FW Awards Short List – The Best Independent Designers

This is my personal award, it is the one that is closest to my heart and why I have this site. My passion is for independent designers, regardless of size, who do amazing things. When I was compiling this list it became clear to me that from the simplest product to the high-end world of couture we are so lucky in this country to have such stunning talent. Talent that transcends so many barriers and is at heart the very soul of this industry.

This is perhaps reflected in this being the most varied short list yet for this award. It’s the one award I pick myself based on what I have covered in the last year and every single label and designer that has featured this year have combined to make it very difficult to pick the nominees. The fact is that although there will be one winner, they all deserve huge recognition.

On with the list of the five.

Ong-Oaj Pairam

His collection at February blew me away, classic lines mixed with modern ideas, prints, block colours, flowing dresses all combined to make this the most mesmerizing show you could hope for. Each piece is a statement of intent. Each piece is a manifesto for the well dressed. I still want one of those smoking/tux jackets.

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chatty feet

Chatty Feet

Proving the diversity of talent we move on to socks. Chatty Feet make AWESOME socks, fun, comfortable and with designs from a wide range of independent artists. I now have four pairs and every time I think I need a new pair of socks I find myself returning to this site. The collective talent is exactly what I look for when picking brands, and that collaboration has allowed them to have a range that is simply outstanding. Available for kids and adults, these will make you smile at 6am. Also special mention for their ads, very funny.

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PetMe Love Adoption

Make every dog walk a catwalk, their slogan sums up the ethos of this label perfectly. Making accessories for dogs whilst giving something back is perfect. £1 from every sale goes t a dog charity. We all love our pooches, and mine, Captain Mouse has a spring in his step when he struts down the road in his bow tie. A good way to tell the success of a brands style is its appeal. Mouse frequently gets lots of comments on his style, more than me, it’s very annoying. He gets to look good while doing good.

I should add that as someone who has a dog rescued from a life of violent abuse this is a brand that has become very close to my heart, and knowing that fashion can help other dogs is such a good way of doing business.

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Kelly Shaw

Great designs, check, independent designer, check, running her own pop ups, check.

Kelly Shaw has all the attributes of what I look for in a feature. Working hard to build her reputation as one of London’s great creative talents, while remaining true to the principles of design that drive that passion here we have someone who is going to be a huge star in her area of the industry. Striking the balance between fun and playful set against stylish and chic, Kelly knows how to bring together those elements into things the modern woman will want to wear every day.

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Ethologie By Jasper Garvida

Jasper Garvida has a famous client list almost as large as the talent that flows from him. I have been watching his career for a few years and he goes from strength to strength. Its hard not to gush about his latest collections, they represent a very modern style that flatters and accentuates the beauty of the masculine and feminine form. The Unity In Time & Space collection will be the biggest triumph of AW15 I’m sure. Mixing 60’s Mod undertones it will create a series of looks that last well past the winter it was designed for.

About Ross Pollard

Since starting writing on my 31st birthday in 2011 I have held a number of positions at magazines and websites as well as regularly producing articles for numerous publications alongside contributing to TV & radio shows as a freelance fashion journalist including Hoxton Radio & Fashion One TV. Alongside writing, I have worked in other industries helping to design & grow digital platforms, develop businesses and support operations practices. This experience has proved invaluable in building an understanding of how businesses work, and the landscape in which retail, B2B commerce and other commercial operations develop. Knowledge of commercial interests has helped shape my fashion industry insights beyond critiquing of garments

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