Designer, Warehouse, aged 29
Drapers was aware of Ella Carolan’s potential early on when we featured her final graduate collection from her BA (Hons) Fashion Design course at Northumbria University in 2006. But we weren’t the only ones. During Carolan’s work placement with Amanda Wakeley, some of her embellishment designs made it onto the designer’s London Fashion Week catwalk for autumn 05.
This early success led, initially, to a career in the supply side, as Carolan joined supplier Xxploit, whose clients included Arcadia with its Kate Moss for Topshop range. Her link to Arcadia landed her a job at Dorothy Perkins. “While at Dorothy Perkins I worked with my buyer to develop the ‘Little Coloured Dress’ range, which was created to deliver great, up-to-date dresses at a sub-£30 price point - not an easy task. I feel especially proud of this as I worked on it from initial concept, through development, to product in store. We even used my hand-drawn illustrations to market the range in store and online. This range sold consistently well and helped grow our department sales,” says Carolan.
Her work for Warehouse since January 2013 has caught the attention of chief operating officer Hash Ladha: “Ella puts the Warehouse customer at the heart of everything and her attention to detail and design talent deliver great product. Her passion for the brand is evident in her designs, which are strengthened by strong collaborations with her suppliers and buyers. She is also a fantastic negotiator, self-motivated and an inspiration to work with.”