In May 2010 Elle magazine and the British Fashion Council created a new fashion initiative, Talent Launch Pad, to compliment the opportunities offered by London Fashion Week by supporting new fashion designers to expand their business through marketing , PR and industry relationships. A panel comprising of pivotal British retailers, brand development experts and fashion influencers selected a total of six designers, including Holly Fulton, Eudon Choi and David Longshaw. Elle magazine pledged editorial and promotional support, whilst the BFC will collaborate six retailers to host in-store events to stock and promote the designers’ collections to their local audiences. As part of the Talent Launch Pad initiative, luxury independent boutique Hervia Bazaar is supporting British fashion designers and Talent Launch Pad winners, Holly Fulton and Eudon Choi.
Talking specifically about the BFC/Elle Talent Launch Pad, Holly and Eudon reveal how invaluable the experience has been for a new designer.
Holly Fulton: “I have loved our mini UK tour; it has really opened up my eyes to the breadth of the market outside of London and to the diversity of the fashion scene in the rest of the UK. The support I have already received from Elle and the retailer’s has been indispensible, to receive such unique mentoring and to be able to visit the stores, see the collection within the retail environment and to meet the customers and find out what they like has been an amazing insight into retail and what women want and like to wear”.
Eudon Choi: “The Talent Launch Pad has proved to be an incredible platform for a new designer. We have been offered some fantastic opportunities that I do not think we would have been offered if it were not for the BFC and Elle. The BFC offered us the exhibition stand at Somerset House during LFW while Elle has offered us editorial space in their magazine; these are both mean feats for such new designers, like Holly and me. It is also really difficult to show our collections to major buyers, like Hervia Bazaar, but the initiative has really enabled us to do this. To be stocked in such a great shop next to such amazing designers has been a huge opportunity for me”.
Located in the heart of Manchester’s Spring Gardens, nestled alongside many other key retailers, Hervia Bazaar has agreed to stock both brands from the current season through to S/S12. That is at least two collections that the store will see from both Choi and Fulton and goes a long way in introducing and establishing both names within the North West.
To kick start the partnership, Hervia Bazaar hosted an evening with both Holly Fulton and Eudon Choi, where their collections could already be seen integrated alongside such huge fashion pioneers as Hussein Chalayan and Comme Des Garcons. This event was a chance for them to present their S/S 11 collections, see their clothes in-store, and witness firsthand the reactions of those collections from present customers.
Fulton describes the inspiration for her current S/S 11 collection as ‘Joan Collins on a cruise in the 60s’. The all-encompassing wardrobe that she would need for such an adventure, the matching earrings, necklace, she has such a complete look and I, myself very much design with a full look in mind’.
Holly herself on the night of the Hervia Bazaar event couldn’t have showcased this aesthetic more, she donned an all over monochrome exterior with the two hues dripping from her neck, wrists and ears in the form of her infamous art deco styled Perspex and Swarovski jewellery. The only bolt of bold colour came from the red of her lip, which she later explained is her favourite Chanel lipstick. Something she loves so much she decided to splatter all over her forthcoming A/W11 collection. The audacious lip-smacking print combined with the bijou tweed separates make for her best, most exciting collection yet.
Whereas Fulton’s collections echo an urban yet feminine air Eudon Choi’s collections have a noticeable masculine, tailored appeal. His current S/S collection, stocked at Hervia Bazaar, is entitled Industrial Revolution. Explaining this particular essence, he says ‘I trained as a menswear designer in Seoul and so after four years of experience, there are always natural menswear elements present within my designs. It was the techniques I picked up during this time, like the in-depth tailoring methods that I now take and create a more feminine silhouette with’.
Both Holly Fulton and Eudon Choi’s S/S 11 collections are available now in store at Hervia Bazaar, 40 Spring Gardens, Manchester, M2 1EN and online at www.herviabazaar.com. For more information about the Talent Launch Pad, please visit www.britishfashioncouncil.com.
by Emma Jayne Daniels