The interior designer to the stars tells Laura Weir why she decided to design her first fashion collection for ethical label Earth Couture
You’ve designed home interiors collections for celebrities and the high street alike. What prompted you to try your hand at fashion design?
Meleni Bharwani [creative director of Earth Couture] came up to me in a cafe and said, ‘I’m a great fan of your work. This is my company, would you be interested in designing a fashion collection?’I loved the whole design process and realised it used the same part of the brain I use when designing for the home. I just took pieces I enjoy wearing and changed them slightly.
How would you describe the organic loungewear collection?
Clothing-wise the collection is me down to a tee. I train every day so I love looking great for it. I like sweatshirts and I love layering. The collection will fit all body types.
What are the plans for the brand in terms of expansion?
It’s already been bought by loads of people including Harrods and [Chelsea boutique] The Shop at Bluebird in London and I want it to be a worldwide brand. I’m working on a lingerie collection - I never say never to anything. I’m bringing out a fragrance range in September and I’m moving on to products for the body.
How challenging was the creative and design process?
r of Earth Couture] came up to me in a cafe and said, ‘I’m a great fan of your work. This is my company, would you be interested in designing a fashion collection?’ I loved the whole design process and realised
it used the same part of the brain I use when designing for the home. I just took pieces I enjoy wearing and changed them slightly.
Who will the collection appeal to?
All of my friends and celebrity friends and clients want to buy into that kind of clothing. Nobody wants to look a mess any more. The same people that buy Juicy Couture and James Perse will buy this brand.
Why was it important for you to do an organic collection?
I eat organic food and I’m careful about what I put in my mouth. Why do we not care as much about what goes against our skin? There is no reason why things can’t be beautiful and organic.
We are coming out of a recession. How has this influenced your decision to launch a new brand?
The economy has put people off a lot of things but there are green shoots and hopefully the new Government will settle. I’ve never lived through a recession [before and found] you didn’t sleep in the same way. We’ve come through it now and we’re survivors.
There is also a charitable cause behind the range. Can you tell us about that? For every piece sold, a child in Africa will get an anti-malaria coil. I was born in Africa, I know about malaria. We have to do more.
Where is your favourite place to shop?
I love Paris (pictured) because I love Azzedine Alaïa. I love Italy and I’ve just been to New York and did some great shopping. When I’m away travelling I add a day on for shopping.
Who is your favourite designer?
Donna Karan (pictured) is right up there because I love the way she understands women’s form. Also Dolce & Gabbana, Amanda Wakeley’s eveningwear and Twenty8Twelve.
What book are you reading?
Freakonomics by Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner.
Where do you go on holiday?
In the summer we go to Ibiza, I become a bit of hippy. It’s a very chilled time.
Kelly Hoppen is an interior designer and entrepreneur