This season we were delighted as always to visit China to develop our collection for our runway event in London and we certainly weren’t disappointed.
After weeks spent in the office researching places to visit, creating moodboards and putting together detailed catwalk reports, our Head Designer Aimee Wilson and Designer Louisa Caplan boarded the plane full of excitement and anticipation, ready to gather as much inspiration as possible for our AW19 Runway range.
We couldn’t have picked a better destination to top up our creativity and we are over the moon with the results.
Here’s what we got up to…
A trip to the East…
Our first stop on the trip was South Korean capital Seoul. The thriving metropolis is currently taking the street style scene by storm and we found this fast paced city to be full of daring trends, edgy details and creative edge.
We visited the popular areas of Myeongdong, Gangnam and Dongdaemun, working our way through a variety of shopping regions to get a grasp of the different style areas. Taking lots of photos for inspiration we also stopped to buy samples (for yarn quality, gauge and colour references) to take back to the factory for development.
Our second stop was China, a country that has been a place of inspiration for centuries and is especially appealing to designers looking for something new, exotic and experimental for their new collections.
Upon our visit to Guangzhou we spent hours getting lost in different department stores, vintage shops, small boutiques and high street brands for a daily dose of inspiration for AW19. Looking specifically at stitches, colour combinations, woven check layouts, embellishments and prints we aimed to look out for emerging trends whilst affirming some of our own pre-trip research.
We also visited sourcing markets in Guangzhou to look for new cut and sew fabrics, trims and faux fur to incorporate into some of our collection before setting to work on designs in the factories.
Creating the AW19 range…
Our team had already been busy working on some designs back in the UK and had sent them over to the factory ahead of the trip so they could start being made. We were then able to review and develop these samples and make necessary amendments after reviewing them in the factory.
Using the new sourcing from the market visit in Guangzhou, we began designing more of the range directly in the factory which included hand sketching designs and selecting out yarn colours from factory stock yarn rooms.
Having our lead designers working with our team in China meant that we were able to quickly put samples into work directly with the factory for our runway range. This allowed us to offer a fast response to trends seen in our inspirational shopping trips, dictated by the shops, markets and boutiques we had visited In China and South Korea.
Have you taken a shopping trip in Asia recently? Let us know your top spots and favourite brands via our Twitter or Facebook page! Don’t forget to come back to read part two to find out about some of the challenges we faced on the trip and how the collection was received when we returned for the London launch at UKFT…