Joy was born in Coldharbour Lane, Brixton. I had spent what seemed like a lifetime designing and producing for almost every high street brand both in the Uk and overseas and needed to start again and find myself. So we scoured the whole of London for an affordable lease which turned out to be the transport entrance for the then Woolworths. We opened the shop without heating just before Christmas 1999.
Life on Coldharbour Lane in those days was not exactly as it is now. However despite our far from perfect interior, customers came and welcomed us with open arms, I truly cannot think of a better place to have started our journey and think of those days and our first customers most fondly. We all became friends I was quickly told what to buy and what not and got a great first hand experience of what women really wanted to wear. I scoured Europe for new labels and brought many now familiar brands to the Uk. We opened many stores, in retrospect too many, it's really difficult to give that personal service to everyone when your miles away.
However I wanted to give our customers something really unique that's when I decided we had to create our own label and Louche was born, always proudly being designed by women for women. Our ethos has always been about designing clothes that truly flatter, in the best fabrics we can possibly afford.
All our designs are meticulously fitted, always on a size 12 model and if there is any hesitation about the comfort or fit of a style it's instantly rejected. We are not slavishly shackled to the latest trends instead we nod to those we like and prefer to make clothes that will be worn still in 1 years time.
We are still working with the same factories we started with, all suppliers are personally inspected and have the same high standards of care of their workforce as of the clothes they produce. A old adage of mine has always been a good factory that values their workforce and provides really good working conditions always produces a better product.
At Joy we are working hard to get to a fully sustainable goal and are taking our factories on that journey with us. Whilst it won't happen overnight we are making enormous leaps in that direction. Weare mindful of producing small runs thereby creating unique product and little wastage.
Our goal is in fact to provide the vintage finds of the future and with this in mind I was pleasantly supervised when a few weeks ago I was in one of our shops and an old customer of ours came in with her daughter and told her "you remember that blouse you took from my wardrobe last week? I bought that in Joy 2 years ago" That's truly sustainable! Oh, and did I tell you 97% of our dresses have pockets.
Creative and Design Director