HAPPY NEW YEAR
Are things really becoming scary, or are we all (including multi-million dollar fashion empires) scaring ourselves? Difficult to say but there does seem to be a collective hysteria sweeping through the fashion world and it will surely do nothing but harm in the long term – especially, perhaps, to young British designers, many of whom are already having difficulty in delivering orders because they do not have the money for production. But, to more positive things – or, tongue in cheek, how Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden can make the world a happier and more hopeful place! We are also all very excited by the fact that Eun Jeong has been given her own window in Selfridges this month – a great honour for her and a great honour for us.
Eun Jeong is essentially a realist as well as being ambitious and professional, she has addressed very positively something about her new business which was worrying us and several retailers: the name she originally chose for her label. Poetic, original and arresting as it is, Go By a Secret Path’ which so well fitted the ethereal collection that won her first place in last year’s Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden award, is a hard name for shoppers to connect and identify with. So, being a pragmatist, she has changed it to simplify the name to Eun Jeong – although to us she will always be affectionately known as EJ.
Still with Eun Jeong, below you can see the Christmas card that she designed for us form the brief ‘a star’ which we think is so beautiful and clever in the way it links the Christmas spirit with the spirit of her clothes that we want to share it with those of you who did not receive it at Christmas.
We are ecstatic to announce that Selfridges have given Eun Jong a full window display on Oxford Street next to the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Chloé. In addition to this, her designs are now available in Selfridges and on NET-A-PORTER.COM from Wednesday 18th February.
After that quick look back to last year, let’s look forward to 2009 and what it will bring. The Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden platform is expensive as it must be if it is to keep it’s standards, and we could not survive without the generosity and belief in what we are doing that is given to us so warmly by our sponsors and, of course, the support we get from so many publications, print and online. In 2008, the huge interest they generate for Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden was given added value by an 8 minute feature on BBC Breakfast the day after the show, with film of the event in The Flower Cellars at Covent Garden, and then Eun Jeong & Natalie Massenet, CEO of Net-A-Porter.com and 2008 judge, on the sofa talking to roughly 5.4 million viewers. In addition, CNN also repeated their Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden story 8 times internationally reaching an awe-inspiring 300 million households!
The result was that our media valuation increased in 2008 by 15% reaching over 71 million people across the globe and valuing £2.9million. Reason enough for us to look forward to 2009 with hope but realistically facing the fact that money is not so freely available this year as it was last. But I am always overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit in the fashion world especially by our commercial partners, a generosity which has enabled us to have five very exciting years. Our scheme for smaller partners, named by one of them ANGELS ETC – along the lines of theatrical angels who put up the money for new productions – grows and gives me great satisfaction because, although, if they are lucky, theatrical angels, eventually get their money back from a successful theatrical run, our Angels are much more altruistic, giving and expecting nothing in return except the pleasure of having helped me and the dedicated and hard-working Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden administrative team fulfil something in which we all passionately believe. So, a very big thank you to Angels Etc.
From us all at Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden, a happy new year and as prosperous one as we can hope for in these uneasy times.
From the Fashion Fringe Team x