The phrase “fashion industry is competitive” is arguably out-of-this-world level of understatement in my humble opinion . The appropriate phrased should have been” Fashion is mind-bogglingly competitive” but the that is the beauty of it. This is not an environment for the faint-hearted however I can`t think of any environment that is more challenging and creatively rewarding. When I decided to take the bull by the horn and launch my eponymous label in 2004, I had this at the back of my head. I sincerely believe that if fashion isn`t the dog eat dog environment that it is, there probably won’t be that much fun to be derived from being part of. The pressure and the competition serves as boost to me. One is sustained in this industry more by passion than by money. Personally, I view any minute I invest in fashion as a labour of love albeit it is also an investment to earn a living for myself.
Living and working in London as a fashion designer has never been more interesting and competitive than now.Right from the onset the British Fashion industry has been my rock by providing emotional, inspirational and on a couple of occasions financial support and for this I will always be supremely appreciative. I do go on a tirade sometimes against London but in my heart, I do love London and will always do. London is the capital of the world and not just UK.
As a Dutch citizen, I met brick walls each time I ventured to discuss my ambition to launch a label whilst residing in Amsterdam, however it only took just a single meeting with my mentor, Mr David Jones at the Portebello business Centre for the ball to start rolling and Emmy Collins London was born few months later.
The mentoring I received ensured that I was prepared for those days when one gets dejected and tinkers about packing it all in. Yes, unless you have benefactors with bottomless pit of money, you will have those days when you entertain the feeling that you took the wrong career path. Personally,I feel fortunate to love fashion enough that I could have done it for no money at all so being able to put food on the table because of fashion is huge plus.
It deem it a great advantage that I wasn`t told too many romantic stories about fashion as this got me prepared for all the mishaps I had to deal with. Having ascertained how difficult it is to excel in the fashion industry especially without strong financial backing, I decided right from the onset that the only chance I retain of success is to keep my garments strong, original and above all timeless. I never could fathom the rationalities of expecting a style consumer to spend huge sums of money on pieces that could be worn only for a few months. In my opinion, any timeless piece that is well stitched could and should last a life time.
When I launched in 2004 with menswear, the debut pieces were so strong and way ahead of trend at the time that the then buyer of the most famous London top store who visited my showroom quipped “these are very cool but my customers aren`t this cool”. He did buy a piece for himself. Now fast forward to today and Alessandro Michele of Gucci through their powerful advertising machine has somehow managed to transport strong eclectic pieces for men to the forefront of fashion. In other word men have begun to loosen up and become less conservative and more experimental than ever before. Presently, I feel unshackled and insanely inspired bearing in mind that there are enough men out there to design for.
The air of freedom that pervades around me at the moment has empowered me with the confidence to delve into womenswear pieces and I`m enjoying every bit of it. For over I decade I tinkered with the idea of launching a womenswear line and at some point, I tethered on the brink of taking the challenge head on, but it never came to fruition. I did design few occasional pieces which sold out instantaneously, yet I never took it further.
Presently, my pieces could be viewed from our newly launched website, www.emmycollins.co.uk. This website will be constantly updated so keeping checking it for updates.We will also be organising bi-monthly pop store to get acquainted to lovers of the brand .True to my nature, I ventured to keep the designs original ,strong, unique yet wearable without any inkling of whether visitors to the website will be turned off or on by it but so far the reaction to the new website has been very positive and for that I`m well and truly chuffed and honoured.
Thanks for reading.