This, new to the scene, fashion brand is the brain child and baby of Rebecca Phillips. Rebecca studied Geography at the University of Leeds but always had a keen interest in fashion and previously completed work experience at Topshop and Charlotte Ronson during summer breaks. “I didn’t study fashion” Rebecca told me, “I studied geography, which helped me gain many skills adaptable to so many industries. I firmly believe that one can go into fashion without having studied it (aside from design). Members of my family were in buying and never had a fashion degree so I knew it wasn’t essential.”
Later she joined River Island as a buying assistant, working there for three and a half years, in a role that included working on the premium line, Design Forum. ” I chose to go into buying because I have always had a passion for style and the ability to express ourselves through clothes. (At River Island) we would work with external designers to build a more luxe range for the company and although working for a large high street brand was very fun and a huge learning experience, I had always been keen to create my own line and had a strong vision for the sort of brand I wanted to create. I love going to an event wearing something interesting and different, and I want to give people the opportunity to feel their best and clothes are a key factor.”
Rebecca left River Island in August 2013 and started Rebson. She’s not looked back ever since.
I asked Rebecca which designers influence and inspire her? “Without doubt Acne and Maison Martin Margiela have been an inspiration. Always one step ahead and thinking out of the box creating their own trends. I look towards Carven for feminine silhouettes – classic and simple, whilst maintaining a modern feel with its fabric choices – hugely inspirational to Rebson.”
What was your influencing factor to launch Rebson? “I am a huge fan of the high street but wanted to create a brand which provided different; unique pieces of a higher quality than what the lower end of the market had to offer. At the same time so many designer dresses are £1000 plus and this is completely unaffordable for the average twenty-something year old.”
Rebecca also told me “Silhouette and fit is really important. We spend a lot of time fitting the garments to ensure they are as close to perfect as can be. Also all of the finishing details, the seams, buttons, zips. These make such a difference to the final look and feel of the garment. I can’t say there is a particular part of design that is most important, every aspect of the garment from the cloth selection to the final touches make it what is it. I love the fluidity of a drapey silk or jersey. Next season will be slightly more slinky and sexy using silk satin as it feels amazing on the body.”
Rebson’s clothes are made in Portugal although the fabric mainly comes from Italy and France. Quality is key to Rebecca and with her garments made within Europe she can keep a close eye on everything. She told me that her inspiration comes from all over, literally, including art, architecture, cinema, photography. “When I was last on holiday I noticed the tonal differences of green on one tree. Even something as simple as that can bring ideas about. I like looking at details from different decades and cultures and looking at old Vogue (magazines) is always fun, from the 50s up to the 90s. You appreciate how much of fashion is recycled but even when trends are reborn there is a different take on them every time, it is constantly evolving and will never be the same.”