Christopher Wicks

Founder and Chief Executive,

Defiance USA Inc.

When did you arrive in the United States, and why did you come?

I first came in 1976 and I moved here in 1984. I came to the U.S. to make a career in fashion and meet the rock ’n’ roll elite.

Why did you start your business in the United States instead of your native country?

I started designing clothes in the U.K. in 1975, but I moved here to evolve my clothing design business. We make clothes under several brands; English Laundry is the flagship brand.

What’s the worst thing about starting and running a business in the United States?

I have no complaints. “God Bless America.”

What’s the best thing?

I believe that the U.S. is the most happening place for fashion on the planet. I love the L.A. vibe.

What were the biggest surprises?

How much people love an English accent.

Do you go back often to visit?

Every two months. We still have a home in Europe.

Would you tell someone from your native country to start a business there or here?

America is the world’s crossroads for fashion, music and art.

What advice would you give someone from there about starting a business here?

Bring lots of money to start up.

What was your view of the United States when you were growing up?

Everything was big, and it was the birthplace of rock ’n’ roll.

Did reality match your expectations?

My perceptions became reality. America accepted me as a clothing designer as well as a member of a rock band, the Glorious. I’m a singer and writer, and recently completed my first album with the help of musician friends, including Billy Duffy of the Cult, Steve Jones of Sex Pistols and Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots.

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