Thursday, December 15, 2011

Alice in Temperland

OOOOOOH Happy DAY! Just got a phone-call from the booking department at the V&A, saying that they still have some tickets available for the Evening Talk with Alice Temperley, on Tuesday, the 13th of December. My response .... LOVELY! Let me get my card out!

I loved her SS 2012 collection , it was on my TOP 3 list, she is just an amazing designer and she has managed to keep her british style in every piece of garment she creates. Also with the occasion of 10 full, hard-working and wonderful years since she has been active in this whirlwinding industry, she recently launched a book, which is for sale at the V&A shop and also online : Alice Temperley : TRUE BRITISH. This book is on my Christmas Wishlist since a while now, I am filling up that basket and waiting to place the order soon .
Alice Temperley holding her new launched book Alice Temperley: True British 


Photo Credits:  Alice Temperley and husband Lars von Bennigsen
But coming back to the evening talk with Alice... the public got some interesting insight on her life as a person and as a designer. She shared childhood memories and talked about the beginning of what was to become Alice Temperley, a truely british brand, known all over the world. She was very open and took all questions that the public placed on all subjects , from the manufacturing of her clothes, to the people that wear her collections.

Alice Temperley during the speach (right hand side)
So what have we learned about her, that Wikipedia didn't capture?
First off, everyone knows that Alice Temperley graduated from Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins. But one of thequestion from the public was ... if Central Saint Martins helped her make connections in the industry, or how did the school help to start off her career. The answer was : CSM helped her gain alot of knowledge on the production stage of the collections, she declares to have 'taken advantage of their knit- and printrooms as much as she could'. But the one that helped start her career, make the right connections and meet the right people was the Royal College of Art , which organized alot of projects and competitions for students and the winning ones would get to work for influential people in the industry.

Another person asked where her collections are being manufactured. The response came 'Everywhere!', the brand has connections across the whole globe ; for instance the accessories are  made in Spain and Italy; the embroideries are being made in India, the designer mentiones that 'Mumbai is the best place' for that; the knitwear is made in Hong Kong and tailoring and some other parts of the collection is fortunately still being made in England.

There was also a question regarding Alice's openness towards a collaboration like the recent Versace for H&M collection, if she would like to work with any high-street company for an affordable collection. The answer was 'Yes. I am just waiting to find the right person to work with.' So if we are lucky we might see a Temperley for H&M collection soon, or Alice by Topshop , who knows? The designer also mentioned the fact that she had a very successful collaboration with the chain-store TARGET in the U.S around three years ago and is willing to do something like that in the future.
Temperley collection for TARGET U.S Photocredits :
The image of the brand was consolidated and made known without putting in the big money commercials. At first it was a word of mouth marketing that lead to finding the right ambassadors for the brand. Alice says that happily 'the right people started wearing her clothes' and that having the right ambassadors for your company is crucial in the fashion industry.

Allthough it all sounds like a very glamorous and beautiful job , the designer mentiones the fact that it is alot of hard-work, alot of things can go wrong if you don't have a trustworthy relationship with your supppliers , the logistics are very complicated and you are always pressured by deadlines and timeframes. You have to bring everything together and also deliver it at the right time. The most frequent problems she encountered were delivery related.

Alice Temperley also talked about how the company managed to foresee and survive the recession and what measures they took. They had to fire people from every department and they were only taking orders from customers, who could guarantee payment in time. Some drastic measures were taken, but the brand is stronger than ever and currently produces four collections per year : Autumn/Winter, Cruise, Spring/Summer and Pre Fall.
The waiting line for the signing of the book after the evening talk at the V&A

Temperley Fans
Alice Temperley signing off her book
Alice Temperley signing off her book

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