Saturday, 5 May 2012

Q&A with Beulah London

The first Beulah London collection was launched in SS'11 by two friends, Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs and Lavinia Brennan. Since then, the luxury label has gained numerous celebrity and society followers, from the inspirational Katie Piper to the style-setting Duchess of Cambridge.  

The successful establishment of Beulah illustrates how a fashion label can make a real difference and be run as profitable business. The idea came from a trip to India, where the designers met female victims of human trafficking and, on seeing their plight, felt driven to find a way to provide real support to those in such need. Through the simple idea of giving a specially made canvas bag with every Beulah purchase, which has been made in India by victims of trafficking, the girls are ensuring these women receive fair pay, training and skills and so give them a route to freedom.

The ladies behind the label clearly share a heart for social justice as well as a talent for turning out timeless pieces and here they reveal their thoughts:  

Describe Beulah London in three words...
Fashion with (a) conscience.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
We love taking inspiration from vintage designs that are timeless and elegant.  Our all time favourite is Ozzie Clark.

Who would you dream person be to design for?
Charlotte Casiraghi as she has a serene beauty.

If you could only wear one fashion brand forever, what would you choose?
Chinti and Parker, ethical cashmere.  Perfect all day, every day.

What made choose to operate in an ethical way vs any other model?
We felt a need to stand against throw-away fashion and product timeless pieces that never go out of style, which can stay in your wardrobe forever and be passed to the next generation.  We also felt a big need to help women who have been trafficked, so we found this a perfect way of creating employment for them, and at the same time creating ethical fashion.

Are there any fellow ethical business owners or ambassadors you admire and recommend, and why?
Stella McCartney standing for ethical fashion.  We also love Livia Firth as a brand ambassador, and everything she stands for, encouraging big fashion houses to become more ethical.

What tips would you give others keen to run their label or company as a successful ethical business?
Stay true to your vision.  Also realise that being 100% ethical is not always achievable.  We have struggled, particularly with sourcing ethical silks due to the high price.  I think be realistic, but stay true to your vision.

If you had to pick a favourite look from Beulah London, which would you choose?
I love the current Poppy dress from our SS'12 collection.  I love wearing it, it's so flattering and brightens up a dull day.

What do you see the future holding for Beulah London?
We want to be stocked internationally, be a huge fashion house and ultimately be a successful brand so that we can employ and support hundreds (and eventually thousands!) of marginalised  women.

Bon Ton Times applauds you, thanks girls!  To see the highly desirable Beulah London collections for yourself visit http://www.beulahlondon.com/ for details and showroom information.  

If you feel inspired, tell us how you'd like to change the world for the better: email catherine@bontontimes.com

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