Meet the designer: 5 things to know
1. The issue of sustainability is at the forefront of many design conversations recently, you won 2017 Vogue/BFC Designer fashion fund prize and used this to steer the brand in a more eco-friendly direction – Does moving into this territory have an impact on the design and production process? In what way?
” It can and it can’t, it depends how you want to go about the process. You can simply opt out of your usual fabrics and replace for a certified version or like me, you can go the full way. Either route is still a positive one!
For my journey, I flipped the whole process around, beginning with geography. I wanted to create a product that ticked every sustainable box so customers didn’t have to question anything. I started with locations and what territories create the raw materials; what are the closest locations for spinning, weaving and finishing the garments. I wanted to ensure that the product travelled the least amount of miles possible as well as being made under the best environmental and social conditions.
I began with options of materials and manufacturing before I put pen to paper. Its the opposite way most of use design.”
2. Sustainability today can be considered trendy, what do you think is needed to move this from a trend to an industry wide movement?
” I think a trend is positive if it promotes awareness, which in turn pushes consumers to push brands. Hopefully, once the momentum starts then brands will have to make changes. The ideal scenario would be if the momentum reaches governments to put trading standards in place in the textile industry so that brands have no choice but to adhere to certain standards.”
3. A recent personal venture saw you take an eco friendly direction with a bridal line, how much does your personal life inspire your work and do you feel this is the same for all designers?
“My job is my life in so many ways, so infinitely. When you run a small company it all merges into one, my home becomes adorned with florals that you see in our collection, and it is filled with as many sustainable attributes as possible which then infiltrate Mother of Pearl. The brand becomes an extension of my life. As a creative, I am always plotting and planning my next creative project and they always intertwine. I think for designers there will always be elements of cross over.”
4. The brand started in 2002, you came on board in 2006. how do you think the brand has evolved in terms of aesthetic and identity since joining?
” I did indeed, 12 years in total, but the first 5 years were very much me assisting in the studio before my creative path began. Slowly I was involved more and more in collections until around 6 years ago where I became the Director of Design and then more recently Creative Director.
The brand has evolved a great deal, naturally with different designers at the helm along the way, and then it found the feet it stands on today. We have had a more evolutionary approach to the direction of the brand than others but today it has it’s identity solidified.”
5. Your background and upbringing largely influence your work. Do you have any advice for young creatives hoping to forge a similar career?
” It has been a very laborious journey for me, coming from a background so far from the London fashion scene and the only advice I have for anyone in a similar position is, if you truly want it then it requires complete passion, dedication, the ability to take knocks and get back up and have a huge love for what you do. My most important piece of advice is to surround yourself with people you love whether that’s when you start your own business or making sure you join a company with good teams as if you are going to work hard then do it with fabulous people, in work and out!”