I caught up with Kelly Love about the launch of her eponymous label, the inspiration behind the AW13 collection, and her advice for budding fashion designers looking to follow in her footsteps.
Describe a typical day
No day is the same which is what I really love – it suits me as I can go a bit crazy with anything too monotonous! When you own your own business, you definitely end up being a jack of all trades! I can go from designing the new collection one day, pattern cutting, working out fabric quantities to order from our mills or collating range plans and costings. The best thing for me is that I have control of my own time and if I don’t feel inspired I can stop and go for a walk or do another task.
How did the idea for Kelly Love originate?
I was working for a designer, Sin Nakamayal when I lived in Japan for a couple of years and loved the creativity of it. Sin was more of an artist who created conceptual pieces where as I knew I wanted to design clothes that were unique but also very wearable. The idea that you can come up with a concept and months later, what has been imagined becomes real is really exciting for me. There’s nothing better than seeing it all come to life.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
One of the biggest achievements for me is that our customers spend their hard earned cash on pieces I have designed. Ultimately we wouldn’t have a business without them and it’s really humbling. I’m also really proud to have an on-going collaboration with Aussie hair care as they are such a huge company and it’s amazing that they picked me out of all the designers they could have worked with when I’m still quite a new brand.
Where did you take your inspiration from for the AW13 collection?
At the start of each season, I come up with a short story that helps me picture the woman who is effectively the muse for the collection and allows me to imagine the end product. AW13 was somewhat of a love story about a couple who lived in a bohemian neighbourhood in Paris a long time ago. The elderly people who still live there remember them as this really eccentric but beautifully polished couple who lived a charmed, extravagant lifestyle. There is always an element of darkness to these stories though and perhaps there was an underlying sadness beneath her beauty which makes the collections feel a little more fragile. To me these vulnerable aspects of a women’s personality are much more enchanting than the polished persona that she allows people to see, and it’s these ideas that always give my collections a delicate edge.
What do you love most about what you do?
The creativity of building something from concept to completion and the freedom that working for yourself allows.
What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own label?
Start it on the side of a paying job to make sure you have something that is going to work, get as much experience as you can in the industry to build your contacts and skills before starting, and make sure you know who your customer is!
You can see more from Kelly Love, including the gorgeous AW13 collection, on her website, or keep up to date on twitter @Kelly_Love_com.