Designer Spotlight : Essential Noir

Essential Noir is all about making fashion that lasts! Here we go behind the brand to find out more…

When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Essential Noir was launched in the Autumn of 2016. We were becoming increasingly frustrated with the direction the fashion industry has taken over the past years where everything must be cheaper, faster and more disposable impacting on the quality of the garments. We wanted to create “Fashion made to last” supporting British fabric makers and manufacturing and hoping to also benefit the customers buying the products.

What’s your background?
Initially trained as designers, we have worked together for over ten years in the manufacturing industry supplying many famous High Street names and we finally decided to put our combined 35 years of experience into our own venture. We are knowledgeable in design, pattern cutting and sizing as well as having years of experience in understanding the fitting of a garment.

How many people are there involved in the company and what are their roles?
Only two for now, Wendy and Sanna, who are the co-owners and founders of the business.

If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
We wish we would have started the business sooner than we did.

What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Brand building without a doubt. Getting the word out there, making people aware of the brand and building their confidence in it.

Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
Sanna: I am originally from Finland and have spent every Christmas but one over there.

Wendy: I was born, and still live, in an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Derwent Valley Mills was the birth place of the modern cotton spinning mill in the 18th century.

2018 is nearly here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
Keep building the brand, spreading the word and the love. Expanding our collection and focusing also on the Essential Noir Limited Edition items now that the essentials collection is taking shape nicely. We have four new shapes coming out in November to update the essentials collection.

To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Being featured in Vogue and getting our garments into a lovely little boutique called Barley on North Parade in Oxford

Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
Sanna: Paris – It’s a city but not overwhelmingly big and is still easy to navigate by foot. It’s beautiful, interesting and a bit quirky. The home of fashion.

Wendy: Paris – I visit every December

Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Wendy: Hand cream, lipstick, perfume

Sanna: Mascara, powder, perfume

Style means…?
Timelessness, not always following the seasons and latest trends but having your own style to reflect your personality.

Your favourite place in the UK?
Wendy: London – I like living in Derbyshire but love my regular visits to London. There’s always something to see and do and great exhibitions.

Sanna: Peak District National Park – it’s so beautiful and a place to gather your thoughts in and find inspiration away from the hustle and bustle of towns and cities

Statement shoe or statement bag?
Wendy: Shoe, I don’t have a lot of shoes but when I see a pair I really like I’ll splash out on them

Sanna: Shoe, I love a beautiful shoe!

If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
Sanna: The Essential Noir easy fit slash neck top, it’s just so comfortable to wear.

Wendy: My Intimissimi underwear, it’s great Italian style.

Favourite film?
Sanna: Gone With the Wind

Wendy: Pulp Fiction

Best place for a coffee?
Sanna: SIS. Deli + Cafe in Helsinki – they also do the most amazing brunch

Wendy: Zucca in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan – it is the most beautiful old shopping mall I’ve ever seen

Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
When we were making our initial plans for Essential Noir an old friend told us not to be afraid of taking a risk when we believe in what we are doing.

Guilty pleasure?
Sanna: Watching period dramas whilst eating large quantities of popcorn

Wendy: Glass of Cava on a Friday night

If you could spend 24 hours anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Wendy: The Maldives – I would love to visit, it looks so beautiful. It’s not been a holiday destination for me yet but it’s on my list.

Sanna: Kyoto in Japan – the history and style interest me.

In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
We are hoping to find a few more suitable little boutiques as well as expand our range on the website. First our essentials range and then the Limited Edition items. We have a lot of ideas and designs we are working on.

Find out more…

web: www.essentialnoir.co.uk

email: info@essentialnoir.co.uk

instagram: essentialnoir_uk

facebook: Essential Noir

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