February 21 2014
My alarm goes at 6.30am, giving me 30 minutes with a mug of green tea at my computer before my trainer arrives. I am a big believer in “fit body, fit mind”, so I view these sessions as an essential luxury and they really set me up for the day.
I stop by our Fulham Road boutique on my way to the office. It is currently being refurbished in line with our new retail concept so it will echo the look and feel of the new flagship store in Mayfair. Things are progressing well and we are on track for the new Amanda Wakeley furniture to be installed next week. We are pushing things forward as quickly as possible, as obviously we want our retail stores closed for a minimal amount of time.
Next stop: the office, where my first priority is to review the graphics of a foldout brochure we are creating. It’s a map of Mayfair marked with all my favourite spots and why I like them. The idea is to have a fun handout that will be available in our stores, as well as from the concierges of West End and Knightsbridge hotels.
As it is awards season, several of the key LA stylists are starting to call in our designs for the Oscars, so I spend some time writing personal notes to go out with the dresses. As soon as they’re done I set off to Somerset House, where the British Fashion Council has cleverly come up with a concept of extending London Fashion Week into a consumer event: London Fashion Weekend. We are showing our spring/summer 2014 collection to an audience of 800 people who have bought tickets to the show.
Straight after my catwalk bow, there is a live Q&A with TV presenter Angela Scanlon on the runway, where members of the audience can ask me questions. Once the show is finished I head over to the pop-up shops that have been created for the event. We have focused ours on knitwear and small leather goods and accessories, as these are the easiest pieces to purchase in this environment – plus, it reinforces the message that we do more than red-carpet dresses.
I leave our mobbed stand and head back to the office to prepare for tomorrow’s board meeting. We will be focusing on which were the best- and worst-selling pieces of our autumn/winter 2013 collection and why. It’s a really important and useful exercise; to be a truly successful designer, you have to be both creative and business-minded – luckily for me, I enjoy both aspects of the job.