Friday, 27 November 2009

Scottish (as opposed to French) and Saunders

So Fashionista hotfooted it to the Swarovski Crystallised Lounge to listen to the rather luscious Jonathan Saunders being interviewed by editor Dolly Jones at the recent Fashion Business Club event.

The interview started with a discussion about the relationship between fashion designers and fashion journalists. Scottish-born Saunders, who seems to have a very positive relationship with the media (given that British Vogue featured one of his designs on the cover only a few months after his graduate show from Central Saint Martins) talked about the importance of being aware of the perception being created around his designs and understanding his customer. Although its a creative business, Saunders thought that designers still needed to be aware that they are selling a product to a customer (and clearly the media can influence this perception).

Fashionista's ears pricked up when Saunders revealed that he is launching his first transactional website in just two weeks' time and was interested to hear his thoughts on the internet in general i.e. "it gets rid of elitism and makes everything available to everyone". For young designers, Saunders thought that the internet provided an invaluable way to develop a business "without getting into masses of debt, like having a shop without the overheads" which enables designers to stay independent for longer without having to give away valuable shares in their business.

In terms of high street tie-ups, Saunders confirmed that he had never gotten the impression that it was a "dumbing down" thing and thought it was about making the product accessible.

Fashionista thought it was heartwarming to hear that there is no feeling of competition amongst Saunders and his fellow London designers and Saunders attributed this comaraderie to the fact that most are colleagues from Central Saint Martin days and the fact that all share the same passion for what they are doing and are sufficiently different to not feel like that are competing directly.

This left Fashionista feeling all warm and fuzzy - or perhaps that was down to the glasses of champagne afterwards?