Top Fashion Blogger Liberty London Girl Chats Exclusively with COTTON USA
Sasha Wilkins – editor and founder of one of the UK’s hottest fashion blogs, Liberty London Girl, and an advisor to the British Fashion Council – shared her thoughts on all things London Fashion Week (LFW), including the importance of the COTTON USA sponsorship for young fashion designers.
COTTON USA has been involved in LFW for more than 12 years, and its advocacy program offers a platform for emerging talent while encouraging designers to bring the vision for their collections to life through the versatility of U.S. cotton.
“The financial stresses of running a fashion business for a young London-based designer are enough to make an accountant’s hair turn white,” Wilkins said.
“Imagine this scenario: You’ve spent three years getting your undergraduate degree, and quite possibly your masters too. You’ve managed to start your own label, sharing a studio with three other designers, but money is tight.
Payments are often late from the stores that stock your clothes, and you need money to complete the orders from your first successful season. That’s why sponsorship like COTTON USA’s LFW sponsorship for up-and-coming designers isn’t just an added bonus for a designer, it’s an essential part of putting together a collection and showing it at Fashion Week.”
The list of designers that COTTON USA has helped reads like a roll call of the British fashion industry’s brightest and best. With an uncanny ability to spot a rising star, designers such as palmer//harding (SS13 – AW14) Louise Gray (sponsored for four seasons) and Meadham Kirchhoff (sponsored for SS10) have received funding not just to help produce their show, but U.S. cotton fabric to inspire their collections. In Meadham Kirchoff’s case, this resulted in critically acclaimed canvas and voile trousers, muslin shirts and dresses, as well as the Oxford shirting they used for draped shirts and skirts.
Perhaps most exciting, last season COTTON USA supported one of the most talked about presentations at LFW from ethical designer Faustine Steinmetz. Known for her work with denim – shredded and produced on a traditional handloom in her East London studio for SS15, this season (AW15) she used denim again, having been given access to U.S. cotton, which she printed, felted and painted. Thanks to her innovative creations, Faustine has since been shortlisted alongside seven others for the prestigious LVMH Prize for Young Designers.
Wilkins has worked as a senior magazine editor on both sides of the Atlantic, most recently as executive style editor at The Wall Street Journal. She has also written articles for publications including The Sunday Times, Red, The Observer, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Vogue.com, and Glamour. LLG has appeared in Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Elle Japan and The New York Times.