I've been following Kelly Love since I (previous features on my blog here, here and here). On the chance she'd say yes I asked for an interview on twitter. I was thrilled when she did infact say yes. I thought what I wanted to ask, Kelly's been featured in Elle. What's "unique" that I can ask without asking her favourite hybrid animal. This is what I came up with...
Photos are from her new collection, Flowers & Grandeur. See more here .
You lived in Japan and worked with the fashion designer Sin Nakayamal, that must have been incredible. How did it come about? What did you learn?
I began interning with Sin about a year after I moved to Osaka and it was such an amazing introduction into the industry. Sin was an artist first & a clothing designer second. His pieces were all about creation rather than being commercial & he taught me the importance of having a real concept behind what I design.
You launched your own collection and label, do you have any advice for someone wanting to do the same?
I think it's so important to get experience within the industry rather than just starting on your own straight away. You learn so much and also build contacts, which is extremely important. It goes without saying but you have to really want it and not be able to imagine doing anything else as alot of time & money will be spent before reaping the benefits! I think it's important to have a really good idea of who you're designing for as well as it's the customers who will make or break your label.
What designer would you like to collaborate with and why?
As we do our own prints, we're really open about collaborations in different industries. I would love to do something with a beauty or home wares brand. I also adore the accessories brand M.Hulot so would be great to do something with them!
Any secret favourite shopping/ restaurant recommendations in London & Sydney?
In Sydney I love Crown St in Surry Hills - it's full of the best vintage shops, including Grandma takes a Trip, cafes like The Book Club and the divine ice cream shop, Gelato Messina. A good friend of mine also part-owns Pocket, a super cool tiny bar in Darlinghurst where the cocktails come in mismatched crystal glasses and the designers from Ksubi have painted fab artwork on the walls! I love Riding House & La Botega Nega in London for amazing food + ECC for cocktails. KJ's Laundry in Marylebone is full of independent designers + Merchant Archive has stunning vintage pieces.
How does your inspiration turn in to real designs?
I generally write a short story in line with what has inspired me for the new season which becomes a starting point for putting together the whole look of the collection. I then start to think of designs for prints as these are all exclusive to the label + will buy additional fabrics that complement the prints. Most of the fabrics we use that aren’t printed are from Italy or France and are always really sumptuous! Once I have a really good idea of what the collection is going to look like, I start to sketch and make the patterns!
What do you like to wear day to day?
Printed Blouses matched with skinnies and flats as I’m often running around all day! Love brogues and vintage shoes. I used to be very girly in the way I dressed but London has made me dress in a more contemporary way. Still feminine but not as girly. I adore Carven and Kooples but most of the money I make goes back into the business so I generally shop for shoes to go with my pieces!
What don't you like about fashion?
Probably the only thing I dislike is the idea of cheap/throw away fashion. I don't think people realise the working conditions & what goes into making clothing like this. There's so many aspects that go into make a piece of clothing-patterns, sampling, fabrics, components, make cost, shipping, store mark-up etc that if you buy a dress for less than £20 - either someone wasn't paid enough to do their job or the quality will be terrible. I have made a real conscious effort lately to only buy from independent designers or to wear my own pieces. It was always important to me to make clothes that last, are timeless and are made in an ethical way – I think alot of new fashion labels are going this same way which is great!
What's next for Kelly Love?
We’ve just starting selling in the US and as a result have decided to show at Capsule in NY which I am really looking forward to. We also have an on-going collaboration with Aussie Haircare and a couple of other collaborations in the pipeline that are going to be so great for our exposure. We’ll be concentrating on our online business more as well as this is doing well! A very exciting time for us!!!