In Conversation With


Raven Smith, Instagram: @raven__smith
Image courtesy of Alex Monroe

Raven Smith is the funniest man in fashion. The Vogue columnist is known for using his Instagram to shout LOLs like “MY IDEAL WEIGHT IS 70s TRAVOLTA ON TOP OF ME” and (early into lockdown) “DRINKING BLEACH IS HELPING”. His debut book, Raven Smith's Trivial Pursuits, is a certified The Sunday Times best-seller; he’s dashingly handsome (as is his husband), he’s always on holiday, and his house is constantly under renovation. We asked him questions. 

Words: Zac Bayly 

What is the most luxurious hobby you can think of, or perhaps a dream hobby you’ve always wanted to take up?
I’ve always wanted to be a painter or sculptor but lack the hand-eye coordination.

What are your favourite things to wear at the beach?
I wish I was a Speedo Gay™ with a nonchalant approach to my bulge but I’m more partial to a short short. I always tie my signet ring into my waistband because I’m paranoid about it sinking away like the Titanic necklace.

What did you wear most of the time whilst penning Raven Smith's Trivial Pursuits?
My trusted sweatpants, almost threadbare in the seat from living in a chair.

What’s changed in your life since becoming a Sunday Times best seller?
Well, I put my writing rates up and the reprint of my book gets a brag on the cover.  

If you could buy any water-themed artwork in existence, what would it be and why?
A Hockney pool. Or perhaps ‘Ophelia’ by Millais, which I have a counterfeit of in my bathroom. I’m a melt for a swim, can’t be happy without regular submergence.  

David Hockney "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" (1972)

 What is your dream waterside holiday?
Diving off my boat in Cornwall. Jellyfish are a manageable issue. Cornish pasties are smiles.

What's the best waterside holiday you've ever been on?
Hydra was beautiful. No beaches, plenty of diving platforms. A car park that gives way to the Aegean.  

Raven on vacation in Bodrum, Turkey

What are your top three holiday tracks?
1. Zombies — ‘Time of the Season’
2. Bob Marley — ‘Could You be Loved’
3. Lykke Li — ‘I Follow You’

How would you describe your fashion sensibilities?
I like a flat shoe and a lot of thigh. I try not to dress differently for different things — I hate the idea of specific festival wear or party clothes. At the beach I’m dressed for Christmas; I’ve just adjusted the layers based on rising temperatures.

Who are your top three style icons?
1. The Capulet men in 1996
2. Howard Carter
3. The guys that run the commune in Midsommar

What have been the highlights of your career so far?
Still reaching, your honour.

Raven in Myatt's fields park London, England

What aspect of your job brings you the most happiness or stimulation, and why?
Writing. It’s so hard and so rewarding.

What part of your job are you most keen to escape?
Writing. Same reasons. You spend a lot of time in your head and it’s hard to get back out.

Board shorts, swim briefs, or none, and why?
Somewhere in the middle. Nut-skimming is part of the fun.

Land or sea, and why?
The coast. A city by the sea is a gift.

More or less, and why?
Less but better quality.

Kindness or humour, and why?
Humour needn’t be unkind.

What is the last thing on your bucket list?
Very keen on Belize. And a finished house. Want to go in a helicopter. The list is endless. 

Raven travelling in Penzance London, England