The FC Fashion Meetup is a networking and showcasing fashion event held every quarter at FashionCapital’s HQ in London. The aim of the event is to provide an opportunity for designers and fashion entrepreneurs to engage with each other as well as receive invaluable insight about the fashion industry from a fashion icon.
On Tuesday 13th February 2018, FashionCapital held its second FC Meetup and ‘The Big Black Sofa Conversation’ with CEO Jenny Holloway and Buying and Merchandising director at Jigsaw, Shailina Parti. Fashion Capital received a wide range of guests including; MP for Foyle, Elisha Mc Callion, ASOS, Trendzine, Design Consultant Sue Mee Maudsley, Best of Britannia Director Joe Pidgeon, fashion designers, new business start ups and fashion entrepreneurs.
Doors were opened to guests from five in the afternoon, glasses of prosecco were offered and they were able to engage with one another before the conversation with Shailina and Jenny began.
‘The Big Black Sofa Conversation’ between Jenny and Shailina was an informal ‘chat’ and throughout the conversation, guests were able to ask questions regarding the matters of; setting up a brand, sourcing fabrics, online sales and much more. Shailina discussed the journey of her career in fashion; starting from her experience as a graduate trainee at Jaeger in 1989, to launching Jaeger’s first catwalk collection in 2008 and then being appointed as Buying and Merchandising director at Jigsaw in 2014.
Shailina stated “We wanted to create a catwalk brand, however we wanted to keep the principle of creating and designing within the British industry. Just before we launched Jaeger London we created the samples for the collection at one of Fashion Enter’s workshop in 2008 .That same year we launched Jaeger London and took the collection to London Fashion Week, the collection was fabulous! That year we doubled our profits and globally Jaeger became a big brand.”
Shailina and Jenny talked though multiple approaches designers should take to overcome the restraints of creating a brand and the approaches to run a brand successfully. Shailina states “There are four focal points to creating a brand; firstly you must have a passion, secondly what is your brand focus? – You have to decide what your brand point of view is, both Monsoon and Jaeger had their own particular point of view. Thirdly, business knowledge- understanding the money part of the business and the creation of the perfect fit- If the garments you have designed don’t fit or work on the body, if they don’t work on the body the proportions won’t be right”
As well as the conversation with Shailia, the’ Derry Design Collective’ from the Designer Business Start- Up programme showcased their exquisite collections at the FC MeetUp.
Throughout the event guests were able to view the designer’s collections and discuss with them further about their designs. At the end of the occasion, guest’s continued engaging and networking with each other. Overall, the second FC Meet Up was a huge success!
Here are few comments taken from guests at the end of the event:
“’Excellent event as part of London Fashion Week, showcasing designers from The Derry Design collective. Great opportunities to showcase local talent and hear from Shailina Parti at Jigsaw!” Elisha Mc Callion, MP for Foyle (image left Elisha and Shailina)
“I had fabulous time!! Very useful and informative” Imran, designer
“Thank you for a great evening. We found it very insightful!” Shonagh, designer
“What’s not to Love here in London, the ‘Fashion Capital ‘ with Jennifer Holloway and my 9 fellow Designers from Derry showcasing our fashion lines to so many industry professionals and helped so much by Deidre Williams. After last night listening to an amazing talk from Shailina Parti and listening to how her company Jigsaw is using new sustainable fabrics such as Irish linen is leading the way online and in store! I loved sharing my new lasered work using linen, leather, transparent acrylic and of course wood! I was so encouraged by the feedback on my ‘Book of Kells’ inspired Next Chapter accessories range! We also were given more mentoring by the British Trail blazer Jenny and today given a tour by Fashion Enter’s Production director, Caroline! They’re facilities and operations, staff and education programs epitomises Best of British! It’s no wonder they produce so many beautiful outfits for ASOS” Joanne Doherty, designer
“Last night was wonderful. Thank you very much to Jenny and Shallina.”Jacqueline
“It was great to see you again yesterday and well done on a very informative evening” Joe Pidgeon, Best of Britannia
“Thank you Shailina for giving us such a wonderful insight into your long spanning career in the industry – the highlights and tough times too.! The Derry designers gained a lot of knowledge from your conversation and really appreciated your feedback on their collections. The only way is up for the designers and we hope that with your connection, the designers can take their talents to the next level. Thank you Jenny and Fashion Capital team for putting on such an event!” Deirdre Williams, Fashion and Textiles Design Centre
Shailina Part, Buying and Merchandising director, Jigsaw“Thank you for the opportunity and it was a great audience. The young designers being showcased from Ireland were great and most importantly Jenny is running a very successful and enterprising business that all of us British brands should be supporting! Good manufacturing facilities, audited and ethically run and in London. Thanks Jenny”
The Fashion and Textile Design Centre
And guest speaker Shailina commented:“Amazing showcasing event last night at The Fashion Capital Meetup. The Derry Design collective did themselves proud and mingled with industry professionals and media. Who knows what opportunities will come out of this networking event – it was a great night and the ‘Sofa Talk’ with Jigsaw’s Buying and Merchandising director Shailina Parti was fascinating.”
We can’t wait for the next FC Fashion Meetup – watch this space!
Alan Cresswell Designs Ona by Agne