Emily Harris, head of design for luxury cashmere brand Eric Bompard, talks Drapers through her life in fashion.
Paris-based brand Eric Bompard was founded in 1984, and creates premium cashmere clothing for men, women and children. It sells direct to consumers via its website, and has 56 stores across Europe, including one in London’s Chelsea. Retail prices for the brand range from €120 (£102) for a tank top to €595 (£508) for a jacket.
Drapers speaks to the brand’s head of design, Emily Harris, to hear about her life in fashion.
What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
What was your first job?
I was a junior knitwear designer at Sonia Rykiel from 1995.
How would you describe the brand in one sentence?
Accessible luxury, heritage and transgenerational.
What is your coffee (or tea) order?
Pure green tea in the biggest cup available.
Where are your favourite place to shop?
Real vintage shops and markets anywhere. I have a real affection for Liberty in London and Le Bon Marché in Paris.
Last fashion purchase?
I bought a long vintage dress made of many square silk scarves. The print and construction caught my eye, and it covers city dressing and summer holidays.
Emails or phone calls?
Probably emails. I never turn the sound on on my phone, so it’s really a miracle if I answer.
Most important lesson you have learned during your career?
Not to get too attached to ideas – to always stay fluid and be ready to adapt.
What would be your ideal office/meeting space?
If I could take over the Cast Courts at the Victoria & Albert Museum [the hall displaying sculpture casts], and just put in a few desks and have a bit of wall space. It would have to be closed to the public during office hours!
What’s your favourite part of the creative process?
I enjoy the whole process – research, deciding first ideas with my colleagues and developing swatches with manufacturers, adapting to all the limitations, sharing ideas and getting feedback for the end results.
What has been your proudest moment since you joined the brand?
I am hearing “pride comes before a fall” in my head, but I will feel content if we have good sales at the end of the selling period.
What is the last book you read?
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Who in the fashion/retail industry inspires you?
What is the biggest challenge facing fashion today?
To be ethical and ecological.
One piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Listen to the little voice in your head – if you have doubts, there’s probably a reason.
Who do you turn to when you need advice?
I have my special board of advisers: mum, partner and a couple of girlfriends.
What would we find you doing at the weekend?
What are you looking forward to most in the year ahead?