Brand Interviews

5 Mins with British Lingerie Brand Arabel

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Shop Arabel :

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

My design style is flirty, feminine and effortlessly chic.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

Petite women looking for a special lingerie set for their wedding night and honeymoon often contact me. They say how happy they are to find lingerie in their size that fits properly and makes them feel beautiful and sophisticated.

What is your background?

I was passionate about fashion designand luxury lingerie for years. However, I noticed though that many stores didn’t carry my size and when they did the bras were often heavily padded and not at all me. I found I either had to sacrifice fit or style. I had always loved sewing so I decided to start learning how to make lingerie that fit me properly and looked beautiful.

Which designers do you rate highly and why?

In terms of lingerie I love Made By Niki, especially their innovative use of materials. They really knows how to dress a female figure! For fashion I adore Alexander Mcqueen and Karl Lagerfeld (but who doesn’t?). (more…)

5 Mins With Accessories Brand: Sunita Mukhi

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

 Shop Sunita Mukhi :

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

My designs depict elegance and style; perfectly portrayed by the extremely stylish Anna Dello Russo, the impeccable fashion icon that was spotted wearing my designs. Each of my bags has a story behind it of a great woman; the capsule collection, embraced for its striking detail and character, celebrates women who have not had an easy time achieving greatness but even in the face of daunting odds, have still managed to rise to the top. Additionally, the use of the Evil Eye symbol (being a sign of protection and good luck) along with bright and vibrant colours put together makes my bags in this collection stand out.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

They are original, unique and outstandingly stylish.

What is your background?

I was born and raised by my Indian parents in Malta, exposed to sumptuous fabrics from a very young age due to my family’s textile business. Additionally experiencing a new world of deluxe cultures and exotic fabrics with my stay in Nigeria, Africa. I had an interest in fashion and design from a very young age; because of my very beautiful and creative mother and my father’s opulent and luxurious textiles business. This interest was always within me but emerged after I moved away from the family (more…)

5 Mins With British Clothing Brand: Reo and Eli

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Shop Reo and Eli

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

Reo&Eli clothes have a clean, simple, effortless aesthetic. I create clothes that are versatile and not trend led. There is a slight street edge influence in some of my pieces as my girl is a mix of cool and classic.

I’m very much influenced by everything from street style, art, music, colours…

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

-They love the quality and the ease of the pieces.

-Its nice that Reo&Eli’s pieces can be layered on with other designs.

What is your background?

I’m self taught but started out as a fashion buyer.

Which designers do you rate highly and why?

I love Celine for her clean styling and Alexander Wang for his mix of cool and androgyny look.

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

My creative process is very sporadic. I don’t have a method to how I create. I get inspiration from absolutely everything. I’m always documenting my research ideas all the time.

When it comes to putting together the collection, I first spend a lot of time in fabric shops, getting swatches, deciding on colours based on my research and documented inspiration.

The process then carries on from there until I get to my finished product.

I don’t like to give myself set deadlines on things as I feel creativity should be free flowing and change as and when it needs to do.

A garment could change again right at the last minute.

How do you think your brand has developed? (more…)

5 Mins With British Accessories Brand: Solomon Appollo

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Shop Solomon Appollo:

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

I would describe myself as a modern and eclectic handbag designer who uses traditional leather craft techniques to create luxury accessories. I love mixing leathers with suede or leathers with print. I have coined a phrase to sum up my design aesthetic which is ‘Afropean’; in which beautiful fabrics from my heritage meet innovative design and a European take on luxury and quality.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

Unique, beautifully designed and great quality are the most common comments made.

What is your background?

I graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2007. I wished I could have spent a few seasons taking unpaid internships at some of London’s luxury brands, but as a mother with dependent children I worked in Retail Management which enabled me to build capital and study the ‘luxury consumer’. During this period I also travelled around Europe and started building relationships with suppliers and manufactures.

Which designers do you rate highly and why?

I love British brands such as Mulberry and Sophie Hulme for their classic simplicity. They both have an instantly recognisable brand and a strong core design aesthetic. I’m also a bit obsessed with the new Fendi Roma collection of bags and Anya Hindmarch has a great design team, they always offer something fresh, exciting and stylish even though that produce 4 collections per year! My ambition is to be to Nigeria and Britain what Stella Jean is to
Haiti and Italy. The way in which Stella mixes print with unique tailoring is a signature I have been using in my accessories for many years.

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

My training at the prestigious Cordwainer’s College and undergraduate course at London College of Fashion gave me the skills and confidence to execute the design process and plan my supply chain with relative ease. In this stage of my business I am designer, pattern cutter, sample maker and bespoke manufacture!! I outsource small run manufacturing as and when needed but most of my products can be customised and made to order.

How do you think your brand has developed?

I believe the Solomon Appollo Brand can be described as a two sided coin; one side is what I refer to as our Premium Line featuring our classic quintessential British silhouettes in luxurious leathers. The other side being our African Inspired products that incorporate Ankara fabrics and ethnic prints. Over the past year our design development has shifted to focus more on the Premium Line whilst our bespoke service customers love choosing prints from our African Inspired products for customisation.

What do you hate most about your job?

I have many titles including designer, creative director, CEO, Founder and what I dislike most is sometimes I wish I had someone to blame when things go wrong, but it’s my company so (more…)

5 Mins With British Accessories Brand: Larah England

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Shop Larah England:

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

We design beautiful handbags and purses that combine a unique mix of luxury, femininity and functionality. The Larah England collection captures our unique essence of casual chic through the process of product washing which gives our signature tumbled leathers a sumptuous softness unrivalled in the present market. This in combination with our raw edge detailing and feminine touches from hand-plaited handles to our ribbon bow plaques form the exclusive hallmarks of our Larah England brand.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

Our aim has always been to create pieces that whilst being both beautiful and luxurious also focus on the practicalities and details that make an item a joy and comfort to both use and wear. The comments we receive on our bags reflect this philosophy.  People comment on the comfort and super softness of the bags that are features of the washed leathers we use. How practical they are through our back metal zip pockets for safe easily accessible storage and our dual straps so bags can be worn in a variety of ways. People also absolutely adore our exclusive interior removable vanity mirrors handy for those make up touch ups and our detachable leather mobile phone pockets.

What is your background?

Friendship and a combined passion and mutual love of handbags led myself, Laura Bransby and Sarah Bundy to form Larah England together. With over 20 years of combined experience within the handbag industry from design through to development and sales we had always felt that there was a gap in the market for a brand offering a more casual/relaxed styling but with a distinctive feminine edge. We dreamed of creating this collection through really well considered, practical, beautiful and timelessly classic pieces. (more…)

5 Mins With New British Jewellery Brand to IB.com Family: Ruth Mary Jewellery

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Shop Ruth Mary Jewellery Here :

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

I am a British designer specialising in contemporary sterling silver jewellery. The pieces I create begin as handmade models of tatted lace, and are cast to produce sterling silver jewellery. This process captures the highly intricate and textured surface of the lace.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

People tend to comment on the beguiling delicacy of the pieces and are surprised by just how sturdy and substantial they feel when held. People are also amazed at how versatile the jewellery is, as it can be worn with so many different outfits – suitable for everyday work wear as well as for the grandest occasion.

What is your background?

Jewellery has always been a passion. I was studying for a Chemistry degree, when in 2010 I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy. As my health deteriorated I had to abandon my degree, so spent many hours making jewellery and honing my craft. I was pretty ill at the time, but it was the launch pad to where I am now. It seems like some things do happen for a reason.

Which designers do you rate highly and why? (more…)

5 Mins With New British Clothing Brand to IB.com Family: Emily & Fin

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Shop British Clothing brand Emily & Fin Here :

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE TO PEOPLE WHAT YOU DO AND YOUR DESIGN STYLE?

emilyandfin is an internationally recognised British boutique brand incorporating classic styling into contemporary womenswear design.

Offering timeless style in a range of contemporary silhouettes, from button down dresses to full skirts and modest tops, the brand create collections perfect for the modern woman with a taste for nostalgia.

WHAT SORT OF COMMENTS DO YOU GET ABOUT YOUR DESIGNS?

- Classic yet fresh shapes to compliment and fit real women

- Attention to detail

- Quality of our fit, fabrics and production of garment

- Affordable

- Offer something different

- Unique prints in quality cottons

- Pockets

TELL US ABOUT YOUR DESIGN PROCESS FROM CONCEPT, PRODUCTION AND TO THE SHELVES… (more…)

5 Mins With New British Jewellery Brand to IB.com Family: Nikki Stark

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Shop Nikki Stark Jewellery :

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

I make understated, chic precious metal jewellery, using traditional techniques. My design style is elegant and simple, with the occasional whimsical edge.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

A lot of my work is quite abstract, and people often have different interpretations of the pieces. People have told me my Anastasia charms remind them of pendulums, sweets and Christmas baubles. On one occasion a girl in a market told me they reminded her of spinning tops in the Istanbul market her father had taken her to as a child, such a beautiful image. I love that people bring their own stories to the pieces. The other thing people comment on is the delicacy of my work.

What is your background?

I have made jewellery in various forms since I was really young. I started weekend classes nearly 10 years ago now, and have developed my practical skills, and my own style. The business side doesn’t come easily, but I’m slowly developing the brand.

Which designers do you rate highly and why?

I love Caitlin Mociun, a New York based designer who makes gorgeous delicate sparkly jewellery. She uses a lot of stone setting techniques I would say as a general rule I don’t like, but her interpretation is very contemporary.

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

I make all my own work, and a lot of my designs come out of experiments. My process also quite often takes me in directions I don’t expect. Some ideas take shape quickly, and some take years before I am really happy with the result. Because I make my own work the production process is ongoing, and each piece is unique.

How do you think your brand has developed?

I went to New York last summer, and completely fell in love with the trend for stacking up loads of cute skinny little rings. I’ve always loved rings but at the moment they have almost completely taken over my collection.

What do you hate most about your job?

There can be a lot of admin to do, which isn’t very interesting. My favourite part really is being at my bench making jewellery. (more…)

5 Mins With New Jewellery Brand to IB.com Family: Azkiza

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Shop Azkiza Here :

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

I’m a jewellery designer based in London. My premier collection is inspired by Mesopotamia, but I like to take in creative direction from widespread influences such as contemporary culture, art, music, history and tradition, ancient and modern symbolism, and worldwide travel. My design style and ethos is to bring together traditional and modern craftsmanship techniques, styles and materials; resulting in a futuristic neo-classical look, that can fit seamlessly into any wardrobe.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

Glam, chic, edgy, classic and unique.

What is your background?

I grew up in Istanbul, and studied tourism and business management at university. Whilst working as a columnist for a well known food and travel magazine, I decided to study some graphic design and styling courses. The decision to make the jewellery designs I dream of a reality was a natural progression. I have also previously worked in the luxury end of the hospitality and leisure industry. (more…)

5 Mins With New Footwear Brand to IB.com Family: Iris Sandals

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Shop Iris :

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

IRIS brand is all about colours and unique handmade designs. I try to make pieces that are different to any mass production products. I blend materials and shapes to make products that are fashionable and at the same time both classic and easy to wear. All the designs are chic with a playful twist.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

I get a lot of excitement, which gives me more energy to continue, especially from the women who value comfort and individuality.  The designs are colourful and eye catching but what makes them unique is that every piece is wearable and will last for many seasons.

What is your background?

Of Greek origin, I studied politics and hold a master in management. I worked in PR, sales and marketing positions for few years until I moved to London. I have been making accessories and bespoke sandals for ten years as a hobby until I decided that this is what I want to focus on and set up IRIS brand. I have attended courses with the London College of Fashion and continue to build on my design as well as business skills.

Which designers do you rate highly and why? (more…)