As part of our first ever designer takeover featuring Scarlett Black, we sat down with her to find out more about her journey as an independent designer.
SilkFred: Let’s begin at the beginning. How did all this start for you?
Eliza Woodcock: After graduating from London College of Fashion in 2007, I immediately got a job working for Jaeger in the Fabric Buying department. It gave me great experience working alongside the designers and learning about different fabrics and trims. I then moved into the garment buying department of Jaeger which I decided was the position I wanted to focus on, as I was really interested in business side of fashion.
Having spent 2 years at Jaeger, I was offered a job to work for Aquascutum where I continued to work as a Buyer for the brand which had been taken over by the owners of Jaeger. After 2 years at Aquascutum, I decided that I wanted to move on and gain more experience and try something different in the fashion industry. I started working for a manufacturing agency called Plain Clothes Portugal who produce womenswear clothing for high street brands such as The White Company, Jigsaw, Hobbs, Jaeger.. etc. It gave me a great insight to the opposite side I had previously been working in and also a lot of garment manufacturing experience. At the same time as working for PCP, I started my own business Scarlett Black London. I developed great relationships with the factories in Portugal who now make all the clothing for Scarlett Black London.
SF: Do you remember creating your very first piece of Scarlett Black?
EW: When I started SBL, I designed five LBD’s which were the starting point. I visited one of the factories in Portugal to discuss the developments and to choose high quality fabrics. The factory I chose worked with high end designers and were a great quality factory, so my first samples were almost perfect!
SF: What’s the style of your customer? / Who wears Scarlett Black?
EW: The Scarlett Black customer is a woman who appreciates good quality clothing and likes garments that can be dressed to suit different occasions. She likes staple wardrobe pieces that can be worn all year round and can be adapted to each season. The collection is simplistic and clean and can be accessorised in many different ways.
Tell us about the collection? What’s your favourite piece? EW:
My favourite pieces at the moment are the Dusk dres
s & the Naire
dress. They are made from a gorgeous woven fabric with textured horizontal lines running through the fabric. They are both pieces that can be worn for evening with a great pair of heels or even worn casually on a summers day with flats. The Naire dress is also a great office dress for work, and perfect for after work drinks!
SF: Do you work full time on Scarlett Black? If not, what’s the day job?
EW: I currently still work part-time for Plain Clothes Portugal, which I do alongside SBL. It is great, as both jobs tie in nicely together.
SF: What’s the future of Scarlett Black?
EW: I am in the process of designing new styles and also adding accessories to the collection… watch this space! :)
SF: Why is it so important to support independent designers?
EW: It is extremely important to support independent designers, as I believe the customers want fresh, new & individual looks. It is also great that new designers can create online stores to showcase there collections and make it more accessible to the customer. Although you can’t get as much feedback as having a stand alone store and meeting the customers, we really appreciate any feedback we get, whether it is through social media or emailing us directly.
TV Presenter Charlotte Jackson and Una from The Saturdays wearing Scarlett Black’s designs.
Check out Scarlett Black’s collection on SilkFred here.
Free international shipping during the takeover!