Inside the Industry – Amanda Wakeley

Last night we had the pleasure of listening to Amanda Wakeley speak about her fashion experience in one of our ‘Inside the Industry’ events.

Raised in England and educated at Cheltenham Ladies College, Amanda worked in New York as a fashion model in New York in the 1980s, before returning to London to launch the Amanda Wakeley brand – defined by clean lines, impeccable cut, and effortless glamour.

Now positioned as a luxury lifestyle brand, the collection spans flawless tailoring, luxury sportswear, sumptuous cashmeres and an expanding line of accessories. Best known for her glamorous evening and striking bridal dresses, these styles underpin every seasonal collection.

She is an established favourite of some of the most stylish women in the world, beginning with the late Diana, Princess of Wales and more recently seen on Frieda Pinto, Beyoncé and the Duchess of Cambridge.

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Amanda spoke on creating her own brand, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary, saying  “I always intuitively designed clothes, ever since I was a young child.”

She explained how fearless she felt in pursuing her goals: “In your 20’s you don’t think about what you can’t do, you just do it – you’re completely passionate and I still feel it today.”

I have always been an admirer of the way Amanda’s clothes seem to remain modern, but are based on clean, classic cuts. I asked her how she manages this in a fashion age that constantly demands ‘newness’:

“We have to keep pushing the boundaries but also stay true to who we are…elements of the collection evolve, instead of just coming in, and then going out”, Amanda said. She certainly has such a clear identity of what the brand stands for, I think this is crucial in its evolution.

One of my favorite examples of how Amanda has evolved her clothes came up in conversation when she described how she designed her famous cashmere jumpers.

Amanda said: “I designed my classic ‘boyfriend’ cashmere sweater lined with silk, so that it couldn’t be borrowed it back.”

Fascinating, funny and full of fashion, it was brilliant to get an insight into Amanda’s experience. Thanks to Amanda for taking the time to come and speak to our students and to everyone that joined us.

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