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FA SHION I N T E RV IE W

MAKING THEIR MARC

Best friends and brilliantly talented designers Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier are bringing a new energy and a touch of British eccentricity to Marc by Marc Jacobs By

For two of British fashion’s most influential and buzzed-about figures, Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier are remarkably… unfashiony. For a start, there’s no lingering publicist for our interview. It’s just the two of them (beachy-blonde unbrushed hair, ripped boyfriend jeans) sitting on a picnic bench outside their converted classroom studio in East London’s Rochelle School. The origins of the designers’ most recent collaboration (shared directorships at Marc by Marc Jacobs) seem equally incongruous. “I think we were in the pub when Katie asked if I’d come on board as womenswear design director,” Bartley says. “No, it was in the car on the way to that Pudsey Bear charity event,” interjects Hillier, who has the role of creative director. “It was brilliant. Katie was completely freaking out, saying, ‘I’ve got to say yes, so that means you’ve got to say yes right now!’” Bartley cackles. The designers’ finish-each-other’s-sentences synergy dates back to the 1990s, when their mutual friend, stylist Katie Grand, convinced them they’d get on. They met in a pub, forged an immediate bond, and began working together at Luella, Bartley’s start-up fashion label, the following Monday. “Back then, it was all based on whether you’d have fun working together,” Bartley says. “It sounds really unprofessional, but if you’re having a good time, then your end product tends to reflect that. It was good we got on, as it was pretty much just us and a pattern cutter. We did everything together.” Fun and friendship have always played a pivotal part in Bartley’s career. Even the idea for her design label was dreamed up with her flatmate Grand after one too many drinks. A former fashion editor for British Vogue, Bartley called her first collection Daddy I Want a Pony; it was shown in Pulp bassist Steve Mackey’s front room in September 1999. Her idiosyncratic and spirited brand of X

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H A R RODS M AGA ZINE

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Profile for Harrods online

Harrods Magazine October 2014  

This month, the fashion team travelled to mysterious Mongolia to shoot the bold patterns, textured fleeces and tapestry ponchos in the autum...

Harrods Magazine October 2014  

This month, the fashion team travelled to mysterious Mongolia to shoot the bold patterns, textured fleeces and tapestry ponchos in the autum...

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