Speaking exclusively to Urban Times, fashion designer Minna Hepburn gives an insight into her fashion label.
Second Life To A Wedding Dress
Minna Hepburn set up her label Minna in 2004 in the idyllic countryside of Dorset. In the next few years the label developed into a bridal wear and womenswear label and today the brand consists of women, kids, bridal and home departments. Minna began her career selling her hand made silk tops at Topshop concession at the very start of her career. The ecologic side of the fashion business began when she had developed skills in the fashion scene and understood that there should be a change in the way people behave in the fashion business as well as realizing the opportunity to become a label that offers a choice to its customers to enjoy the aesthetic and ecological side of fashion. She created her label Minna and set up her studio in Oval, Central London.
This beautiful studio is focusing on bridal wear fittings by appointment. Her Dorset boutique opening times can be found on the company’s website www.minna.co.uk. Minna is persistent in order to make sure the label stays truly ethical and ecological; therefore the brand sources its fabrics mostly from the UK to support British manufacturing and often uses end of rolls. All the garments are handmade. The idea is to design dresses that can be used as a wedding dress but that are suitable for other occasions as well, this way the wedding dress is given a second life and the dress becomes a practical item and does not end up hidden in the closet.
It All Begins From Design, Green Is A Plus
The key element for a green brand to survive in the competitive markets today is to remember the importance of design. It all starts from the aesthetic point of view and the ecological side is only a plus or a luxury. Minna wanted to create a brand that has a classic, timeless, chic vintage style look to create a strong connection with the customer and give a chance to fall in love with an item they will wear forever, not just on one occasion. At the start of her career Minna was selling her hand made silk tops at a Top Shop concession and she saw how the garments are worn today and thrown away the next. She realized the seriousness of the business and its negative impact on the environment. Minna says it is important that there is no waste in terms of material; every piece of luxurious organic material is used in production in some way. She pays a real emphasis on creating a clean link between the image of the brand and the value of the brand in real life, there should not be any gaps between the given image to the customer and the real brand.
People should be able to buy what they are given to believe they will be part of. She would describe her collections as future vintage that are classics, handmade using real materials. Each garment has a story and will last forever if cared right. She says “No” to fast fashion, using fair trade fabrics and seeing the life span of the product from sketch to real product as essential in order to create a brand with a strong message. Minna is willing to work for this matter in order to be a successful green fashion label. The future of the Minna brand is to reach the global bridal market; the brand is already shipping free overseas. It has rooms to cross mainly on the online sector. The most important thing for the brand is to focus on online marketing; blogs are the key point for advertising today as the target group audience read blogs rather than magazines.
Minna Encourages Women To Set Up Their Own Green Businesses
Starting a green brand was perhaps easier a few years ago, however, today there is real competition between the green brands as well as brands all together. It might be also easier in a way to set up today as people know more about green fashion and are keener on buying it. As a Scandinavian, Minna would say ecological and ethical fashion is more down to earth in her home country of Finland where people are more living the green trend as their lifestyle not just as a fashion trend. In the future Minna might consider franchising, however, at the moment she feels that focusing on organic growth is important in order to create a global clientele. To be a female entrepreneur is not easy today as society does not support women and especially mothers to enter the worlds of business.
The most important thing as a female entrepreneur is to create lasting relationships and contacts, be different in any way that makes you memorable, always be ahead of the game, therefore look, see and listen carefully what others are doing and what you can do better. Minna encourages more women to set up their businesses if they are willing and ready to work longer than 9-5 and researching their business ideas, creating cash plans, finding out about things themselves and learning from challenges, which are all essential. Ethical Fashion Forum and Textile Forum can be a key starting point. However the strongest point would be to manage the online marketing as today especially the green fashion is mostly happening online.
This spring is a great time to go green for your wedding; Minna has just released her spring summer 2013 collection that includes relaxed vintage style dresses to more formal bridal dresses. Her children’s collections have cute dresses for younger vintage fans. Her home collection is a selection of table cloths; curtains etc., materials used in the interior collection are divine and bring class to any modern living room. Mix and match old and new to create a relaxed and trendy look. Fall in love with Future Vintage at Minna this Spring!
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