An interview with Christopher Raeburn at his Paris Showroom – by Aisling Connell




AC:    What was the inspiration behind the collection?

CR:    We've taken from a few different inspirations. We worked a lot with the theme of flight and did a lot of research into early female aviators and the spirit of adventure that existed in the 1920's and 30's. The collection is really tied together by our re-made story for this season, we've been able to access original 1950's silk maps. They aren't prints so each one is completely unique. Of course we've got other elements like the parachute fabrics. It's about the growth of the brand, we have a lot more ready to wear now, and also the accessories.



AC:    I see you've developed your animals into accessories?

CR:    Yes, we have added zips to some of the animals so they function as bags. We also produce owl's which are not bags, and present them to our buyers as gifts.


AC:    Are you still doing all of your production in the UK?

CR:    All of the re-made pieces are made in London, as are the accessories. With Autumn/Winter all of the wool and leather are produced in London. We're now looking at doing some of the lighter weight pieces abroad, still in Europe, but it's allowing us to bring the prices down a little bit. It's always been about balance and it means we can develop our quality too. Traditionally the UK is not set up for sportswear and some of the technical aspects to what we do.

AC:    The laminated lace design, is this something you've created yourself?

CR:    This is something we've worked on with an Italian mill this season, it's brought a real cross between femininity and functionality within the range. We've made a definite divide between menswear and womenswear. This is now our second season showing womenswear independently, and these types of fabrics have really helped with the femininity.


AC:    I know last year's spring/summer collection was very colourful, this palette is much more muted. Do you think this will broaden the market?

CR:    We've had a very good reaction while we've been here in Paris. The SS/12 collection worked really well for menswear, but wasn't as successful for womenswear. Because we're still a young brand we have the ability to adapt and be quite agile. We wanted the collection to be much more sophisticated and this is why we've played with a much more neutral colour palette, and then the hits of red are picked up again in the maps.