TV presenter, Radio One DJ, style icon and, now, designer: Fearne Cotton has been successfully designing collections for Very.co.uk for several seasons, but now she’s venturing onto new design turf. Ms. Cotton’s designing her very own range of Converse for the aforementioned online shopping destination, and naturally, we caught up with the British beauty to chat about her latest challenge and her foray into fashion.
You obviously have a great working relationship with Very.co.uk , you’ve designed several collections with them now. How did this collaboration come about in the first place?
Doing this has always been a dream of mine, as it is most girls. I have an art background , I did an art course so I’ve always been doodling clothes and my ideas. I really wanted to do something with conviction , I don’t just want to have my name or face to it , so I started with Very about one and a half years ago, got a sense for it and just decided to go for it. I really get a lot of involvement so it’s been a great platform.
What is it about the Very brand that appeals to you?
I love online shopping. I love not having to leave my home. And also I have the freedom to do what I want with my own collection. I have a huge say in what I do , it’s a great place to be creative and it’s great quality, too.
Let’s talk about the new line of Converse you’ve designed for Very. Whose idea was it? Did Converse approach you to do it or was it something you’d long suggested?
The Converse guys know I love Converse and have been wearing them for years so they approached me to design my own, and obviously I was like, ‘Oh my god, yes!’. So I went to the headquarters to have a look at how it all worked and they sent me templates to doodle over.
Tell us about your line of Converse. What can we expect?
They’re all strong prints that reflect things I own at home and from my collection at Very. I’m chuffed with the leopard print ones, they’ve got red on the back, too, and they’re probably my faves. Then there’s the lace high top pair that were actually inspired by an old lace vintage bedspread I got in New York and they were able to transfer the lace onto the Converse which is really cool. Then there’s the polka dot , I love polka dots and its always in and out of fashion so I did a pair for autumn/winter, too , a black and white pair and the blue for summer. And then the zebra are more fun and can maybe dress up a plainer outfit.
What’s been your inspiration? Have you drawn influence from your own style?
Definitely, they match what I wear. I take inspiration from lots of things then I narrow it down and work them into designs. I have millions of ideas that I have to whittle down into five designs , I’m working on the next collection for SS10 and I’ve just been to Amsterdam and seen some amazing fabrics that I’ve brought back.
How would you describe your own style?
It’s a mish-mash, really; I dress to suit whatever mood I’m in. Sometimes I’m feeling like a tomboy, or more glamorous, or classic , or sometimes I just throw on jeans and some heels , just whatever I feel like.
You’ve established yourself as quite the style icon , what is it about fashion that interests you so much?
I love it, I really love it. When people call me that I think it’s lovely but it makes me laugh because I just throw on whatever I like. I’m inspired by people-watching , just watching people as they pass; Debbie Harry and Chloe Sevigny , she always looks amazing; I love colours, shapes, scenery , I’ve just come back from Africa and there was so much inspiration there; textures; a Van Gogh museum I recently visited; I take inspiration from everywhere, from artists to places. I think it’s very important to be inspired by a lot and not narrow yourself.
What’s your favourite way to wear Converse? With skinny jeans or a cute dress?
Any way! I always have a pair in my bag or car at all times to throw on after a night out, or even wear on a night out , when I DJ I often wear them and I can just dance in them. They’re classics , The Ramones wore them back in the day. And they’re just the comfiest shoe in the world.
You’re also known for your quirky style , is it a priority when buying clothes that they reflect that?
I rarely go and buy pieces to match other things; I buy pieces and hope for the best and sometimes I’ll get home and realise, ‘actually, that goes really well with this’. Accessorize is the key for me , I love necklaces, bracelets, ring, hats and scarves. Just experimenting, really. Sometimes I look through my wardrobe and I’ll sort some stuff for the charity shops, but sometimes I’m really sad and I’ll stay in on a Saturday night and just try on lots of different clothes and outfits to see what works. I like to experiment.
Where are your favourite places to shop?
There’s this vintage shop on Portobello Market called Best Vintage , I love vintage clothes and Portobello is just around the corner from where I live. I shop at Very, too, so I don’t have the leave the house. But I like designers as well, like Mulberry, Moschino and Olivia Rubin.
Do you have any style icons? You mentioned Debbie Harry and Chloe Sevigny earlier.
Definitely those two. Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s always looks amazing and Alison [Mosshart] from the Kills , she can just wear a t-shirt, jeans and little boots but she always manages to make it look different , she’s badass. Oh, and Zooey Deschanel, too.
You presented backstage at the Brit Awards last week , for big events do you have a stylist to help dress you for the night?
Yeah, I have a really good friend , she’s my best friend , who helps me pick things out and call stuff in. But I definitely have a imput and ideas. Sometimes I’ll show her something from a magazine or see something and be like, ‘can you get this?’. I think it’s really important, especially when you’re presenting, to be comfortable. I’d never just wear something or be put in something because it’s on trend.
Finally, what are your plans for the future? Do you have any more designing aspirations?
Yes , autumn/winter , I’ve just finished looking at samples and they’ll be out in late summer. I’m already working on SS11 for Very and my new Converse for next year, so I’m very busy. And of course there’s radio and things so lots of very exciting stuff for me.
Fearne’s first designs for Converse, the leopard print, are available at Very.co.uk from today, with the polka dot and lace launching next month. Prices start at £38.00.