CQ Interviews George's Brand Director Fiona Lambert
Last week, we caught up with the brand director of George clothing, Fiona Lambert, to talk about all things fashion! Having recently celebrated their 21st anniversary and being the new headline sponsors of Graduate Fashion Week which kicks off on Monday, it's an exciting time for the original supermarket fashion brand. Check out the interview below to find out what's coming up for Autumn/Winter 2011, Graduate Fashion Week and George over the past two decades.
CQ: Do you think being the first supermarket fashion range allowed George to stand out from it's competition?
F: Yes, definitely. When George started it became a market leader, it was really important to continue that by listening to our customers. We're constantly looking to bring new innovations and actually have a few surprises coming up September & November time!
CQ: Who is your typical George customer?
F: Predominantly the George customer is a mum aged 25-45, so everything we do is aimed towards that lifestyle. But Asda has 19 million people a week coming into their stores so it's important that we make sure that George has broad appeal.
CQ: How do you think supermarket fashion changed the way we shop?
F: I think the whole point of it originally was to make shopping much more convenient. Certainly for mums it makes being able to buy clothes much more accessible. It makes fashion inclusive not exclusive, very approachable and very wearable.
You can visit George online here and continue reading the rest of the interview after the jump...
K: How would you say George has developed over the last two decades?
F: 21 years ago the strap line was quality, styling and value and we still have the same one today. Despite the changing high street our aims are the same. Of course, the internet has massively changed how we shop too and it's important that George have an online offering. People say "it's your 21st birthday why don't you let customers buy things at the price they were 21 years ago", but the prices have actually come down; at the beginning our best selling jean was £16.99 and now its £12.50.
K: Where does George take it's inspiration from each season?
F: We have a huge design team who are constantly looking at everything on the catwalks. We take inspiration from thrift shops, vintage stores and films. Celebrities also have a huge influence. The team have to look at a wealth of influences, and it's then our job to edit by what our customers want as well as the right things for the season.
CQ: What can we expect for autumn winter 2011?
F: Well it's been a big season for colour and that's defiantly going to be important for us. We have some gorgeous shades; burgundies, plums and mustard. I think it's going to be a great season for coats too and we have some fabulous 70's inspired pieces.
CQ: Tell me about George's special birthday range?
F: It launched on May 26th and with it we wanted to catch what George is about; offering the key fashion styles at good prices with a good range and quality. We've picked out 3 key dresses for this season including a 60's shift dress, a maxi and a knot front jersey dress. We've done everything in black, white and red. Another key piece is the Capri pants in black, white and of course the vivid pop red.
CQ: What is your favourite piece from the collection?
F: Well I'm more of a dress person so my favourite piece has to be the red knot front dress. It's in one of those fabulous fabrics so when you stick it in a suitcase it comes out and looks exactly the same as when it went in.
CQ: How did the collaboration with Graduate Fashion Week come about?
F: I was on their mentoring panel so I've been involved for the past 3 years. When we discovered they needed a new sponsor, we felt it was such a great opportunity for George as we do really believe in bringing new talent into the business. It's a design industry about fresh ideas so actually having the input of fresh talent coming into the business is invaluable. We're really keen to support education and we want to convey to the graduates how important new design is to our industry. We're actually doing an online collection with the winning graduate too which we're really looking forward to!