Fashion Quarterly - - Contents -

Emilia Wick­stead is the dar­ling of fash­ion

Since shoot­ing to promi­nence when Kate, the Duchess of Cam­bridge, wore her epony­mous la­bel, the de­signer’s sphere of in­flu­ence con­tin­ues to reign supreme.

FQ: What’s in store for 2016? Emilia Wick­stead: We are re­ally fo­cus­ing on stream­lin­ing and grow­ing the brand, which means more col­lec­tions. It’s go­ing to be a very ex­cit­ing year.

Ear­lier this year you showed your AW16 col­lec­tion at Lon­don Fash­ion Week. What do you re­mem­ber most about that day? The day goes in such a blur, you are of­ten work­ing on just a cou­ple of hours sleep. But the most mem­o­rable mo­ment is that line up just be­fore the girls go out – it’s when you re­ally see how all your hard work has come to­gether.

You first showed at LFW in 2012 – has putting a col­lec­tion on the run­way be­come any eas­ier? I have a lot more sup­port now which is a mas­sive help in terms of al­low­ing me to fo­cus in ar­eas that I’m needed most. It’s still al­ways nerve-wrack­ing though, es­pe­cially be­cause the more suc­cess­ful you be­come and the more you grow, the more pres­sure there is to be bet­ter next time.

“The more suc­cess­ful you be­come and the more you grow, the more pres­sure there is to be bet­ter next time”

Our lead­ing fash­ion ex­port, Lon­don-based Emilia Wick­stead talks clothes, cool girls, and com­ing home

What has been your ca­reer high­light to date? There have been so many – open­ing my store, show­ing at Lon­don Fash­ion Week, and hir­ing a CEO. We’ve also just ren­o­vated the Sloane Street store so it’s now a true re­flec­tion of the Emilia Wick­stead aes­thetic, and this is some­thing I am very proud of.

What has been the big­gest chal­lenge you’ve faced? Bal­anc­ing fam­ily and home life with a busy, grow­ing busi­ness – both need your full, un­di­vided at­ten­tion.

Your celebrity clien­tele ranges from the very con­ser­va­tive (Kate Mid­dle­ton and Saman­tha Cameron) to the very cool (Alexa Chung and Gigi Hadid). What’s the key to de­sign­ing clothes that ap­peal to such a cross-sec­tion of women? I’m al­ways de­sign­ing for the most mod­ern woman in her cir­cle. She will al­ways lead a good and suc­cess­ful life be­cause it is the life she knows she wants to make for her­self. You’ll covet her vo­ca­tion as much as her clothes.

What are your fash­ion es­sen­tials? A polo neck, a white T-shirt, a pair of tai­lored trousers and an amaz­ing, loud coat.

What was your last pur­chase? I’m ac­tu­ally ter­ri­ble at buy­ing clothes – I usu­ally just wear my own de­signs – so my last ac­tual pur­chase was some vin­tage plates from a street mar­ket.

Be­ing as busy as you are, what’s a non­nego­tiable in­dul­gence or ri­tual that keeps you sane? I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant to ex­er­cise so I try to go to the gym when I can. I also truly be­lieve in treat­ing your skin well, eat­ing well and sleep­ing.

You were re­cently back in New Zealand as the in­ter­na­tional guest of iD Dunedin Fash­ion Week. What’s the best piece of ad­vice you can give to the next gen­er­a­tion of fash­ion grad­u­ates? Keep evolv­ing your de­signs. Find an aes­thetic and stay true to it, but make sure you are al­ways striv­ing to make it mod­ern and fresh. I would also say never be afraid of fail­ure and al­ways ac­cept help when it is of­fered.

What’s the best ca­reer ad­vice you’ve ever re­ceived? Never, ever give up.

You’ve lived all over the world – where do you feel most at home? I feel at home where my fam­ily is – at the mo­ment that’s Lon­don, where I started my brand. I must ad­mit that when­ever I go back to New Zealand I do get home­sick, though.

What’s the most New Zealand thing about you? Ev­ery­thing.

“I’m al­ways de­sign­ing for the

most mod­ern woman in her cir­cle. You’ll covet her vo­ca­tion as much

as her clothes”

Be­low: Emilia Wick­stead with Alexa Chung at a din­ner hosted by the model in Lon­don. Bot­tom: Emilia with Poppy

Delev­ingne at the 2015 Bri­tish Fash­ion Awards.


Mod­els wear SS16 at Lon­don Fash­ion Week 2015. Be­low right: The de­signer takes to the cat­walk at the close of her AW16 show at Lon­don Fash­ion Week.

•Which A-lis­ters are fans of Emilia?

Visit FQ.co.nz/emil­i­aw­ick­stead

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