ILD. How did your brand begin?

Guinea. I have always had a love of textiles and fashion, and above all a desire to create shapes and styles to flatter all figure types.  I started Guinea 2 years ago to create beautiful and original pieces and have been delighted by our customer’s enthusiasm for all the designs.

 

ILD. What have been the highest and lowest points on your journey so far?

Guinea. Gosh – everyday is different, there are many challenges but above all the highest point so far has been the first delivery of our padded down puffer style jacket selling out in under one month – and in the summer too!  I think it is a jacket which really resonates with customers who want something light and easy to wear.  The lowest point was running out so quickly and having to wait 6 weeks to get new stock!

 

ILD. What are your top trends for AW18

Guinea. Leopard is always popular and it is currently having a new run. We think it is a great trend that adds some instant glamour to every outfit.  I think that leopard will be with us well beyond AW18 and so we’ve planned a new leopard driving shoe to launch for SS19 and are really excited about this.

 

ILD. How would you describe your customer base?

Guinea. Our customer base is typically looking for understated, elegant and chic clothes and accessories.  They are classic dressers who love good quality and style and we so appreciative of their loyalty and that they really “get” our look.

 

ILD. If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?

Guinea. Wow – that is really easy, it would have to be our down puffer jacket.  I wear one most days, either the black or navy and always feel it gives a really smart edge to what otherwise might be a very casual look.

 

ILD. Is there another designer whose work you particularly admire?

Guinea. I love Penelope Chilvers shoes – you can see the collection is design lead and just when you think they can’t come up with anything new, each season there are incredible new shapes and styles.

 

ILD. What would you like to achieve for your brand in the next 2 to 3 years?

Guinea. We are really developing our overseas stockiest base at the moment and really want to build on that for the next 2 to 3 years.  We have just signed up our first US stockiest and excitingly, we are now stocked in The British House in Beijing.

 

ILD. What does I Love Designer's East meets West ethos means to you and why is this important to you and your customers?

Guinea. I Love Designer’s East Meets West ethos is very design lead, you have curated a beautiful collection of designers and their products.  For Guinea’s customers it is a wonderful platform for them to visit and see incredible products that fit with their love of classic, chic but individual pieces.

 

ILD. You've had a successful collection to date. Can you give us some snippets of your next collection?

Guinea. We are constantly developing new designs and tend to release items in frequent short intervals rather than bring our set collections.  We are currently developing a gilet version of our top selling down jacket and also have some beautiful and really pretty knitwear designs in development…..watch this space!

 

ILD. What are your top 3 tips for someone wanting to break into the industry?

Guinea. First of all you must really believe in yourself and your designs, secondly, be original.  We get copied by other labels, but it doesn’t bother me because the weakness is theirs in not being able to come up with their own ideas!  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all.  Finally, get out amongst your customer base as much as possible – absorb their feedback, it keeps you grounded and helps you know whether you are on the right track or not.