Your brand focuses on luxurious basics; what made you want to stay clear of trends?
I like to play around with different styles but the common denominator is always great basics. For me, the perfect wardrobe is one which ages well and consists of items that you can wear time and time again. Basics provide exactly that, then you can add seasonal buys in now and again to keep things current.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I'm a real wanderer and have always been obsessively curious about the world. I get inspired by everything; buildings, films, shops, art but most of all other women. I find I design best when I visualise my perfect customer. She's intelligent, fearless and fun all wrapped into one with an eye for beautiful design.
What should every woman have in her wardrobe? (aside from your handbags!)
A quality pair of jeans. Really good denim has so many of the same attributes that I love in leather. It wears well, each pieces is unique and it looks better and better with age. My absolute favourite pair are a rich indigo Levi's Vintage 606 which are a high waisted taper; the ideal balance between classic and contemporary.
How would you describe the Grace Gordon aesthetic?
Classic meets contemporary with a provocative edge. I'm fascinated by rich materials, natural colours and simple functionality, all pulled together with thoughtful design.
What are the most treasured pieces in your wardrobe?
My original Eleanor bag will always have a special place in my heart. It's really worn in and has the most gorgeous shine to it now that it really does attract comments everywhere I go. It was the first bag which I made in our milled leather and was with me through thick and thin when I first started up. I also have a collection of vintage 50s cocktail dresses in black silk with impossibly tiny waists which are just so beautiful. Their timeless shapes work so amazingly well with a few contemporary accessories.
The Grace Gordon brand is aimed at the fashionable woman with a busy lifestyle. What are your handbag essentials?
A charger for my iPhone, my wallet, make-up, pen, tissues and a variety of Coffee shop loyalty cards. Whatever I'm reading at the time too, I spend so much time travelling that a good book is a must have, at the moment it's Soul Machine by George Makari.
You grew up in the north of England, lived in London and now have a home near Brighton. How has Britain influenced your brand?
There's the perfect balance between an appreciation for heritage and a progressive attitude toward trends in the UK. We have some truly amazing brands and a really rich history of craftsmanship and manufacturing. Growing up in the north, surrounded by old mills and cotton factories that sense of industry really inspired my search for British leather workshops which is how I started out.
Where are your favourite places to travel?
I really don't have a favourite, each place I've been to has been special in it's own way. Some of my favourite memories are from Paris, Bruges and Sri Lanka. I also hitchiked to Morocco in my teens and I have one memory of being sat, perched on top of the Medina of Fez listening to the call to prayer which will stay with me forever. It was such a magical moment.
If you could collaborate with another designer or artist, who would it be?
Grayson Perry. I love him and even made an urn in his honour for a school project once. His documentary In The Best Possible Taste was fascinating.
What’s next for the Grace Gordon collection?
I'm working on opening up a PopUp later this year and on running some events alongside with local artisans and stylists. Some new travel accessories including washbags and makeup cases are in the pipeline and I've got a super exciting collection of canvas bags which will be available later in the year. I can't wait!
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