London is bustling with young fashion design talent, but despite fantastic support schemes like the British Fashion Council's NEWgen and Fashion Fringe, getting that lucky break is tougher than ever these days. On my blog Alex Loves I always aim to support young talent, and so I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to 2 young British designers – and friends of mine – starting out and trying to make their name in the fashion industry. Meet womenswear designer Charlie May and Jennifer Roberts, the young lady behind jewellery label Ruby Browning.
Who are you?
I grew up in Devon as a farmers daughter, now I'm a fashion designer living in LondonHow did you get into fashion design?
I was never very arty in school, it wasn't until college that I started playing around with my mums sewing machine, and doing simple DIY to second hand clothes I'd found in local charity shops. I quit my business course and went on to study art & design instead!What inspires you?
I love looking through photography books, blogs or tumblrs and visiting Devon to get a real dose of nature.Who is the Charlie May girl?
A woman who cares more about design than looking pretty.Where would you like to see Charlie May in 5 years' time?
I'm enjoying taking it slow, but I hope that in 5 years time i'll be showing on schedule at London Fashion Week and have a global reach. That would be pretty amazing!What's it like for a young designer starting out in London?
It's pretty difficult, but I think a lot of that is due to the economy. I'm lucky that I met a lot of contacts through my blog and that gave me the confidence to start my label; I've had such positive feedback in the last year, much sooner than I thought I would; London is very open to new talent.What's the one item every woman should have in her wardrobe?
The perfect silk shirt.If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
I would absolutely love to do a shoe collaboration with Atalanta Weller, when I saw the collab she did with Craig Lawrence for his SS11 collection I died a little.What celebrity would you like to see wearing your clothes?
Tilda Swinton.If there was a soundtrack to your life, what would be playing right now?
Talking Heads - Road to no where
Stockist - Bengt Website - www.charlie-may.co.ukBlog - www.girlalamode.co.ukTwitter - charliemay
Errrmmmmm……. I would say that truly depends on who's asking – some people thinkmy name IS Ruby but in real life I’m Jen, creator of Ruby Browning luxury jewellery.How did you get into fashion design?
I guess I’d always doodled but I suppose it really began when I bought a 50p bagof beads from a charity shop – glamorous I know. They weren’t anything specialjust black wooden beads – but I could see they’d make a great cluster necklace,so I made one (before cluster necklaces were big) backed with felt…. From thatone necklace I had requests off friends, acquaintances and then started stockinga small shop….What inspires you?
Oh lord I don’t know how to bracket that – inspiration is such a broad thing andit comes from anywhere and sometimes no-where. I love going to shows at fashionweek – they can be THE most inspiring, just the shear atmosphere is electric. Ialso take a lot of inspiration from music – every collection I produce has onealbum that I work to until it’s complete.Who is the Ruby Browning girl?
The Ruby Browning girl is someone who loves to have fun with fashion, she lovesquality and enjoys being fashion forward.Where would you like to see Ruby Browning in 5 years' time?
In 5 years time I would like to expand so that Ruby Browning is an accessoriesbrand, with lines of bags and scarves.What's it like for a young designer starting out in London?
Starting out as a designer is difficult wherever you start but if you’re goingto do it London is definitely THE place to be! The best thing about being a newdesigner in London is it’s a bit like being a painter in Paris at the turn of thecentury – you’re not alone – you’re part of a little movement of people makingtheir way up….. There’s always someone to have coffee with in the same field andcompare notes.What's the one item every woman should have in her wardrobe?
For me there isn’t one item a woman should have…. I think every woman should have at least 10 different colours in her wardrobe, a scarf to go with every coat and one amazing piece of jewellery! So there it is, one AMAZING piece of jewellery.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
How to choose….. from last fashion week I think the designers I would most like to collaborate with are Basso & Brooke – their prints are out of this world!What celebrity would you like to see wearing your clothes?
Keira Knightley would have to be my favourite celebrity!If there was a soundtrack to your life, what would be playing right now?
Right now when I’m designing I have Emeli Sande on repeat! When I’m illustratingI have Ren Harvieu – also on repeat
Website: www.rubybrowning.co.ukStockist: www.kabiri.co.uk / www.youngbritishdesigners.co.ukTwitter: rubybrowning
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