Thursday, 23 October 2014

THE INTERVIEW: The Industry x Mary Katrantzou

Last night, The Industry and Davina Catt interviewed renowned fashion designer, Mary Katrantzou. The incredible label has grown at 300% a year, which is hardly surprising considering Katrantzou’s remarkable talent for design, especially, print. Surely one of the smartest and quick-witted women in the business, Mary exclusively sat down with an elite audience of fashion professionals (including the likes of Vogue’s Fashion Features Editor, Jessica Bumpus, London Fashion Week designer, Eudon Choi and Donna Ida) and leading journalist, Davina Catt at Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design, to discuss her profoundly rapid rise to great fashion heights. Within the interview, the design-connoisseur offered solid advice to those operating in the sector, touching on hot topics such as her move away from print, collaborations and her most recent partnership with Adidas and the New York City Ballet.

 “I went into fashion very naïvely and never expected any of it to be commercially viable – at first, I didn’t expect any sales at all,” explained Mary, who for a long time was her own agent. (Despite this, the Greek designer still managed to pick up 15 stockists in her first season.)

Transitioning from Central Saint Martins protégé to international wholesale business with 55 members of staff (and with over 300 global accounts under her belt), Mary explains: “A designer starting a business needs to be very hardworking. I don’t think a business can be started on sheer talent.”

Katrantzou is the only London Fashion Week designer in recent history to work with legendary Parisian embroiders, Lesage, and while she can’t technically claim her designs are couture, she innovatively finding new ways to commercialise the market. “We had a dress this season that took 86 hours to make because it is seamless – that would be couture! A piece like that, if we put it on our online platform, it can sell!” 

The designer also says that many customers want to buy her dresses not just for the prints, but for the cut. “I don’t think I’ve achieved global recognition yet,” says the designer modestly. “However, I’m on the path to conquer the world.”

And, Mary? We can’t wait.

Mary Katrantzou, Courtney Blackman & Davina Catt

All images are sourced from Forward PR/The Industry
Photography: Fran Hales


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