In The Know: The women behind the scenes of the fashion industry
By WGSN Insider

Lou Stoppard, Frances Corner, Laura Jane Coulson, Alex Brownsell, Ella Dror and WGSN’s Lauretta Roberts reveal how they influence the industry and wider culture. WGSN guest blogger Danielle Pender, Founder & Editor of Riposte Magazine reports

Dec 22, 2015
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Behind the scenes of every catwalk show, magazine cover or retail collection is a cast of thousands of industry profession­als who govern the rapid growth of the fashion industry. The decisions they make on a daily basis touch every corner of contemporary society, generating upwards of 26 billion pounds of value to the British economy every year and impacting the way passers-by in the street select their clothes each morning.

Riposte is a smart magazine for women and for their latest issue they gathered the makers, the doers, the thinkers behind the scenes of the fashion industry.

This stellar line up included Lou Stoppard editor of SHOWstudio, Frances Corner Head of London College of Fashion, photographer Laura Jane Coulson, hair stylist & co-founder of Bleach London Alex Brownsell, Lauretta Roberts director of brand & propositions at WGSN and owner of The Industry London and Ella Dror co-founder of fashion PR agency Ella Dror PR.

Check out this teaser of the full feature below:

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Lou Stoppard Editor of SHOWstudio: On Fashion Week

“It’s a shame but the pace of it is so out of control, and the pressure on designers is so uncomfortable to watch, that it’s hard to get inspired,” she explains. “What’s really interesting in fashion at the moment is that there’s so much based on experience, instead. You’re seeing a lot of people building these weird worlds in presentations. People are aware there’s a lot of noise at fashion week, and they have to do something to cut through all that. That notion of making everyone sit while you watch 60 outfits walking down a runway twice a year? It’s really strange to keep going with that.”

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Frances Corner Head of London College of Fashion: On New Talent

“We’ve kept to the forefront of thinking about what the industry needs, but also what it doesn’t necessarily know that it needs,” she says softly, but with an unmistakeable gravity. “We’re trying to produce graduates who are thinking ahead in terms of what the industry could require.”

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Laura Jane Coulson Photographer: On Forging your own path

“I like a natural and honest approach. There is a lot of competition in fashion. Or rather, a lot of talented people who are constantly making amazing work,” she says. “Sometimes it feels hard to keep up, but I think recently I’ve realised it’s definitely OK to move at your own pace.”

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Alex Brownsell Co-founder of Bleach London: On the Ah-ha moment

Bleach grew faster than anticipated; reappropriat­ing the classic teenage DIY dye rebellion and causing an immeasurable tidal wave of rainbow dye jobs in the process. The dip-dye was one such success. “It was called ‘recession roots’, and it was a bit of a joke about the recession and dyeing your highlights out to save money,” Alex explains. Next up she intends to take on the perm. “I would love to see the perm come back. I’ll be trying to make it fresh.”

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Lauretta Roberts Director of brand & propositions at WGSN, & owner of The Industry London: On Diversity

“Apart from the moral respon­sibility to be more inclusive, the cold truth is that if it makes business sense for brands, they will do it. And clearly it does make sense,” she says. “Equally I think the customer is tired of over-idealised depictions of beauty. It’s OK for images to be aspirational, but they need to present a vision that is reflective of society.”

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Ella Dror Co-founder of fashion PR agency Ella Dror PR: On Designer Talent

The sheer terror that accompanied starting a business from scratch has been key to the advice the pair give their up-and-coming clients. “Because of the nature of the designers we work with, their struggle is always financial,” she explains, “so we’ve always tried to help them more with their business than necessarily just looking after their PR—whether that’s partnering them with a bigger brand, or helping them find a venue or a show.” The only common thread to the client list is determination. “We want to work with people who are really serious about what they’re trying to do—it’s important they understand that it’s a business.”

The full article features in Riposte issue #5 written by Maisie Skidmore, which is available here. www.ripostemagazine.com


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