Attire Accessories - Mar/Apr 2018 (Issue 69)

Helen Moore discusses the brand’s evolution to a successful UK company, the importance of using faux fur, and starring in the centenary issue of Vogue Tell me a bit about how the company started.What was the aim of the label when it was launched? It has been a very convoluted journey over many years. It all started with my love of everything to do with textiles and fashion, so way back in the heady sixties I chose to go to art school. It was the early days of Mary Quant and Biba and London felt like the most exciting place on the planet. I studied Fashion and Textiles at Goldsmiths College of Art and after graduation went on to teach embroidery at the London College of Fashion and at Goldsmiths. I met my artist husband at art school and after moving to the country and starting a family we launched a business hand printing postcards to sell at music festivals. How were the initial products developed and what was the response? The first products were really just an addition to the postcard and stationery business we had been running for several years. While looking for new products I came across a supplier of faux fur and was curious to experiment with the fabric so I made some home accessories, including hot water bottle covers, which proved to be a runaway success. It seems strange now, but at the time these were quite special. Gradually, other products followed, I made few fashion items and one business gradually evolved into another.The response was exciting, our offering was one-of-a-kind and at the time there wasn’t any competition. What challenges were overcome when the company was starting out? The challenges came later in the form of competition from China.This was a time when no design was safe from cheaper copies and sadly the UK had already lost many of its textile mills, and sewing skills had almost disappeared within a generation. Despite continuing to be innovative in our work, copies of our accessories were appearing everywhere. We had no chance of competing on price; we were committed to paying our employees a good wage and had all the costs of running a factory in the UK. At this crossroads I decided that we should concentrate on the strengths of the brand: great customer service, the highest quality faux fur, attention to detail and British manufacturing. What do you think sets you apart from your competitors? The main thing that sets us apart from our competitors is the fact that we manufacture all our faux fur accessories in our own Moore milestones ahead ATTIRE 55 PROFILE