Every season, non-profit organisation Fashion East helps a selection of young designers to launch their labels. Here are their winners for 2014...
Fashion East has announced its designer picks for Spring/Summer 2014. The non-profit organisation, which was set up by The Old Truman Brewery in 2000 by Lulu Kennedy MBE, picks a selection of designers each season it chooses to help, endorse and mentor in the fashion industry.
So congratulations are in order for Ashley Williams, Claire Barrow and Ryan Lo. These lucky winners, selected by a panel of leading industry figures, will be provided with a bursary, catwalk show-production, PR support and expert advice to help them launch their labels.
Ryan Lo hails from Hong Kong originally and is best-known for his knitwear. He deals in sky blues and Pepto-Bismol pinks, and creates beautiful princess party dresses – think Meadham Kirchhoff meets Simone Rocha.
Claire Barrow’s pieces have already been worn by Rihanna. Her signature is hand-painted leather jackets that are real treasures, and hark to her punk roots.
Ashley Williams is BFF of Pixie Geldof and her work is very much inspired by Americana. Last season, her stand-out piece was a dress with a huge Elvis Presley portrait printed on the front. Rihanna has also worn Ashley’s designs on stage.
Famous now as an institution that has nurtured and fostered some of the UK’s finest fashion talent, it’s hard to believe Fashion East hasn’t always existed. The organisation has kickstarted some of the most prolific design careers of the last decade, including those of Gareth Pugh, Richard Nicoll, House of Holland, Roksanda Illinic, Jonathan Saunders, Louise Gray, Marios Schwab, Meadham Kirchhoff and Simone Rocha.
Since collaborating with Topshop’s showspace at London Fashion Week in 2005, Fashion East has gathered even more momentum. Winners now have access to a world stage, presenting their collections to fashion editors from around the wold.
Come September these guys are going to be everywhere. Watch this space!