Brand Interviews

5 Mins With British Brand Avalanche Jewellery..

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Shop AVALANCHE JEWELLERY :

How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

I design striking, bold jewellery. Edgy but chic. I want women to feel confident and empowered when they wear my pieces.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

Where can I get one of those?!

What is your background?

I grew up in rural Devon with two very creative parents who encouraged my brother and me to try our hands at all sorts of artistic activities. When I was a kid I was always making things, I had a woodwork bench outside my bedroom. I also built a darkroom in the utility room. I went on to study Performance Art and Photography before moving to Paris for a year where I worked as a photographer's assistant for some time. I retrained in Jewellery Manufacture at Holts Academy in Hatton Garden.

Which designers do you rate highly and why?

There are so many! I really love Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen as I love the British punk aesthetic. My favourite jewellery designer is Pamela Love. In fact I became a little bit obse

ssed with her and that's what made me want to start designing jewellery. Not that you would know it now from my work.

Tell us about your design process from concept, producton and to the shelves...

Any ideas and inspiration I'll scribble into my notebook. I'm terrible at drawing so these usually look pretty awful! Inspiration comes from everywhere - I love looking at what people are wearing and London is especially great for this. I'll first make each piece in wax and get it cast into silver where I'll work on it until I'm completely happy with it. These will become the prototypes from which I'll get moulds made. Until recently I would hand finish each piece myself. Now I have amazing artisans in Thailand who do a wonderful job.

How do you think your brand has developed?

The biggest development has been outsourcing my production. This was a big decision for me as what I've always loved is being at my bench and getting my hands dirty. But I still get to sit at my bench, only now it's less repetitive and more relaxing.

What do you dislike most about your job?

Nothing! Seriously. Well ok, maybe doing accounts isn't my favourite way to spend a morning...

What are your main achievements and what do you aim to achieve now? Past present and future?

I'm always really chuffed when I secure a new stockist and I want to keep expanding. I'm currently working on my second collection. It's going to be a lot bigger than my first and I'mexcited to see it finished. My plans for the future are to expand internationally, starting with France (I'm half French with lots of family there so it feels like a good starting point).

What advice would you have for anyone starting out (in your field)?

The best advice I was ever given was to make sure you have decent photos of your pieces, this really does go a long way. Also, don't try and keep everyone happy wth your designs - if you can be confident with your style and stick with it you'll have greater success.

Why do you think British design stands out on the global stage?

Having lived in both Paris and London I'd say there's an open mindedness in London which is also true of British design. Don't get me wrong, I think Paris has it's own qualities, but it's definitely far less brave when it comes to design.

5 Mins with British Clothing Brand Monks On Vacation

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Shop Monks on Vacation :

How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

We create contemporary, stylish and versatile niche collections while utilising the best of British knitted fabrics and manufacturing. The design style is simplistic and authentic.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

Overwhelmingly the comments centre on the quality and luxurious feel of the fabrics. Feedback also mentions our designs which compliment any body shape and in which the customer feels fabulous whether wearing the garment during a busy day or relaxing into the evening.

What is your background?

A degree in Art History and a small business while living in Asia working alongside a small number of seamstresses on evening dress designs for a Dress hire company I had with a friend. We also had an accessory business also based in the Far East.

Which designers do you rate highly and why?

A bit predictable but I have an awful lot of admiration for Victoria Beckham, not least for turning her hand to a completely different workspace, alongside the inevitable high level of  scrutiny, in a very competitive business. I think she has proved herself without doubt and her designs transcend catwalk to the high street seamlessly.

Tell us about your design process from concept, production and to the shelves…

I design all the time in a sketch book which is ready then to reference when the time comes for putting into practice. Designs are worked on and toiled with fabrics which are knitted in a Leicester factory. Each season we develop a unique print with Scottish print designer Katie Charleson which is then worked into a statement piece for our collection. This season we combined the print with a bespoke fabric from our fabric producer to make a limited edition piece ,the Maisie Dress . This has a fabulous stretch which moulds round each body type to flatter curves and accentuate the figure. The best bit is it washes on 40 degrees, leave to hang dry and no need to iron!

How do you think your brand has developed?

We only launched 15 months ago but already we have a following for our small collections which consist of pieces which work beautifully with each other to form the perfect capsule wardrobe. Our pieces are ideal for a weekend beak away or a summer vacation as the fabric packs well along  with the neutral colour pallet of our basics, which offset a splash of colour in a selected piece. The versatility of our garments ensure they can be worn throughout the day and into the evening with a quick change of shoe or jacket to dress up or down.

What do you dislike most about your job?

Paperwork and accounts !!!

What are your main achievements and what do you aim to achieve now? Past present and future

Our main achievement to date was to get our second collection out online. We now want to reach beyond where we are currently to gain greater brand awareness on which to build. Ideally we would love a loyal repeat customer base who appreciate quality, beauty and creativity in the form of a slow fashion brand, producing transitional designs which work all year round and which give true value per purchase!

What advice would you have for anyone starting out in (your field)?

Surround yourselves by people who are the very best in their field, whether it be in fabric production, the quality of manufacturing or the web designer who brings your story to life. I’ve been so lucky to have a great team around me which makes such a difference to getting through  the daily workload!

Why do you think British design stands out on the global stage?

I think British designers aren’t scared to push the boundaries and have a fabulous environment to be inspired by. We have amazing city culture, not only in London but Manchester, Glasgow, Bristol etc which exude a wonderful creative culture alongside inspiring design studios and colleges.

5 Mins with British Brand Alison Fern Jewellery...

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Shop Alison Fern Jewellery :

How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

I am a self taught jewellery designer living and working in London and all of my pieces are individually crafted by hand and in limited quantities. I studied Art and Design at University and originally started experimenting with making jewellery as a creative outlet while working in the Art world. However before all of this I spent my childhood playing and dreaming by the Suffolk coastline. Combining the influences of nature and the city my design sensibilities swing between delicate and feminine, and then a desire for something a bit tougher and with an edge.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

The other day someone told me that they’d just seen my website and my jewellery was ‘beautiful', and 'very creative’. It’s a simple description but I’m happy with that!

What is your background?

I started out my career in Picture Research which was a job which needed creative thinking and a flair for recognising the importance of the visual in telling a story. I seemed to have so much more to say and ideas to express that I was always looking for a creative project on the side!

Which designers do you rate highly and why?

If we are talking high end fashion I have always loved and admired Martin Margiela’s designs and aesthetic. Isabel Marant I love for making comfortable edgy and cool! Oh and (more...)

5 Mins with British brand Millar Jewellery..

Monday, September 12th, 2016

How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

I like to keep it straightforward – I tell people that I am a designer and a jeweller.  I get asked all the time what my design style is and it really is a difficult question to ask.  I usually say that I am a traditional Goldsmith with a fashion sensibility.  If asked more then I go into the design style which is heavily influenced by mythology, ancient cultures and any stories liked to this that has a key point of interest.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

Being part of an active studio with a shop front in Brighton and Hove I am lucky to be able to get lots of feedback from clients.  The designs go down well and I am always surprised at how I have both male and female customers as well as a wide age range.  The general reaction goes along the lines of “oh, that’s different”.  Then they try it on and fall in love with the piece!

What is your background?

My background is a bit back to front.  I originally studied interiors and architecture for a year but got frustrated with not being able to make what I was designing so moved over to jewellery design.  I eventually moved from Scotland to London to study at the Royal College of Art and after graduating there I moved straight into teaching jewellery, mainly focussed in apprentices, in Hatton Garden (the heart of the UK jewellery industry).  Doing that for almost 10 years, I decided it was time to focus on my own making so left, relocated to Brighton and set up my label in 2015.

Which designers do you rate highly and why?

My attention span is so short and my favourite things change daily but there are always a few key names that survive!  I’m all about new label and emerging brands as that’s where (more...)

5 Mins with British Accessories Brand Kopé London

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Shop Kopé London :

How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

Kopé comes from the Greek word, ‘Perikopḗ’, meaning a cutting from a sacred writing. Kopé collections encapsulate our values, aesthetics and conversations with a global community of makers. Each piece by Kopé is from a larger material that passes through the lives and hands of many craftspeople and makers who have given their time and skills to make these magnificent pieces that we can love and care for.

Kopé connects their stories, creating the emotional value that infuses each piece. Kopé marries traditional craft techniques with global fashion as the finest products are crafted by the finest quality fabrics. Kopé collections currently include a wide selection of scarves and textile accessories like silk and linen bags as well as constantly working towards expanding into new product categories.

Kopé is not defined by any specific age group but by joy, confidence, style, and elegance. The design is inspired by traditional patterns which are blended with multiple colours and mixed in a unique contemporary way to provide impeccably designed pieces.

We unleash talent and endorse sustainable fashion with ethical sourcing.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

People are very impressed by the colour combinations which make the scarves versatile to wear, literally in any occasion. They also comment (more...)

5 Mins with British Jewellery Designer Roz Buehrlen

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

I describe myself as a jeweller that loves melting metal and creating little sculptures. I’ve always loved Netsuke. My design style is really based on the subject that I’m working on and what develops naturally by the hand with just a little bit of serendipity dropped in. As someone who carves and sculpts I like to stay as close to the natural form and try to make it really beautiful in the metal.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

I get lots of great comments about my jewellery, mostly “I love that” and “Can you carve this for me?” Which is brilliant, I love sharing what I do and other people’s input is part of the design process and inspiration.

What is your background?

I have an eclectic mix of backgrounds. As a child I grew up traveling and living in many different countries. Once I had settled back in the UK I lived and worked at a bronze foundry in Suffolk working on life size sculptures, I then went to Camberwell College of Arts. I loved both of these experiences and they gave me the inspiration to follow a career in design. I then decided to train as a goldsmith and became a jeweller. After concentrating on family life for a while I went back to work as a master pattern maker at The Bill Skinner Studio where I helped launch the brand. I have now built my own studio and foundry and launched my own brand.

Which designers do you rate highly and why?

There are so many designers that are amazing but one that will always stand out is Alexander McQueen. I loved the theatrical beauty and genius designs and his ability to have been such an innovator in the world of fashion.

Tell us about your design process from concept, production and to the shelves…

I always have a sketchbook and pencil with me as a design or idea can come at any time. Once I have decided which story I’m going to use for a collection I start carving the master patterns along with all the component parts. I then make a mould of all the pieces and cast them in my foundry. From all of these I make the finished jewellery.

How do you think your brand has developed?

I think the brand has come a long way. My first pieces were made on the kitchen table but I now have a well-equipped professional studio and foundry. As the brand grows I aim to expand the design style and also have some exciting ongoing collaboration plans.

What do you dislike most about your job?

There is not a lot I dislike about my job apart from spreadsheets but the most difficult part is deciding which designs not to use. It is very easy to get carried away and as an independent designer it’s important to be realistic.

What are your main achievements and what do you aim to achieve now? Past present and future

My main achievement is the launch of my own jewellery range. When I trained as a goldsmith, pattern making and carving was generally not on a course curriculum so it’s basically a little bit of a road of discovery with plenty of swapping techniques with others. I feel that it is amazingly special, something I loved to do as a child is now my job. The future for me is about collaboration. It’s great working with other designers and a small team to see what mischief we can get up to.

What advice would you have for anyone starting out in (your field)?

My advice to other people starting out: it is hard work but nothing beats creative freedom.

Why do you think British design stands out on the global stage?

British design stands out on the global stage as a really strong united creative force that is determined to assert itself as a leader in its field.

5 Mins with British Accessories Brand David Watson

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Shop David Watson Scarves :

How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

Samuel “David Watson” collaborates with British artists sharing their love on the silk. All the designs are of British locations and scenes and are a mix of different mediums. Currently there are 18 artists involved and Sam is constantly looking for other artwork to artwork to add into the range. The artists are the core of the brand with their stories and photos accompanying the silk in the marketing.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

The lovely thing is that everybody likes a different design. I hope that the range of mediums and styles of artwork appeals to as many people as possible without loosing it’s British identity. People may have a favourite design because it depicts a favourite holiday spot, a commute, a dog walk or their home. I love that every time a silk is bought it gives a different story and memory for the purchaser…

What is your background

I have always loved art and fashion and this is a perfect way to combine the two. I have also worked in the Television industry so have always managed to wear clothes that have been a little different and express myself. (more...)

5 Mins With Accessories Designer Lisan Ly

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Shop Lisan Ly :

How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

A high end label made with a lot of love in London! The customer is the centre of what we do. The label was born from a love of creating beautiful products for style lovers seeking original prints on premium fabrics. The style is playful and fun but also elegant and sophisticated. Prints are created using interests in travel, cultures and architecture and added with a modern oriental twist.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

They love it and my designs make them feel happy when they wear it and the quality of the fabrics are of high quality.

What is your background?

I have a background in digital media and IT. A few years ago, I decided to change career direction to fashion and now I have gained experience in Womenswear, accessories and print design. I also have experience on the technical side of fashion garment construction and patten cutting.

Which designers do you rate highly and why?

I love Erdem, Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Iris Van Herpen. They push the boundaries of creativity and are constantly using new innovative fabrics and techniques. You do not (more...)

We Spend 5 mins With Footwear Brand, Oysby.

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Shop Oysby :

How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

I would say my aesthetic is best described as classic with a modernist twist. I love to take fashion silhouettes that have staying power and give them a totally modernist element. My Decolette pump has gotten quite a bit of attention for the simple beautiful lines of the upper and a totally new take on the stiletto heel. Another standout is the Callin Mary Jane because of its super-clean design with a modern twist of a side tie. Normally Mary Jane's have a buckle but with lacing being so important for Fall I thought to try something new that I had not seen before. The other style I would say was the Mary Tudor slide with the trio wedge.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

I haven’t meant anyone that doesn’t want to wear my designs once they get a hold of it. Some of the styles may look a bit too bold or daring at first glance, but once people step into the shoes and see how comfortable and effortless they are, they always want more. I reckon this is why I’ve been able to get celebrities to wear my shoes, not in exchange for anything, but just because they love and want to own the shoes. The décolleté has particularly been a favourite amongst celebrities. (more...)

We Spend 5 mins With Fashion Designer, Liza Veta.

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Shop Liza Veta :

How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

I tell people that I own a fashion business. I see myself both as a creator and a business manager. I want to create a clothing brand for the modern woman, one that combines elements of strength of character with inner feminine elegance. I want the women wearing my brand to feel special and unique.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

I have been overwhelmed with the response I got from my collections. I am fortunate that it has been mostly positive. My favourite compliments to receive are when women tell me that my clothes make them feel more elegant, feminine and confident, because that is precisely the effect I want to create.

What is your background?

I was born in Belarus, which I left at age 23. I graduated from the Belarusian State University and I went on to study mathematical finance at the University of York. When I decided to devote myself fully to my fashion business, I left a professional career in the finance industry to pursue this dream. I had little formal training in fashion or even entrepreneurship - apart from a few sewing and designing classes here and there, and the odd online tutorials. It was a new experience (more...)