TWO BECOME ONE: Phoebe English is the latest designer to take the coed route. The designer plans to combine her men’s and women’s presentations starting next month at London Fashion Week Men’s.
“I think the main thing is to take control of schedules and time,” said English. “Combining the shows will give us a longer lead time to develop designs in between seasons,” she said.
English will stage her first coed presentation on Sunday, June 10 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Financial considerations also influenced her decision. The designer commented on the close proximity between the London men’s and women’s fashion weeks and said that both economically and creatively it has been a big strain.
“I want to give the team enough time between shows to rest and recover for the next one. It will give us more freedom to develop creatively and to develop our relationships with our factories and fabric mills,” said English.
English is the latest British designer to combine her men’s and women’s shows. She is following the lead of Paul Smith, J.W. Anderson and Burberry.
Although her men’s and women’s collections will be consolidated, the arrangement will not change her design directive. “The personalities will remain the same, the men’s wear collection is a lot more utilitarian and pared back, whereas women’s wear is much more about imagination and textiles,” she said.
“It’s important for me to keep the ethos and the identity of the women’s wear brand because that’s where we started seven years ago. It was concept-driven and I want to keep that strong within what I’m doing,” she said of her decision.
English also noted that combining both lines may improve sales of her men’s wear to an unlikely audience. “We have been selling our men’s wear to women buyers and female customers. It’s actually quite popular with females,” she said.