A TASTE FOR PERSONAL IN NYC. INTERVIEW WITH CLARE TATTERSALL, FOUNDER OF PRIMROSE & WILDE

Share


1. Clare, give us a brief insight into the unique concept of Primrose & Wilde and the services it provides.

Primrose & Wilde is a private-client fashion label producing bespoke day-to-evening wear for women who require as much precision in their clothes as they do in their daily lives. Our customer is a trendsetter who seeks to express her uniqueness by customizing each collection with the silhouette, buttons, colors and fabric of her choice.

 

2. In New York’s highly competitive Fashion Market, how do you plan to stand out ?

You are right, New York, indeed the global fashion market, is highly competitive. I am carving out a niche market for Primrose & Wilde by aiming to stay small, exclusive and personal. I know that today that seems counter-intuitive, but the playing field is so broad and there is a culture in the general garment industry to go big or go home. As a nation we demand increasingly more for increasingly less and as a result production has been forced overseas where it is possible to produce at a lower cost.

But there is a high price to low cost fashion, so I have gone against the grain. I produce entirely in New York, either with independent seamstresses or with factories that specialize in small quantity runs. 

I love the personal relationship that I build with each customer, and it really is a relationship, together we focus on the principle that less is more – you have less “clothes” but more style. Each piece in your wardrobe should matter. I only use natural fabrics like silk and 4-season wool. We measure each client and keep their measurements on file – I see it as going back to the way your great-grandmother used to shop.

I am very fortunate in being able to cater to my clientele in this way. Together with my husband I have a fashion-tech startup, we have built a fashion-design software tool where you can do all your flat-pattern design and garment testing in the virtual space, so we can just punch in a client's unique measurements and create a pattern for them.

" I am carving out a niche market for Primrose & Wilde by aiming to stay small, exclusive and personal. I know that today that seems counter-intuitive, but the playing field is so broad and there is a culture in the general garment industry to go big or go home. "

  

3. What do you love about the current New York Fashion scene & what do you hate ?

What is not to love about New York? I am a British designer working in my city of choice – it is an endlessly inspiring place from the street-life to the incredible wealth of talent. I love the diversity and the competition – you have to do your best work or you are “out”. I love the NYC garment district; it is like a warren spanning several blocks. You can go into almost any building and find layer-upon-layer of studios, showrooms, workshops or production houses that showcase generations of creative talent. There are places that just make pleats or fabric flowers, or specialize in one type of fabric. 

I don't hate anything – there is no space in life to harbor negativity, and I try to see every door closed as another that opens. From a personal point-of-view, I definitely wish that more big designers produced in the USA, but on the flip side, it does mean that there is a great opportunity for young brands to work with domestic production and there are a wealth of factories that will cater to small runs.

 

" I love the NYC garment district; it is like a warren spanning several blocks. You can go into almost any building and find layer-upon-layer of studios, showrooms, workshops or production houses that showcase generations of creative talent. "

  

4. What has been the most popular piece in your collection so far ?

For me, outerwear outsells everything else. The capes are especially popular. I think coats are a great way for people to express their uniqueness and to take a risk.

5. Where do your materials come from ?

I source right here in the NYC garment district. Because I work on such a personal level with client,  I may need a few bolts of fabric one day, or a few yards the next. Sourcing locally affords me the ability to be flexible.

 

6. What kind of clients are your designs & service currently most appealing to ?

I launched Primrose & Wilde to cater to a gap in the market for more interesting clothes for the office. However, most of my clientele do not work or they run their own companies. They have very busy lives and they are often on the go from school drop-off, to board-meetings, to gala events or dinner. They are all very strong and interesting women: they have strong opinions, they are influential and they want to stand out from the crowd.

7. What are some of the difficulties you experienced when it comes to marketing a bespoke service? What can we expect to see in the up and coming collection ?

That's a question that gets right to the heart of a huge challenge. Because of the bespoke nature of the label I need to allocate a large portion of time to each client, so I cannot throw my net very wide. I rely very much on word-of-mouth, and good relationships. I am very fortunate in working with Fashion Loves Style, a team of two personal stylists and on tours from Runway Passport, who offer tours to designer studios.

In up-coming collections we take a look at traditional concepts and then deconstruct them so they make a woman feel strong and sexy. The next collection is inspired by the tuxedo and we blend the soft lines with tailored shapes, the result is recognizable silhouettes translated in an interesting way. 

 

" Because of the bespoke nature of the label I need to allocate a large portion of time to each client, so I cannot throw my net very wide. I rely very much on word-of-mouth, and good relationships. "

 

PRIM & WILDE

Like 1 

Add new comment

 

ART WEEK
Discover The Best Art Online