robert greenfield
writer navigation
robert greenfield biog

Biography

uk
biog


The House on the Ridgeway where Robert lived until he was six


Robert's parents looking like movie stars in their courting days during the 1930s


Robert's father in the Royal Sussex Regiment during World War Two


Robert aged six


New Years Eve, 1983 in Boca Raton, Florida


Robert and Michael with their dog, Barnaby on the sun-terrace at their unique country Lodge

biography

Robert Greenfield was born on 26th October 1959, the youngest son of Gerald and Irene Greenfield, and lived in Chingford on the fringes of Epping Forest. He has two older brothers Tony and David, and an adopted sister Sandra.

Robert's beautiful mother
Irene in the 1940s

His first school was Richmond House on The Ridgeway. And life was pleasantly normal for an infant growing up in the leafy suburbs - until his beautiful mother, suddenly died from a suspected overdose when Robert was just six years old.

Shortly after her death his childhood home was sold, and he moved with his father to the West End of London.

When he was ten years old, his father remarried and life was never the same for Robert thereafter. All through his adolescence and whilst during his attendance at Marylebone Grammar School, Robert hid a tragic dark family secret: he was suffering vitriolic verbal abuse at the hands of his inexorably callous (socialite) Germanic stepmother. In many ways she was the ‘Archetypal Wicked Stepmother’, and her tyranny would have a devastating effect on his formative years lasting well into adulthood.

Robert's handsome
father Gerry in the 1940s

All reigns of terror do come to an end… In the 1970s Robert’s salvation came: firstly his father divorced his second wife, secondly, he remarried a wonderful Chinese lady called Violet, a year later, whom he had met in Hong Kong and finally, Robert got accepted into The London College of Fashion, where he eventually graduated with a degree in fashion design/tailoring.

Robert spent many years coming to terms with his troubled childhood, and finally assuaged many of his demons with therapy that lasted well into adulthood.

After leaving college, he worked in fashion retail, and then lived in Florence for a time, where he produced his very first clothing collection, which was launched at a catwalk fashion show at ‘The Roof Gardens’ in Kensington.

During the 1980s, Robert’s own design label (Robbie Maxwell) of upmarket men’s leatherwear and casualwear clothing was sold in boutiques and upscale department stores in major capitals around the world. He exhibited in trade shows in London, Paris, and Cologne, and he was one of the privileged few overseas designers to be invited to exhibit at the very prestigious ‘New York Designers’ Collective’ for his fall/winter collection in 1985.

Robert was headhunted by a large American corporation after they had seen his jackets in Harrods, and Barneys in New York, and thus he went to live in the Big Apple. His collections were then produced in a flourish in the Far East, where he also spent considerable time. New diffusion ranges were manufactured under the banner of ‘Maxwear’ for the US market…

However, after some years Stateside in a curious twist of unexpected fate, Robert decided to return to his atelier in London, where he concentrated on freelancing for major international sportswear brands and well-known men’s fashion labels.

Robert was once dubbed: ‘Britain’s answer to the Italian Look’. A slew of well-known pop stars and sporting stars were often spotted wearing his designs… He also made major design contributions to the body conscious aerodynamic (Lycra) fitness revolution in the 1980s.

During the 199Os he left the fashion business, and went on to become a well-respected interior designer and one of his first major projects was renovating a fashionable London Mews house previously owned by film star: Sean Connery. Penthouses, luxury apartments, townhouses, barn conversions, boathouses, country cottages, a Victorian schoolhouse conversion, ultra-contemporary riverside properties and even a boutique hotel soon followed… as Robert says, “Design is my sensitivity”.

In 1994 Robert met his partner now of seventeen years, Michael Bell, on a blind date. And in 2000 they sold their stunning Muswell Hill property on the verges of Highgate Woods to embark on a new life on the North Norfolk coast. Consequently, the rest is a remarkable history with Robert’s first book Samphire Coast chronicling this epic life changing experience that was to reveal some many twists and turns into an outcome that they could never-ever have imagined…


The much-publicized Claret Suite: "A master class in interior design - exquisite 10/10" - The Sunday Times Travel (click on image to download a PDF of this picture)


Sean Connery’s former mews house post Robert’s renovation (click on image to download a PDF of this picture)


One of Robert's winning designs featured in Vogue magazine (click on image to download a PDF of this picture)

novelist