The latest Insider comes courtesy of designer Charlotte Taylor.
Since seeing Charlotte's first catwalk show with Vauxhall Fashion Scout's 'Ones to Watch' programme in my first year at the Daily Telegraph, i've been a keen follower of her work. A master with prints, her fun but beautifully designed collections are the culmination of an eclectic mix of inspirations; from grannies to penguins to her travels around India. Whatever the origins, the result of said inspirations always result in a colourful collection of stunning designs, each with an overlayer of British eccentricity which has not only won her stockists all over the world, but also caught the eye of the buyers from retail giants Anthropologie last year, who commissioned her to create an exclusive diffusion line. Charlotte by Charlotte Taylor sold out completely in both the UK and USA and the second collection, in stores now, is well on the way to doing the same.
In between collections Charlotte keeps her followers up to date on her brilliant blog, which she started alongside her first catwalk collection, detailing the trials and tribulations and highs and lows of creating a successful fashion brand. Beautifully written, it's as interesting for budding designers who are looking for advice as it is for those who love a good story. Tip: start from the beginning and read all the way through. I promise you'll be hooked right up to the present day.
First job: Making beds in a pub with rooms in my local village. I think I was 14. It was horrible!
Your first fashion inspiration: Any thing old with a history.
The moment you knew fashion was your future: I think it wasn't until I left school. I would have loved to be in any creative industry at that point and it took me a while to hone down on fashion in particular. The diversity of the industry and how I could be creative in so many ways was the main draw. My job ranges from designing, researching, technical pattern cutting to creative marketing, PR and business strategies.
Any moments of doubt: I think when you run your own company you live in a world of extremes. Huge highs and huge lows. Sometimes it's hard but it's always worth fighting for.
Career highlight (so far): Growing the business to a stage that enabled my brother to come on board. We now run it together and he controls the business side of things.
Fashion world fodder (a favourite anecdote from your years in the trade): Hmmm... I don't have one but I would say to always believe in your product and yourself first or no one else will.
Survival tips: Don't take yourself or fashion too seriously. It is a wonderful industry to work in but it's important for ones sanity to not get too carried away.