In her Somerset collection, international fashion icon, Alice Temperley, has drawn inspiration from her roots, naming the collection after her beloved home county. Her stylish and desirable range, designed exclusively for John Lewis, became the fastest selling brand in the retailer’s history when it launched last year.
Bridal designer Sassi Holford was famously commissioned by Autumn Kelly to design the wedding gown for her marriage to Princess Anne’s son, Peter Phillips. She is one of only a handful of bridal designers whose dresses are still made exclusively in the UK. Her gowns are produced to the highest standards in her Taunton based studios by a first class team of talented cutters, seamstresses and hand beaders.
Sassi explains, “Above all else, designing and making wedding gowns has to be a passion, and in Somerset I have found that passion. I want to do all that I can to promote Somerset as a great place for other creative businesses to thrive.”
It’s not only the fashion-pack that’s impressed by Somerset’s fashion culture – it makes great business sense too and the manufacturing industry in Somerset is thriving. Ian Scott, Group Supply Manager atMulberry, says, “We are known for our quintessentially English style, and we have created a thriving business from the heart of rural Somerset. With significant growth over the last five years we needed to grow our manufacturing base and wanted to keep it in the UK. Somerset remains the perfect location for us to trade from for our UK and international market, and was the obvious choice for our second factory. Somerset has a strong tradition in the leather trade and we’re helping to keep these skills alive, and of course we’re benefitting from the skills of staff in the area.”
Similarly, when Deborah Meaden – famed for her role on the BBC TV show Dragons’ Den – purchased Fox Brothers in 2009, it was the high quality, creativity and passion that attracted her. The company has produced woollen and worsted fabric in Wellington, Somerset for nearly 250 years. Officially credited as the original creators of flannel, to this day it combines traditional manufacturing processes with state-of-the-art design technology, producing the finest wool and cashmere cloth available in the world. It is for this reason that many of the industry's most discerning and demanding clients, including London's historic Savile Row tailors and top fashion houses, choose Fox Brothers' luxury cloth.