When One Direction parted ways back in 2015, and in the process shattering the hearts of fangirls across the globe, something remarkable happened. Each of the five members would go on to tackle mainstream chart success from completely different angles. For Wolverhampton’s poster boy Liam Payne, it was following in the footsteps of his personal heroes – the likes of Justin Timberlake and Usher – morphing into an all-singing, all-dancing, pop sensation. Debut single ‘Strip That Down’ featuring Quavo stacked up a rather impressive 318 million views on YouTube, followed by a slew of hits which featured the likes of reggaeton sensation J Balvin and producer mastermind Zedd. On last year’s LP1, Payne dipped his toe into a plethora of different sounds and influences, moving between tropical house and sensual R&B, to slow-burner ballads and trap-laden instrumentals throughout.
As a pop star on the course for global domination, Payne needed his signature uniform. That’s where Hugo comes in. As a brand ambassador, Payne partnered with Hugo back in December for a collection of signature casualwear that included graphic tees, classic shirting and one saucy campaign flaunting the collection’s underwear selection. The collab was a hit, so much so that the dream team had to come together once more for a second instalment. This time around, the collection celebrates Payne’s rapid journey from boyband sensation to established solo artist.
“For the second collection, I had an idea of how the Hugo creative process works and more of an understanding towards materials, colours and the reality of making a collection,” explains Payne. “We could also see what worked in the first collection which all helped to make me feel more comfortable this time around.” Working in a signature palette that rotates between black, white, navy and red, all 14 pieces are inspired by Payne’s own wardrobe – each as sporty as they are sleek. The Hugo logo is redubbed ‘Hugo93.LP’, paying homage to the year Payne was born, emblazing cracking twin sets, full tracksuits and a brand new trainer silhouette. Another motif appears throughout; the chevron – inspired by the arrow tattoo situated on Payne’s arm, photographed in the collection’s campaign by 10 Magazine contributor Tom Craig.
“I love the tracksuits, I normally do so much travelling and it’s so nice having something that’s comfortable but still looks good,” says Payne.” His girlfriend Maya Henry is also a big fan of the trackies – “I wear the blue one and she wears the white one,” he explains. As for heading back on stage after life returns to normality, Payne is most excited to sport the jeans: “I think the jeans are going to be my go-to for on stage, I have never had any that fit so well! And they can be worn with so much of the wider Hugo collection too.” To mark the collection’s release, we asked Liam Payne 10-tastic questions:
1. This season celebrates your journey from teen pop sensation to an established solo artist. If you had to pick only one single One Direction song to listen to for the rest of your life, which would you pick?
“Only one song for the rest of your life?! I’d miss out on so much! If I have to pick, I would probably have to say ‘Little Things’ as this will always be one of my favourite songs. It was a crazy time in my life so it brings back a lot of memories and means a lot to me. It was also my first time working with Ed Sheeran which was amazing and I’ve been lucky enough to continue working with him through my solo career.”
2. Out of all the collaborators on your debut solo album LP1, who do you think would rock this collection the best?
“I’m hoping they’ll all like it, but I think it’s really more Jonas [Blue] or Zedd’s style. Maybe Zedd as he’s in LA and can rock the swimming shorts more regularly than we can over here!”
3. The chevron motif that appears throughout the collection is inspired by a tattoo you have on your right arm. If you had to make another motif from one of your other tattoos, which would you pick?
“I guess the roman numerals would be the obvious choice as they are my X Factor number and that was obviously when my life changed completely.”
4. You say this collection is “full of easy styles that are perfect for the weekend,” what’s your ideal Saturday night?
“Because it’s more casual, it’s perfect for a night in with Bear at the weekend. We’ll normally go on the trampoline and then play in the evening until he goes to bed. After that, I’ll either chill or write some music.”
5. What makes Hugo the ideal fit to be a global brand ambassador for?
“I’ve always really liked the brand it’s really the sort of style that I like. They’ve been amazing to work with and I love that I’m not just the face of but that I can actually get involved in the whole process. It’s ace!”
6. What’s your favourite song to perform live?
“My favourite song recently has been ‘Polaroid’ but I’ve just released a new song with Alesso called ‘Midnight’ and I cannot wait to get back on stage to perform it!”
7. What’s the craziest rumour you’ve heard about yourself?
“There was a rumour that I was dead once…my mum called me and asked if I was alive!”
8. What’s the fashion moment from your former years that you regret wearing the most?
“Some of my travelling gear was questionable back in the day. I feel like I was still working out my style then, but it was fun getting there.”
9. Before you go on stage, what artists are usually on your pre-show playlist?
This changes from show to show depending on how I feel. Usher, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake and Post Malone are normally in there.
10. If you could team up with any other artist for your next Hugo collection, who would you pick?
“I’d love to go for someone really random that no one would expect…like Billie Ellish! So many girls are making the collection work for them so it would be cool to actually team up with a female. Imagine if we worked with Billie, it would be so fun to see where that would go.”
by Paul Toner
Photographs by Tom Craig. The second release of Hugo x Liam Payne is available to purchase online now.