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Candid Meets Mary Katrantzou
November 3, 2014
The Candid team joined fashion’s elite at Condé Nast to get the inside scoop on London-based designer, Mary Katrantzou meteoric rise to fashion fame at an informal talk produced by The Industry – a private members group for fashion professionals.
One of the most successful designers to show on the London Fashion Week catwalk, Mary Katrantzou’s label has grown at 300% a year. Katrantzou told us her story via a Q&A session with Davina Catt – known for her journalistic work published in British Vogue, Violet, Interview magazine and on Style.com. Sat in the hot seat, Katrantzou touched on hot topics such as her sidestep from print, defining couture in the modern age, what high street collaborations really mean and she gave us a glimpse into her most recent partnerships with Adidas and the New York City Ballet.
Having built one of the largest and fastest growing global business models of any independent designer in just over six years, Katrantzou said, “I went into fashion very naïvely and never expected any of it to be commercially viable. At first, I didn’t expect any sales at all.” She locked down sales with 15 stockists in her first season – a huge coup for any new-to-the-runway designer.
Moving from architecture into fashion via the world’s most famous institution, Central Saint Martins, Katrantzou now helms an international wholesale business with 55 members of staff and over 300 global retail accounts. She has dressed countless celebrities and is the only London Fashion Week designer in recent history to work with legendary Parisian embroiders, Lesage.
We enjoyed champagne and a sweets buffet from Sugar Tables London as well as luxury Greek fruit and nuts from Carpo, served in Katrantzou’s honour.
A slew of the industry’s most renowned faces were in the audience including The Industry’s managing director, Courtney Blackman, VOGUE.CO.UK’s Jessica Bumpus, Frances Card, Eudon Choi, Sarah Angold, Stefanie Jones from Fashion One Television, Donna Ida, Busardi’s Tuck Muntarbhorn, milliner Alexandra Harper, Shopcade CEO Nathalie Gaveau, FARBLACK chairman, Farley Blackman, director of Fashion Scout, Martyn Roberts and a host of delegates from WEARECOLLISION Magazine, Tatler, MTV, Fashion Monitor, Browns, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
Filmed by RUN Productions, Mary left us with one last thought, “I don’t think I’ve achieved global recognition yet, however, I’m on the path to conquer the world.”
By Harriet Bowe
Photographs by Fran Hales for The Industry