Young British Designers is an online retailer which started with a small group of people with differing ages, differing backgrounds, some shared experiences...but most importantly a real thirst to pursue a vision about which all were really passionate: original brave design, new talent, a fair way to work and the opportunity to take a risk; a life changing risk. Debra and the rest of the team love British design in particular as in their own words; "there's just something about it, it's not the sophisticated je ne sais quoi of our European cousins, or the high octane desirability of our US counterparts. It's just so cool, so groundbreaking, so 'chuck away the rule book' and all with a British twinkle in the eye."
What do you love most about your job?
Discovering, meeting, showcasing brilliant new talent. Seriously, it’s such a privilege.
Where's your favourite hangout?
On a beach in or close by St Ives, Cornwall. With a few Greek island trips thrown in for good measure too. I’m never happier than when there’s nothing between me and the sea.
What's top of your playlist right now?
I get mocked for listening to ‘Debra dirge’ aka moody, heart-rending indie songwriter dudes and much like I seek out young designers I’m always listening out for the latest singer-songwriter! Right now it’s Isaac Gracie on repeat. But my favourite old stuff is always within easy EarPods reach: Cash, Bowie, Cohen, Nick Cave, Ryan Adams and even some upbeat stuff occasionally.
What's your most loved piece in your wardrobe?
That answer would be different on a Tuesday to a Wednesday! I feel my way into my clothes every day. It’s all about mood and I have favourites for each mood: minimal/feminine/arty/hidden away/fun! I am so lucky to work with such incredibly talented folk. My favourite pieces do tend to come and stay though. I wear them until everyone says “you REALLY do like that dress don’t you?” and then I’ll put it aside for a month, a season, a year and then when I find it again it’s like meeting a much loved old friend.
If pushed to say a definite favourite piece it wouldn’t be mine although it’s in my wardrobe, it would be a pair of faded, much-washed and worn blue, red & white striped pants worn by both my boys when they were toddlers which I can’t give away. I am a firm believer that clothes can hold memories
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Erm…less than I did in my earlier years?! Maybe 43 pairs? These days there are lots and lots more trainers and ankle boots and Birkenstocks!
What do your Rogues say about you?
Some trends just come to stay don’t they? I love a floaty dress worn with trainers. But when everyone’s wearing their Stan Smiths it’s just so gratifying to find something as uniquely cool as Rogue Matilda. The new Tough Love is just about the most comfortable ‘trainer’ I’ve ever run around all day in. And I get to wear pink or silver laces or both! I think these denim blue ones tell people I’m 56 but totally comfortable in my own style. You worry so much less as you get older and consequently enjoy wearing lovely things so much more. These are real keepers and people keep stopping me to ask where I got them which happens a lot with our amazing young British designers.