Dressed in SMR Days’

relaxed tailoring for work

or play, the British sculptor

takes us around his home

city of London

“London is my constant,” says British artist Nick Hornby, who grew up in the sedate neighborhood of Holland Park, flanked by Notting Hill and Shepherd’s Bush. The Thames, the Tate, the weather, nostalgia – these are the reasons, he says, he continues to live and work in the city, creating his fluid, oftentimes vast sculptures in the renovated scrap metal yard he uses as a studio. Fittingly, 2023 will see three of Nick’s works unveiled in the city he calls home, public commissions everyone can enjoy. Here, we capture Nick on the streets of Bloomsbury in SMR Days’latest collection summer classics. Styled by our creative director Dan May, he wears a relaxed uniform for work or play – workwear-inspired silhouettes and matching sets in soft natural fabrics and vivid prints, our take on tailoring that’s easier than ever.

Tell us a little bit about your background. What first drew you to sculpture as a medium?

I started with pottery at school, but never made a pot. Instead, I started making figures. The kiln was too restrictive, so I moved to plaster, and things quickly escalated...

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently a five-metres tall public commission for a site in London – a sort of wobbly horse formed from three-and-a-half-tonnes of corten steel. The engineering is complicated and exciting. I have a large monograph with Anomie Publishing, two other public commissions and two solo shows in the pipeline too.

A lot has been said about the artist’s uniform. What do you wear to the studio? Do you have go-to pieces which help you work?

Artists threaten systems of power because we float between different social strata: the work of an artist means wearing everything from overalls to tuxedos. In the studio, I’m in overalls and PPE. But hands-on making is only a small part of the work – most days are very varied. The challenge is ‘day-to-night’ clothes that are acceptable in most situations – meetings, van driving, and dinners.



What is your studio space like?

It’s a former scrap metal yard renovated in 2006 by ARUP and Powell Architects. It has a sawtooth glass and steel roof that floods the space with light.

You live and work in London, the city in which you grew up. What’s kept you in the city, what do you love about it?

Everything. The Thames, the Tate . The weather. Nostalgia. I bought a flat on the same street I grew up on. So much in life can change, but London is my constant – it’s dependable.

Is there a place you go to get inspired?

The Cast Courts at the V&A have plaster copies of famous sculptures including Michelangelo’s David, Trajan’s Column, and Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise. The originals are scattered all over the world but here they are bustling for space in two vast rooms. The casts were made between 1850 and 1880, and they copy objects made from 1100 to 1850. It is an incredible history of histories, where time and space collapse.

SMR Days is all about travel. What is your favourite place to visit in the world, and why?

New York. It has the same pace as London and all the work, culture and fun, but with less responsibility.

Where’s a place you haven’t been but you really want to?

Marfa, Texas.

What will we always find packed in your suitcase?

I’m really ashamed to admit this but I bring my breakfast with me including my bowl and spoon. Life can be quite extreme and discombobulating – I need some constants.

Who is your favourite person to travel with?

I don’t have anyone. That’s on my to-do list.

SMR Days is about freedom, and escape. Where do you feel most free? Where do you go to escape?

It’s not where – it’s when. It’s the day after an exhibition is installed – then, briefly, I am free.

Like Nick’s artistic approach to life and style? Check out our new arrivals.

Plus, get to know more of our SMR Days men, from their insider address books to how they travel in style.