What: Five minutes with Holly Fulton
When: Thursday 7th of April
Where: Hervia Bazzar Elle Talent launch pad..
Hervia Bazzar in Manchester’s Spring Gardens hosted the North West celebration of Elle Magazine’s and The British Fashion Council’s Talent Launch Pad (SEE BLOG POST HERE) The event, hosted in the independent boutique, showcased the collections from the two finalists; Holly Fulton and Eudon Choi. Both Fulton and Choi were present at the cocktail party and were in heavy demand from customers and press alike who all wanted their piece of the hottest talent in British fashion.
Jordan and I met with both designers to talk about their collections See our interview with Eudon Choi here, and Holly Fulton below……
J+E: Where did the inspiration for your latest collection come from?
HF: It was inspired by the idea of Joan Collins going on a cruise in the 1960s and so I was thinking about the all encompassing wardrobe that she might need for that.
The thing that I love about Joan Collins is that she has such a total look, so she’ll have the matching earrings, necklace – everything sort of ties in together. It’s a kind of old-school aesthetic. Almost a 60s couture aesthetic where you would go to Chanel and buy into it at different points: you would buy the earrings and you would go back for the bag and then you buy the winter coat.
I think having that allegiance to a brand is something that really interests me. So I very much design with a full look in mind.
J+E: Was this something Hervia Bazaar had in mind when hey bought into the collection, considering they’ve also got the accessories in store?
HF: Initially I will design [the accessories] for a set dress, but then the thing about it is when you actually lay them all out you can just pick – everyone picks different things. This kind of works well for me in terms of sales, and also for the stores because then the way they put their looks together is totally different to how it is interpreted in another city.
J+E: Is this the only store you’re available in for the North West region?
HF: I’m in six stores around the country, two are in London and the rest are regional. Cricket in Liverpool is the nearest one to here.
J+E: Will this range be exclusive to Hervia Bazaar or will you be looking towards the bigger department stores like Harvey Nichols, Selfridges?
HF: At the moment it is only in boutiques rather than the Department Store environment, which is quite nice and why events like this are really important because it is nice to meet the staff that are actually selling my clothes. You never know how people are selling your things in a store or how it looks hanging on a rack. That might sound funny, but it is actually quite important.
J+E: Who is your ideal customer, what girl to you envisage when you’re designing?
HF: I’m always really evasive about this because I don’t really have one. I’ve seen so many people wear it in different ways. Because there are so many options, what with the accessories, you might just see someone wearing tiny earrings or you might see someone giving it the full look. That’s what fascinates me, they way they interpret it with other pieces and with their own style and how they make it work. That’s why I never want to say how I think people should wear it.
J+E: Just going back to the Elle/BFC Talent Launch pad, how has this assisted your brand?
HF: Well obviously they’re throwing events like this, the stores buy us for two seasons. So, you build up a relationship with the stores over that time and you hope it will continue. It has been a valuable process from the start, because we have a link with Elle and they feature us in the magazine. Elle are very very supportive, we get mentoring from them and get insider feedback.
J+E: So they’ve helped you look at your business, less from a design perspective as more as a business?
HF: Yes, once you’ve shown twice you begin to think like that and think that you’re not brand new now and you want to make [designing] into something viable because I’m having a good time doing it and I want it to continue. That’s when you start learning what fits and shapes your customer likes, it isn’t compromising what you’re doing in any way but having an awareness of that is helpful.
Interview conducted by Jordan McDowell and Emma Doyle of www.manchesterfashion.com
Jordan, Holly and Me.
Holly stood with her collection in Hervia
Holly and model
Holly Fulton’s S/S11 collections is available in store at Hervia Bazaar, 40 Spring Gardens, Manchester, M2 1EN and online at www.herviabazaar.com