Robert Greenfield was born on 26th October 1960, 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 step-brothers, Stephen, Mike and Danny.
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 seven years old. Shortly after her death his childhood home was sold, and he moved with his father to central 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 dark family secret: he was suffering vitriolic verbal abuse at the hands of his inexorably callous 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 spent many years coming to terms with his troubled childhood, and finally assuaged many of his demons with therapy that lasted well into adulthood
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, named 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.
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) – upmarket menswear/casualwear – 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.
Subsequently, Robert was headhunted by an 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 from the Far East, where he also spent considerable time. This led to new diffusion ranges manufactured under the banner of ‘Maxwear’ for the US market…
However, after some years Stateside with much success, in a curious twist of fate, Robert felt the need 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 1990s 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, Michael Bell on a blind date. And in 2000 they sold their stunning Muswell Hill home on the verges of Highgate Woods to embark on a new life on the North Norfolk coast. Consequently, Robert’s first book Samphire Coast chronicling this epic life changing experience was publshed in 2011 by Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie (Vanguard Imprint) – it continues to be one of their bestsellers!
7th September, 2017 sees the launch of Robert’s latest book: The Cedar Cage (noir-fiction/psychological mystery thriller) – a novel that took him three-plus years to create.
Robert has recently become very active in opposing the heinous and barbaric ‘dog meat trade’ in the Far East, and is currently working on a crime thriller (his third book), from his new woodland home on the North Norfolk coast: it’s based on his dreams for a Worldwide Dog Protection Law.