LFW – interview: fresh, texturised minimalism from Charlie May
She already runs a highly successful blog and now Charlie May looks to be well on her way to dominating the fashion designing world as well this week. We caught up with her to chat about countryside influences, industry connections and what we can expect from her next collection.
What’s different about your brand?
I love the use of texture in my collections and layering up different fabrics and cuts. I think I offer a directional, fresh minimalist style that isn’t readily available in London.
How important is an education in fashion?
University was great for learning how to actually make garments but it doesn’t teach you about the industry at all. I’ve had to do a lot of self-teaching since graduation and starting my label and learning the hard way is often better I think.
How much of an influence has growing up on a farm had on your brand?
All my inspirations come from growing up there and memories of my childhood and adolescence. The countryside is so peaceful and the landscapes are full of texture and beauty. I can’t help but be inspired by it.
How much do you think that having such a great blog helped your career?
It has made it a lot easier to start a label, as I already had the industry contacts and they’re always willing to help me out. Also PRing the collection myself through the blog and having a more personal relationship with my readers and customers was great.
How did you feel when your brand first started to take off?
So excited! The best thing is seeing people actually wearing the clothes and tagging them on sites like Instagram.
What inspires you to get designing?
I’m always thinking about the next collection in the back of my mind and then at some point I’ll have a moment where I need to draw everything that’s been stored up. I love using Pinterest for inspirational travel photography, and the fabrics themselves are always an inspirational process.
Any particular career highlights?
My favourite all time press has been from an AnOther shoot styled by Nobuko Tannawa, I’m super excited to be working with her for the show this season because she totally gets what the brand is about and I always love her styling.
Where do you see yourself and your brand in a few years’ time?
I’ve just launched my own Ecommerce store for A/W’13 so I hope to see that taking off in a big way. Otherwise it’s all about global domination; I would love to see Charlie May in key boutiques all around the world.
What can we expect from your next collection?
The next collection is more fun and hugely inspired by my childhood, there’s more of a sportswear influence in the fabrics and shapes as well as a lot more texture than usual. There’s also a shoe collaboration with Hudson that I’m very excited about!
Photos: Christopher Dadley