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Drapers Next Generation: High street collaborations allow young designers to pay the rent

Renowned British designer Betty Jackson said that young designers should embrace high street collaborations.

Speaking at the Drapers Next Generation event today she said “It can be difficult [for designers] to make money out of mainline collections, so it is a good idea to get someone else to help pay the rent. Collaborations not only bring more exciting things to the high street, it’s a way to support designers in what they want to do.”

Betty Jackson, who started her own label in 1981, now concentrates purely on her Designers for Debenhams collection which has been going since 2005. Her first collaboration was with high street retailer Monsoon and Jackson has also been a consultant for M&S’ Autograph collection.

Talking of her own passion behind her designs Jackson said: “I always believed in the understatement of clothes. Clothes should do a job for you and be versatile to work in any situation. I hate it when people say you’re wearing X, what they should be saying is you look fabulous.”

Jackson believes young designers face the same challenges today as she did back when she started. Giving advice to those just starting out she said: “Perhaps the hardest, but best, advice I can give is not to be upset when your favourite item doesn’t sell. Make your own statement and love and believe in what you are doing, it’s really the only way to stand out.” ​

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