It will be the first time Belinda Robertson Cashmere, Bebaroque and Iona Crawford have teamed up together, when they open the showroom at Hardy Tree Gallery near London St Pancras, to exhibit their autumn/winter 2013 collections.
It offers a chance for the designers to meet new buyers and build up a profile while helping to promote the Scottish fashion industry.
“The three brands are all pretty diverse," says designer and artist Iona Crawford. "We attract a similar market but there’s no conflict of interest as we have a different product range.”
Decorative hosiery brand Bebaroque creates embellished jewelled and screen-printed tights and body stockings, Iona Crawford features intricate garments with fabric textures such as laser cut leather and printed silk, while Belinda Robertson Cashmere uses high quality cashmere in products by Scottish designers.
“We usually go to London Fashion Week individually each season, but this time we were approached by the other designers to do a showroom,” says Mhairi McNicol of Bebaroque, who founded the brand with fellow graduate of Glasgow School of Art Chloe Patience, in July 2007. They have gone from strength to strength and now boast celebrity fans including Lady Gaga and Kylie Minogue, and recent interest from Beyonce and Katy Perry.
“In the past we’ve done collaborations with PPQ, and created bespoke hosiery for catwalk shows. We’ve also displayed at Somerset House which has been good, but in our experience a showroom is the best way to deal with London buyers, they don’t always come to Somerset House. We thought, if we had a showroom space for one week before and one week after London Fashion Week, we could meet buyers in a more suitable space.”
Ms Crawford, who uses fabric of Scottish origin in her designs, agrees that the profile of Scottish manufacturers has been boosted by recent interest from Chanel.
“It was a dying trade but there’s such a wealth of Scottish mills. All eyes are on Scotland right now, and it’s really in the last five years that there’s been a resurgence with Scottish designers and big brands like Ralph Lauren and Chanel choosing to use Scottish fabrics.”
Charlie Nicholsby, from Belinda Robertson Cashmere, believes that displaying with Bebaroque and Iona Crawford will help the label move forward as a contemporary brand.
“Belinda Robertson has been present at London Fashion Week before, but we’ve taken a back seat as we wanted a fresher approach. We’ve got a new design team, and we are really proud of going forward as a contemporary brand.
“With the Chanel show getting behind Scotland, we hope it will kick cashmere back to where it should be. We want to put more focus on cashmere in Scotland, and take a fresher approach. Belinda Robertson has been around for 25 years, but it’s in the past two or three years that really cool Scottish brands have started to emerge.
“In London we hope to meet new buyers, bring brand awareness, and raise profile of our brand. St Pancras is a great location, it’s really accessible and it’s also a contemporary gallery space, so we are moving away from the old store rooms.”
The three designerswill be on display at Hardy Tree Gallery, 119 Pancras Road, from February 10 to February 25.