores of awards and industry accolades since it was first opened. A man of vision and proudly passionate about his home town, Steve was given an honorary doctorate from Teesside University and the Borough Award. He lives on the outskirts of Yarm with partner Alex and has two sons.
LUXE PEOPLE >>
Close family and children go without saying. Peter Lawley, formerly of Dolce & Gabbana, has always been a great mentor to me. Close to home, Graham Henderson of Teesside University, Ray Mallon and Alastair Powell are good friends as is musician and academic Noel Dennis.
Luxe places >>
For a weekend > Venice. Alex and I went in April for the first time without the kids. It was like being boyfriend and girlfriend again, we had a different perspective. It was a brilliant place. Loved the water taxis.
A long holiday > I don’t usually go away for more than a week at a time but I go away about four times and have a few long weekends away. I had a great holiday in the Maldives – lots of water sports, diving and catamaran sailing.
A treat > I’ve not been to New Zealand or Australia so I would like to go there. I like a weekend in New York, there’s nothing like that city.
Luxe relax >>
Best food > Seafood. I love all seafood. Crab, oysters, scallops. I like chargrilled seabass at the Crathorne Arms.
Best wine > Red wine with seafood works for me! I like a Volnay or Malbec. I don’t drink a great deal but I like something really good – I’m a ‘start at the bottom of the list’ wine drinker. I like quality.
Favourite restaurant > Antico Borge in Florence. It’s in the Piazza Spirito Santo and they do a great hot seafood platter with spider crabs, lobster, everything. Perfect.
Perfect weekend > I work every other Saturday in Psyche which is a day where I am not in the office but like to be on the shop floor seeing customers and staff and watch the shop in action. I love that. Friday evening when the week’s work is done I’ve got a switch off button – I head for David Lloyd’s for a game of squash, meet with friends and put the world to rights over a beer. Saturdays if I am not working I will start the day with a swim and like pottering about, maybe go for a run or play squash. We’ve got a jetty at the bottom of the garden so I might go out with the canoe. Saturday night it’s a nice meal and a relax. Sunday night it’s ‘homework’ – I plan for the next week.
Best telly > I don’t watch that much. I hate the soaps. I might watch the news or a documentary. I could argue that the best telly was when I proposed to Alex on the roof of Psyche – on TV when the BBC 3 cameras came and filmed a series at Psyche! That was ten years ago and we still haven’t got married yet!
Best book > I have just read For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway and am going to take on Homer’s Odyssey next. I like to challenge myself.
Best sounds > I love jazz, Northern Soul and disco – my friend Noel Dennis’ jazz trio often plays at Psyche.
Luxe shop >>
Best shopping city > Well, Middlesbrough obviously! I hate Paris and I love Milan.
Favourite shop > I love Liberty in London because they buy in a cool way that is more like ‘curating’ their offer in a gallery style.
Luxe retail treat > I like going round shops noting their brands, merchandising, shopfits, taking pics and generally what’s going on – busman’s holiday! I hate tech and I love sports kit stores.
Best buy > Grant Anthem mountain bike – it has given me so much pleasure. Also I have a very indulgent Paul Smith Burton vapour lightweight carbon snowboard that is very fast and which cost a silly £1500. It’s black with a Paul Smith stripe on it and really puts a smile on my face.
Luxe party >>
A memorable night out > Meeting Richard Branson and spending a good time in conversation was up there with the best!
Perfect party > It hasn’t happened yet – a marquee in the garden with everyone there chilling out – sounds like a wedding!
Best outfit > I’ve got an Atelier Scotch suit that is perfect. Very slim fitting in a nice blue. It’s one to wear when I’m toned as it is a really tailored shape – no place for paunch. I wear it with no socks and Paul Smith brogues. I bought a Dries van Noten black leather jacket 20 years ago for £1,000 which was a fortune… but it is still fantastic, perfect nappa leather. One of those, ‘price per wear’ investments.
Dinner date > Alex of course – but in another life, Natalie Imbruglia
Your luxe thing in life >>
Psyche. I always love coming to work; I love all aspects of this business.