My working background is in the fashion industry. I graduated in the late 90's with a Master's Degree in Fashion Womenswear from The Royal College of Art, London.
Looking back at it now, my graduate collection was more unusual than I think I realized at the time, and in many ways quite visionary.
My collection was actually ridiculing the fashion business and the facile consumerism at its core. It was a statement against the fashion system that had become so like the supermarket industry, that is shamelessly and loudly selling “more for free”.
Making parallels with the food industry and its supersizing approach I used bold food packaging-style graphics on garments like:
'NEW IMPROVED' for new fashion arrivals, '33% EXTRA FREE' for the lengths of the skirts that are changing every season, or 'BEST BEFORE 06.06.1997' for the limited time of seasonal colours and styles.
Straight out of college I began designing for big fashion luxury houses in Italy.
Ironically, this collection was my entry ticket into the Luxury Fashion world. Straight out of college I began designing for big fashion luxury houses like Dolce & Gabbana and John Richmond, designing high-end womenswear, denim, kids-wear and all kinds of accessories, and for the next 10 years I worked closely with the creative directors of these businesses.
I suppose I was lucky to get all this design experience, and certainly working across so many areas within the fashion industry has given me a deep understanding of this business and its systems.
However, the more I witnessed of what lay behind the glamorous curtain of fashion, the more I saw a completely different picture. I saw an industry that was a major contributor to global air and water pollution, obscene wastage, and human and animal exploitation – and that was just the tip of the unethical iceberg.
It also seemed to me that as a designer, being the starting part of that chain, I too was responsible for creating more mess and more damage. I had become part of the crazy consumerist system that I had ridiculed years before, and it did not feel good.
2010 was the turning point for me where I would either turn away from fashion and products altogether, or to find a new, mindful, path that might also lead to a different destination.
I felt I still wanted to create, but create thoughtfully and with transformation in mind. Surrounded by the abundance of the western world, I felt the world didn’t need yet another fashion brand churning out endless short life-span clothes.
But of course, making less damage is not quite enough, and not a solution in itself. And as a designer, as I felt that, fundamentally, the core of all design should be problem solving, not problem making.
And as a designer, as I felt that, fundamentally, the core of all design should be problem solving, not problem making.
Over the following ten years I had become increasingly interested in ideas around ethical responsibility within the fashion industry, and studied the issues of sustainability, and the circular economy. And, with all this in mind I began my own search for simple solutions to complex problems that accompany consumerism in our society.
One thing that stood out in my research was the benefits of keeping things as local as possible, and another part involved the benefits of creating more inclusive products.
I have committed to operate a socially fair and sustainable business, with products that offer durable and smart design in a slow season manner, and with a steady focus on daily functionality. As an instinctive and subtle observer of everyday life, I am doing my best to passionately deliver niche products that are designed and made to be used and loved for a long time.
The products that will come to you from my site might not seem a cohesive collection of pieces. But there is one thing they have in common - they make sense. They are all trying to fix a certain problem or at least be a more responsible choice, and to contribute towards a green and ethical future.