A luxury aesthetic blended into designer's sophistication results in long lasting products with functionality at its core. Sounds familiar? Danielle Foster is an accessories brand based in London, whose focus can be simply put like this: textures, lines, boxy shapes. Minimalistic and clean, the collections created "from pen and paper" demonstrate Danielle's talent for producing modern fashion pieces.
I read that, when you were a kid, you were always sketching and sketching. Was it crystal clear, back then, that you had to have a job where you would be able to sketch?
As a child I was always very hands on and found the connection between pen and paper very exciting, being able to create something instantly in front of you was very rewarding, and that feeling got addictive. I guess later on, as I got older, I started to realise I actually wanted to go into something creative as a career. Still as an adult I feel that paper to pen connection is very important.
You studied in London, you live in London and your label has the “Made in London” as a premise. Is this true love for the British capital?
My parents always used local companies and made a point of how important it was, which certainly rubbed off on me. So when starting up my own company I knew I wanted to source local factories and leather suppliers to work with. I do love London, it’s an amazing city and I am very proud to be British.
In the fashion world, who do you see as an inspiration and a role model?
I’ve always thought of Kate Moss as a great businesswoman, but although not in the fashion world, the real person that has inspired me and driven me to where I am now is my dad. Through growing up I have seen him grow a business from nothing through hard work, belief and determination.
Speaking about models… You also are one. Tell us a little bit more about this parallel career of yours. Do you need to keep a distance between both?
Both careers compliment one another really well, and I feel very lucky to have them both. It's great to have the balance, and being able to travel with modeling gives me a fresh look on design. I've learnt things from being a designer that have transferred to modeling and vice versa. It's also great to meet so many amazing people in both careers.
Because you started as a bag’s designer only, I imagine that the love for them has developed over the years. But do you remember your first “bag love”?
I've never been one for buying the next it bag and this reflects in my brand – I believe a bag is for life and it's an investment. I think my appreciation and interest for leather came from horse riding and being around the leather smell all my life (laughs).
And what model, from all your collections, would be the best one to describe your brand and the concept behind it?
I couldn’t pick one style, it's like asking which is your favourite child! All my pieces are designed with similar concepts, but for different occasions. For my AW collection I am making all handles transferrable between styles, so that you can update your product. This is concurrent with the idea of the product being for life.
One of the materials that you use the most is leather, and as you might know, it can be a very tricky topic in the fashion business. What are your biggest worries on this regard?
Leather is a widely used material and we just need to care about where it has come from and what process it has had. Leather is still a loved material, a long lasting luxury product that people invest in for its durability. It all really depends on how it's been processed to get there and all of my leathers are a byproduct, which is very important to me.
Did you ever think about the possibility of launching a men’s collection any time sooner?
Yes, of course, but I want to master woman's accessories before I branch out.
What was the last risk that you took? And can you share with us what the next one will be? To finally take the brand to USA, maybe?
Being self-employed is the big risk, but I love it and it also brings with it an adrenaline rush that is pretty addictive. USA is definitely on the cards, sooner than you might think!