Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Louise Gray

The London Fashion Week designer tells Marie Davies about show sponsorship, launching a jewellery line and dancing in Dalston

Your influences for autumn 11 are the works of photographer Athar Khan, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and the musician Cyndi Lauper. How will these be translated in the designs?

Using lots of images as inspiration -I’ve been blowing them up on the photocopier to look grainy. I have a lot of hand-prints and embroidery in the collection on wovens and knitwear.

I’ve been listening to Cyndi Lauper a lot in the studio rather than her being a direct source of inspiration.

What’s new for autumn 11?

I’m launching a jewellery line which will be available exclusively at Asos for the first season. It will be six or seven fashion pieces starting at £120 retail.

You’ve been designing exclusively for etailer Asos since 2010. Why did you collaborate with it? I find online shopping really interesting and it opens my collection up to a wider audience. Sometimes collections can be too London-focused in terms of stockists. My collections are young and fun and Asos translates what I do well.

You’ve secured Cotton USA sponsorship for the second season, which helps fund your show at London Fashion Week. What does that mean to you as a designer?

The use of the material along with the financial support helps right through from cotton being integral to the designs to being able to put on the catwalk show and paying for the collection. I’ve produced a lot of shirts this season as a result of having such great fabric at my disposal.

What are your ambitions for your label over the next five years?

I would like to carry on adding to my collections with jewellery, shoes, maybe make-up. I don’t want to purely sell at higher price points though - it’s good for people to be able to buy into the brand in different ways.

Are you thinking of opening a standalone store?

Definitely. It’s within my 10-year plan although I hope it will be sooner rather than in 10 years.

I keep wondering about locations - I think New Bond Street in London would be great. I love the real sense of a brand and personality you can get from a physical store; that’s how I feel when I go to Anna Sui or Patricia Fields in New York.

What other designers inspire you?

[Footwear designer] Nicholas Kirkwood. His business is really interesting, particularly how he has managed to build his stockists. I love wearing his shoes and he’s also collaborated with me for my label over the past four seasons.

What’s it like to be part of the London design scene?

As a young designer there is so much excitement and talent. There is a real sense of community among the designers; a lot know each other through being involved with NewGen and Fashion East. Everybody is doing something different and it’s a supportive network as opposed to competitive.

Where do you socialise?

Most often east London. I love dancing at club nights like Work It in Dalston.

Which do you consider your most iconic piece?

I still look at my graduate collection and my first two seasons at Fashion East [spring 08 pictured], particularly for inspiration on colour and embroidery.

What is your most consistent source of inspiration?

I love the whole Andy Warhol thing and I regularly visit art galleries. I particularly like the Expressionism period.

Where do you like to shop?

The Stables Market in Camden and the Patricia Field store [pictured] in New York.

The London Fashion Week designer tells Marie Davies about show sponsorship, launching a jewellery line and dancing in Dalston

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.