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Vicky Pattison: 'I will not bow to pressure or convention'

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Reality TV star Vicky Pattison has released a vibrant collaboration with womenswear brand Goddiva. In the run-up to International Women’s Day, she speaks to Drapers about her journey from jungle celebrity to designer.

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Vicky Pattison for Goddiva

Vicky Pattison rose to fame on the reality TV show Geordie Shore, before winning I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! in 2015. She has a vast social media following – 2 million on Twitter and 4.2 million on Instagram. For spring 19, she has teamed up with womenswear brand Goddiva to launch a collaboration collection of bold dresses and jumpsuits. Retail prices for the collection range from £55 to £95, and designs feature neon colours on slinky eveningwear sillhouettes.

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? I reach for my phone. Horrible habit, but I am addicted. Instagram mostly, but the Mail Online’s “side bar of shame” has a real hold on me. I need a digital detox really, but even the thought gives me anxiety.

What was your first job? A Saturday girl in shoe shop Shellys. I was 15 and I loved it. I felt like the bee’s knees – all the other girls were older and so cool, and I got a discount and just felt so grown up.

How would you describe your collection with Goddiva in one sentence? Beautiful, bright and bold clothing for strong and sexy women who aren’t afraid to be themselves and own their shape.

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What is your coffee (or tea) order? I don’t drink coffee or tea – it’s about the only vice I haven’t got. Occasionally I’ll have a green tea or a peppermint tea, but that’s just to feel grown up when everyone is drinking coffee in meetings. Asking for a Ribena hardly says power play.

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Where are your favourite place to shop? Apart from Goddiva: Zara, Topshop, River Island and New Look. I’m a big fan of the high street. Karen Millen and Rixo are always great too.

Last fashion purchase I bought a couple of pieces of swimwear from Rixo for my recent trip to Dubai a zebra-print swimsuit and a leopard-print bikini. The styles were unusual and sexy and I like to invest in good swimwear.

Emails or phone calls? Neither. I never reply to emails and I hate answering my phone. If you want me, WhatsApp me or voicenote. But if it’s over a minute, I’ll have to psych myself up to listen to it. And if it’s over two minutes, don’t hold your breath.

Most important lesson you have learnt during your career

I learnt a long time ago that it’s important to stand your ground and be who you are. To never sacrifice respect for attention.

In the past, I’ve got caught up in situations that were toxic, with people that weren’t good for me just trying to be what I thought people wanted to see. I lost myself and had no pride in who I was becoming. I am me now, and regardless of what people think or may say, I cannot change it, and I will not bow to pressure or convention. 

What would be your ideal office/meeting space? I like open, modern spaces, with a great sofa and a mini-fridge filled with Diet Cokes.

What was your favourite part of creating the collection with Goddiva? Working with Goddiva was a dream come true. I’m a huge fan of the brand and admire the women who work there a lot. I was involved in every process from the ground up – designing and creating the pieces and seeing all our visions come to life was fantastic. From mood boards to actually shooting the collection, watching our hard work and vision come to fruition was amazing.

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What is the last book you read? Calm the F**k Down by Sarah Knight.

Who in the fashion industry inspires you? I am eternally impressed with Victoria Beckham’s transition into the world of fashion. She’s now one of the most influential, respected and successful people in the industry. So hats off to her.

On a different level I am in awe of the brand Gym King and everything they have managed to achieve as a company over a short space of time. The owner, Jay Parker, is a true testament to what you can achieve with a good idea, drive and hard work. They continue to grow and impress me and I’m proud to have worked with the brand over the years.

What’s the biggest challenge facing fashion today? I think social media is a huge issue with fashion these days. We don’t wear things more than once. We wear things once because once we do it’s splashed all over Instagram and everyone’s seen it and heaven forbid they see it again.

I’m not against disposable fashion – I think it’s amazing – but investing in good clothing, great brands, strong statement pieces that you can wear for years is becoming a thing of the past, and I think that’s a real shame. I want to see people discovering their style and owning it, not just desperately chasing trends and Instagram likes

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What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self that it is better to be hated for what you are, than loved for something you are not. Trying to be something else or someone else is exhausting and, at the end of the day, it’s you who has to look at yourself in the mirror every day, so be kind

Who do you turn to when you need advice?

My mam. She’s pretty amazing: strong, independent and a very good listener. I’m very lucky to have her – she’s my inspiration.

What would we find you doing at the weekend?

At the weekend you will find me socialising with friends, trying new restaurants, revisiting old favourite ones, loving a gin or a good wine, spending time with my family, doing yoga, watching good films and laughing … a lot.

What are you looking forward to most in the year ahead?

I’ve had an incredibly difficult time over the last six months. I am looking forward to healing, to growing, to putting it behind me and living my life. Working hard, travelling, meeting new people, focusing on myself and being kind. Oh, and making more beautiful clothes for beautiful women with the help of Goddiva.

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