Simone Williams is a new breed of designer that bucks trends and creates pieces for her clients. Born and raised in East London, Williams learned at a young age from family members that designing can be a labor of love. Since that time, Williams has grown into a top emerging designer, recently showing at the Kulture 2 Couture series of shows that highlight the works of black designers. She’ll have you know though that her background is only part of the story, she’s more interested in the future.
Tell us about Simone Williams the designer
I’m 26 years old, born and raised in East London. I studied in Hackney Community college and City & Islington College. My granny and auntie also design and make clothes, I used to watch them make garments growing up and it inspired me. I used to design draw clothes all the time, and made my own doll’s clothes from an early age. I have always been extremely passionate about my craft I decided I wanted to be a designer from a young age. My love for it led me into the business.
Your myspace profile says beautiful ladieswear for beautiful ladies. Who is a beautiful lady?
A beautiful lady is a woman secure in herself; she is not afraid to let her inner diva be expressed in the world. A beautiful lady is a woman who is confident in her shape and physical appearance even if it doesnt follow society’s norm of “perfection”. A beautiful lady is a woman who can be fully self expressed through her fashion and her personality.
The models for your collection are prevalently black, there’s been a lot of controversy in the diversity space, was your choice deliberate? If so why?
To be completely honest our choice was based primarily on the quality of the models. We were looking for individuals with strong looks and who wore the garments well – this was not based on race. We think its important to highlight the use of models in fashion really needs to become a lot more flexible and open minded – we have used white models, asian models and mixed race models for shoots all based on quality and the feel of the shoot at the time. If any statement is to be made here is that race should cease to being an issue in the fashion industry…in an ideal world…in reality we are aware of it and simply acknowledge it existence.
What do you want “beautiful ladies” to take away from your collection?
We want them to take away the fact that they can wear classic, gorgeous garments created with love and care to fit their unique and wonderful figures!!!
Where do you see yourself in relation to other British designers?
I feel excited to be surrounded by so much great talent in Britain. Its a great place to be right now. In relation to others I can only state that I know where I am capable of taking this brand alongside my business partner, Ronke Lawal. We’re looking to be more than just another label we want to represent high class fashion on an international level.
What designer are you drawn to most?
If we were to get into your mind while you were designing what would we see throughout the process?
I get inspiration for anything and everything – this keeps my creative vision alive and fresh. It would be a keilidooscope (sp?!) of ideas.
What is your personal satifaction once the piece is finished?
To see my creative vision come to life – its excites me every time – I particularly adore seeing the garments on a satisfied client.
What’s been the biggest challenge for you?
The biggest challenge has promoting the brand – with the help of my partner it has become a lot easier and we can really see how things are developing.
What do you think of show’s like Project Catwalk?
Its good practice & good exposure for new talent – It also allows those who have an interest in the industry to see some of the processes that they need to go through.
What do you do for pleasure?
Dine out with friends, social when I get a chance
Apart from the ones related to fashion, what are your aspirations?
Happiness, nice home, nice family (one day).
If you had to do the last 3 years (from graduating, to launching your line and each consecutive season) what (if anything), would you do differently?
Get more business advice! Simple as that
What’s next for Simone Williams?
To develop the brand on a global level – its going to be an exciting phase as we aim to become internationally recognised.