House Of Grazia: How To Start Your Own Label With Lulu Kennedy MBE

15 February 2013 by

Lulu Kennedy at House of Grazia

Lulu Kennedy MBE is founder of Fashion East and MAN. In conversation with journalist and fashionista, Angela Buttolph, Lulu spoke about her career in fashion and her super-cool clothing label, Lulu & Co.

On her T-shirt from her own label;

‘Lulu & Co work on collaborations with various artists, designers and even the photographer, Mary McCartney, who made us some t-shirts with photos from her archive, like this one which says DANCE!’

On how she started her own label;

‘Lulu & Co started in 2010 to celebrate 10 years of Fashion East we thought about doing some t-shirts and my business partner said – why not do a line of clothes and do some dresses and other things, don't just do what everyone would do. [which would be a t-shirt range]

Now, a few more seasons on we don't just do archive and collaborations, we do new designs just for the range.' 

Lulu & Co at Matches

Lulu & Co at Matches Fashion

On how Fashion East got started;

'When I started out I started, I was working with PPQ and House of Jazz. Which progressed to Jonathan Saunders, Roksanda Illincic, Gareth Pugh and Richard Nicoll. At first we went out looking for people, going to fashion college shows, talking to the tutors and doing it that way. Nowadays people come to us - enquire themselves, and present themselves to us.

I particularly remember Jonathan Saunders had just had a really bad time with a manufacturer - he says he would have gone bust - but I don't think he would. He turned up to one show with some garments that were still wet - he'd just screen-printed them himself! He just needed help with logistical things though, not with his ideas at all. 

I started Fashion East from the need to help sort fashion designers out, in the style of a bossy big sister, as I'm the oldest of three.  I'll always work with young talent because I love it - and it's become an institution now.

I'll always do Lulu & Co - it is so exciting to do each season, especially the collaborations, which I get so excited about.'

On what to expect at Fashion East this season

'Claire Barrow is one, plus Ryan Low - he's so funny! He's a wild card. Everything he makes is ultra feminine, almost to the point of pastiche. His inspiration this season is Bridget Jones!

Ashley Williams - she's a very interesting and exciting designer who's being touted as very much one to watch this season.

The show is going to be at Tate Modern, which I am so so excited about - it's got to be one of my favourite venues in London and I've always wanted to do a show there. If I think about it I start shaking!

Lulu & Co Spring Summer 13 is arriving on Matches Fashion soon. Sign up for Lulu updates here!


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