Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Interview with Hannah Beth Fincham




I first came across your amazing pieces when you created a studded leather jacket for Young Guns’ Bones Video. What have you been up to since then?

Mainly growing the collection and working on a smaller embroidered sister collection of sweaters and tees. I didn't want to launch with just the studded pieces so I’ve been working on two collections and getting a website up and running has been the main focus. I’ve been fortunate to have worked on lots of shoots styling and directing, so it’s been a fun time being creative and meeting other creatives!


Would you only design pieces you’d wear yourself, or do you make with other people in mind? 
I wouldn't design something I wouldn't want to wear myself, I made my first jacket 'Boudicca' because I couldn't find a leather jacket that I loved. 



When did you know you wanted to work within fashion?
Ever since I could pick up a pencil and draw! I've been into art/fashion my whole life its never been a option to do anything else. I'm lucky to have a supportive, artistic family so they have always encouraged my love for it all.

Did you study fashion at university? 
I studied Multi Media textiles at Loughborough University. Which was a great course as I got to focus on textile embellishment for fashion, my favourite skill.

How would you describe the way you dress?
This is difficult as I just wear what I want, I can't put myself in a category as one day I could be wearing lots of colour in a dress with overkill accessories and the next day all in black. My favourite look has a hippy meets rocker vibe, I love textures and conflicting styles – such as Florals and broderie anglaise mixed with leather and ripped denim, topped with layering of gold accessories. I think this look is much sexier than a tight little body con.
  
What images would I find on your mood boards? 
I love scruffy, undone beauty. Grunge would probably best describe it. Images of Erin Wasson and 90's Kate Moss to Chloe Norgaard. I love beautiful portraits, tattoos and explosions of colour. I am also drawn to the androgynous look which shows within my styling. 



What is the environment that you work in? (music, tidy/messy, snacks, alone etc)
Well I work in my lounge on a kitchen table, so not quite the sophisticated studio yet! I can't work in silence. I have to have music on or a box set on that doesn't need too much attention. As for snack….. I'm a footstep from the kitchen, I’ll let you do the math!! 

Can you tell me a bit about your design process from start to finish….
I'm not very conventional in the sense that if I have an idea I will either do a rough sketch or I just launch straight into making it and see where the process takes me. Something that I found frustrating at university is that I would have to work backwards and fill sketch books with images and notes, pretending that’s how I got the final result, whereas my actual process can be quite improvised. 

Who are your personal style icons?
Erin Wasson 
Alice Dellal
Chloe Norgaard


Favourite stylists/designers?
I love Balmain - the embellishment is insane, I hope that one day I will be in the position to create my own extreme visions. I also love Moschino and the simplicity understated styles of Alexander wang.

You work as a stylist too. Will you always want to be responsible for advertisments, lookbooks etc?
I have such strong ideas and visions that I can't imagine letting someone take over from me when it comes to my own brand but that doesn't mean to say I wouldn't want to collaborate with someone. I love working with other creative people and being part of a team. 

If things keep on progressing, how do you think you will cope with relinquishing control? 
I've been honest on my website in stating that it is only me and these pieces are one-offs that take time. If you’re buying from me it’s because you want a one off and appreciate that you will be the only one with that piece. Obviously I would love to have a bigger team to support me in future and bounce ideas off of!

As someone in the fashion industry will you ensure you are diverse in terms of your models and sizing?
I think theres nothing more beautiful than diversity within models. I think more than ever we are drawn to individuality, it’s more exciting to find a model with something different about them. 

Who would you most like to see wearing your pieces? 
One of my favourites, Rita Ora, has already been spotted in my Princess Jacket but I’d love to see any of the following wearing my designs:


and.....
Chloe Norgaard
Kate Moss
Poppy Delvingen
Alexa Chung
Alice Dellal
Daisy Lowe
Nicole Richie
Gillian Zinser

Where do your source your garments from? 
East London.

How long does it take to create a piece like your Disney Princess Jacket?
Roughly 3 weeks, as theres over 2,000 studs, its time consuming work but I'm also trying to run a business at the same time –so it really depends on whats going on within that time.

What are you trend tips for A/W?
Wear what you want, who cares whats "on trend".

How much do you look at blogs/tumblrs/instagrams? Any favourites?
I love Pinterest and collecting images to form virtual mood boards. I also love instagram as it lets you see someone’s style at a personal level. I'm not too hot on blogs I haven't got time really, but I am guilty of flicking through image-lead blogs, I have thousands of images saved on my iPad and phone, addicted to pictures be it be model shots or textiles just anything fashion based or inspiring.

What advice would you give designers looking to start a business? 
If you really, truly love designing then never give up, I've had my fair shares of brick walls in the way and plenty of stress and anxiety but If it was that easy, every girl would be a designer. The lows make you appreciate the highs a hell of a lot more. So keep persisting, also don't mix business with pleasure, although this does work for some people!  Also look into local support like the prince’s trust, they run different workshops specialising in specific business areas like accounting and PR also you can get the support of a mentor which has been a big help for me.


How do you differentiate yourself from other designers who specialize in similar techniques? 
If I'm honest I don't know another designer who does the same thing as me. Obviously there’s studded jackets out there I'm not going to pretend I invented this look, I just know mine are intricately detailed and I look at them like walking works of art - they are one off pieces insuring each customer owns a one of a kind piece just for themselves.

Can you give us a hint on what themes you’ll cover in your next run of designs? 
Mermaids, broderie anglaise and a new bag line!  - 3 of my loves.

Recently played on your iPod?
The last 5 tracks were (on shuffle) 

James Blake CMYK, 
The little mermaid 'Kiss the girl'
Duke Dumont feat AME & MNEK
Phill Collins - Easy lover
Le Youth - Cool

Plans for 2014? 
To launch my new mermaid-inspired collection.


Make sure you check out this talented lady's new jersey/jumper range on her website now!!






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