The London Fashion Week designer tells Emily Norval about the importance of pre-collections and what’s in the pipeline for spring 14.
What’s in store for spring 14 and can you tell us about your collection?
For spring 14 I’m pushing the brand further in the contemporary luxury market, which London is yet to be recognised for - so far the French and American brands have been leading the way. I hope with more of its signature relaxed sophistication, Zoë Jordan spring 14 will show more pieces that last, look and feel timeless.
There are also a few collaborations and fun competitions in the pipeline, so watch this space!
Your designs are quite consistent with the sports luxe trend - what do you think makes it work season after season?
Its wearability and effortless sense of style. The contemporary luxury designer has been trying to find a way to tap into the customer at a certain price point, but still keep all the core values and attributes of the luxury market, and the sports luxe trend seems to hit the mark.
Are you going to do another resort collection and do you think it’s necessary now to have a pre-collection, as fashion is increasingly less seasonal?
Yes, we are nearly finished with the pre-spring 14 collection. The pre-collections are such a huge percentage of our big stores’ overall budget that we have to be in the mixer, and you can improve sell-throughs by delivering earlier. The trans-seasonal element of the pre-collection is very important now, especially as we are growing internationally and need to bear the climate in mind for, in particular, the Asian customer, where they actually have a summer!
How can London Fashion Week designers break through on the global stage?
By understanding the international customer, which is to our benefit here in London as it is a huge stage to a number of nationalities.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face right now?
Everything is already in motion for spring 14 as far as planning next season’s show goes, and squeezing in a number of fun projects, such as films and competitions, that have come my way.
How does your background in architecture influence your design?
The process of developing an idea or vision you have and making it wearable and functional is something I relish. I get a great amount of pleasure in seeing something being built.
What has been your career highlight so far?
Being nominated for the Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, seeing sales double from season to season and, of course, opening LFW.
Which other designers do you admire?
In the fashion world, I love the early Helmut Lang collections when the man himself was in charge; he was the original sports luxe master, pioneering minimalism and androgyny.
What inspires you?
Art, architecture, the urban existence.
What is your process in terms of going from an idea to a fully formed collection?
Every season is different as inspiration can be from travel, a good book, art galleries or just my day to day living in London. Dependant on when and where it happens I tend to get into the design process pretty quickly and very much enjoy bringing ideas back to the studio.
When you are designing, do you keep your international customer base in mind and are there some pieces which are aimed at different markets?
I have grown up and lived in many places such as New York, Spain and Hong Kong so I have no doubt that all these places have influenced me and opened my eyes to different markets and the diversity of cultures which I hope are reflected in the collections.
As well as architecture, you also worked as an investment banker. How has this influenced the way you run your business now?
Business is business and my time in the City helped me understand that every industry has its creative elements to it by either finding ways to create opportunities, solving problems or simply managing finances. All these attributes have helped me build and grow my brand with confidence and allow it to not interfere with design creativity.
Was fashion something which always interested you?
Design has always been something I am interested in which has taken on many different forms through architecture, product design etc, however I think I finally found the niche that best suits me with fashion.
How did it feel to open London Fashion Week this season?
It was an honour, especially after having lived abroad for the last couple of years in Hong Kong. It was the perfect welcome home to London!
If you could dress any celebrity in your clothes, who would it be?
I am super happy with the girls already wearing Zoë Jordan; Poppy and Cara Delevingne, Laura Bailey.