Thursday, 28 June 2012

5 Minutes with David Longshaw

5 Minutes with David Longshaw

Now a very successful Fashion designer with his own label; I caught up with David Longshaw, Manchester born and bred to find out all about his latest venture in the Fashion world, what it was like working for Max Mara and a little bit about his fictional fashion mouse Maude.

So, you’ve had a very successful career since Graduating in 2007, can you tell us what it was like working for Max Mara?
The day after graduating from the RCA I moved to Italy to design for Alberta Ferretti. I went on from Ferretti to Max Mara so I could see how a high end commercially driven label operates.
I thought it would be useful to design for a company like Max Mara to really understand how to balance the high end feel and aesthetic they have with their sales oriented edge
Studying at St Martins (where I did my BA Hons) and at the RCA (MA) the focus was very much on creativity, so it was valuable to see the other side of fashion so when I started my own label I could try balance the creativity, with the business side.

At what point did you decide to move on and create your own label?

I had always wanted to start my own label, but I wanted to gain some experience before starting it. It was whilst working at Max Mara that I realised it was the right time to start- I’d gained experience designing abroad and thought it was the best time, before I had any commitments like a mortgage or family to look after. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could do it and to see how I could develop my own style.

What was it like winning the first ever BFC/ELLE Talent Launch Pad? Can you tell us a little about this?
Winning was obviously great- there are a lot of designers out there and a prize like this helps you to stand out- it draws attention to you at a critical point in the labels growth.
The BFC/ELLE Talent Launch Pad is an initiative between the British Fashion Council and ELLE magazine – the judging panel consisted of various members of the ELLE editorial team (including Editor-in-Chief Lorraine Candy), members of the BFC, Helena Christensen and a variety of stores and boutiques.
It was announced in The Guardian Newspaper I had won (with an article about me) and in ELLE magazine where they photo’d Helena Christensen in one of my dresses. The BFC then gave me free exhibition space at London Fashion week (twice) in the newly created BFC/ELLE TLP area, so I could meet all the press and buyers. In addition various stores whose buyers were on the selection panel went on to stock my collections. The connections I built up with the buyers who were on the judging panel has now meant I’m currently stocked in Cricket in Liverpool and Anna on the Kings Road in London.

We also noticed you enjoy illustration and writing alongside designing can you tell us a little about this?

I started to write and illustrate little stories to inspire my collections when I was at St Martins and carried on from there really.

At the RCA there were lots of visting lecturers brought in from the fashion industry (designers like Betty Jackson and Erdem and journalists like Colin McDowll). Some of the journalists liked my work and asked to see more. When I showed them they noticed my illustrations and enjoyed the stories that went with them, so they asked me to contribute to various mags.

Often when I interview people I do it through one of my characters like the fictional fabric fashion mouse Maude (Editor-in-Chief of MAUDEZINE 'the future fashion bible') and her fictional fabric editorial team at MAUDEZINE - that includes Gin addled Dois and Mildred (who sees people as dresses).

Tell us a little bit about your latest collection? Where did your main inspiration come from?
Each season I create an illustrated story (or animation) to inspire my collection. The theme, colours, prints and shapes are all taken from the story.

The story of the A/W collection:
Having fallen down a hole and into a dress, Lucia (who is trying to escape from a frightfully dull wedding) is a tad surprised to be greeted by two talking fabric mice,  Maude and Doris. In turn Maude is surprised to hear that Lucia has no idea who she is.

‘How can you not know who I am!  I’m Maude, Editor-in-Chief of MAUDEZINE, ‘The future fashion bible.’

 “Oh dear, “Lucia thought, “I have definitely had too many wines. It’s all gone a bit Alice in Wonderland here. I’ve even fallen down a hole, there’ll be a white rabbit hopping along any minute now.”

Introductions done, Maude tells Lucia about her and Doris’s adventures through the cellar they had all fallen into, journeying into rooms filled with house dresses (houses in the shape of dresses and whole cities made to look like vast wardrobes of hanging houses).

Then it was time to get back up to ground level and back to editing MAUDEZINE.

 Fashion waits for no man- or fabric mouse. They just had to figure out how to escape...

To read the full story, go to:

Are your pieces available to buy? If so where can I get them?
They’re available in a variety of stores around the world including:  Cricket (Liverpool), ANNA (Kings road, London), Susan (USA), Visit For (Japan), Kniq (Hong Kong), Valleydez (Dubai)…. And online at,
What’s in store in the future for David Longshaw?
More Maude, more dresses, more designs, more illustrations…
...don't forget to check out the full feature on the Fashion Network's webpage!
much love

No comments:

Post a Comment