Interview: DEBORAH ST LOUIS

We caught up with the organiser behind Fashions Finest, a successful off-schedule showcase that our readers will recognise.

Hi Deborah! Congratulations on the latest Fashions Finest shows. How much work does it take to organise a show like this?

Thank you, I have a process I follow and having done these events for years it works but honestly a lot. People looking may think it’s easy but it’s 6 months of continuous work from prep, i.e. locking down designers, to the event, and then the after-event follow-up. Then it starts all over again, but I love what I do.

What do you look for in designers that showcase with you?

As Fashions Finest mainly work with emerging designers and international designers wanting to tap into the UK market, I try not to have too many restrictions. So, as long as they have a good collection, they can show with us. We also include one or two very new designers whose work may not be on par with the others, but they are evolving, and we believe seeing the standard of the others will propel them to aim higher and achieve more for their own brand. You see, designers at whatever stage they are at need opportunities and someone to give a professional and affordable platform to showcase their talent. That’s what Fashions Finest is all about.

“DESIGNERS NEED A PROFESSIONAL AND AFFORDABLE PLATFORM”

Do you have any advice for up and coming designers who haven’t shown their collections yet?

A show is not for everyone. Some may choose one show a year, others go another route. I know many new designers are struggling with getting funding and even though they may have a great collection they cannot afford to finance a show or something else in their life is priority. This is unfortunate but as with any business they need to find a way if they really want to do it and, when they commit to doing it, follow through. Be prepared to invest a huge amount of time and money, and at the early stages see little or no return. It takes time to build a business.

To conclude, I really do believe a fashion show, especially one during London Fashion Week, elevates you to another level. people who have not seen or heard about you before all of a sudden become aware of you and your brand. If designers are unsure we can talk them through the process of showing with us, or they can talk to others who have done a show.

What does fashion mean to you?

I believe fashion is something that comes from within you. It’s an expression of your uniqueness, individuality and personality.

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Describe your personal style.

I don’t dress to impress anyone but to make myself feel good about me. But my friends would say my regular style is #rockchick as I mostly go for skinny jeans, leggings, jumpsuits, fitted dresses, vest tops, jackets and leather jackets. A style I can dress up with heels or dress down with pumps. In winter I’m totally wrapped up as I hate the cold weather. I like to feel comfortable and be able to forget about what I’m wearing. When I have events to attend I try something new, usually something from one of the new brands I work with to help them promote themselves. It’s not always what I would wear but that’s OK as I am wearing it for a cause.

Do you have a favourite collection that you have seen in recent years?

Over the years we have had many wonderful designers grace our platform, from those showing ready wear to evening and haute couture. It’s difficult to say which is my favourite.

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It’s been great chatting with you. Where can we find out more about Fashions Finest online?

Tel: +44(0)345 388 0525

www.fashionsfinest.com

Twitter – @fashionsfinest

Facebook – Fashions Finest UK

Instagram – @FashionsFinestUK

Linkedin – Deborah St Louis

Image credits: DUDU Photography, Peter Hogan

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