A graduate of Central Saint Martins, Katharine Hamnett launched her brand in 1979 with a range of eclectic women’s designs; menswear followed in 1981. That year also saw her release the first of her many slogan tees ‘CHOOSE LIFE’, soon followed by ‘EDUCATION NOT MISSILES’, ‘WORLDWIDE NUCLEAR BAN NOW’, ‘PEACE, SAVE THE WORLD’, ‘YOU – ME, SAVE THE SEA’, ‘CLEAN UP OR DIE’, and ‘SAVE THE FUTURE’.

Catwalk Show


Friday 21st September



Designer Details



See Katharine Hamnett on the catwalk on Friday 21st September.

Meet the designer…


1. Could you tell us a little about your background?

“I was brought up all over Europe, in an environment where clothes were very important. You need to know all the rules to be able to break them.”


2. How did you first gravitate towards fashion?

“I picked it out of a career book with a pin.  I really wanted to be a film director or an architect.”


3. What was the first step in your fashion career?

“I made my first outfit at 6.”


4. How would you describe your aesthetic, or style?

“Functional, function is also feeling comfortable, making yourself look attractive, helping you find a boyfriend/getting a job/being the belle of the ball. I hate non-functional detail. Everything has to have a reason for being/a purpose.”


5. What excites you most in fashion today?

“The new spotlight finally on sustainability and the incredible choice of sustainable materials.”


6. What have been, in your opinion the most memorable highlights of your career?

“There have been so many…getting into St Martins to study fashion, seeing my first dress in a shop, discovering amazing photographers like Juergen Teller and Ellen Von Undwerth and giving them their first job in fashion, winning ‘most influential designer of the year’, that Thatcher selfie, launching the careers of innumerable models like Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Cambell, working with the most amazing people across the board, doing fashion shows across the planet, having a fantastic life, and mostly, that now everybody really cares about sustainability…something I have been going on about, sometimes like a voice in the wilderness since 1989.”


5. What advice would you give to someone starting out as a designer?

“Get technically brilliant in all aspects, also study history of fashion and learn to draw, then sell your collection off your Instagram.”


5. Who is the Katharine Hamnett woman?

“Everyone hopefully, I try to design it that way.”