Meet the Women Behind the Designs you Love

Ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March, we’re shining the spotlight on some of the creative women behind the designs you love.

Working within our in-house design team in London, these women have chosen careers that help other women to look and feel their best, from coming up with unique hand-drawn prints to extra-special occasionwear designs. You’ll also get a sneak peek at what they’ve been working on – our new Design Edit, launching later this month.

 

When women have each other’s back it can be very powerful and unifying.

Louise
Senior Designer – Occasion Dresses

Give us a little round-up of your role?

I create the concepts and colour palettes for our occasionwear stories, researching key details and shapes. From there I design pieces for each look – working closely with the buying team to ensure we’ve got the balance of styles just right for our customer.

With occasionwear, people are often spending that little bit more money than they usually would, so you want to give them something extra. The fit and style needs to be spot-on but the fabric is what gives it that extra level of glam, whether that’s shimmering sequins, layers of tulle or beautiful lace.

What’s the best part of your job?

I’ve wanted to be a fashion designer since a very young age. I was always drawing (mostly clothes) and I used to cut out the fashion pages of Hello magazine and come up with my own fashion ranges. I was determined this was what I was going to do, I’ve always been very driven.

Although I love designing the looks, the best part of my job is seeing the collection come together. It’s always a team effort and everyone works so hard on their part. It’s very rewarding when something you’ve designed becomes a bestselling piece.

Tell us a little bit about the process of creating the new Design Edit?

This is the most fun we have as a design team! We can really go to town with pushing the look and styles and showcase our talents. We take inspiration from the newest trend information and then spend a day or so brainstorming the key shapes, fabrics and details as a team to ensure we have a good range of styles we can build into outfits.

After this we source fabrics and get the designs turned into real garments. Because we usually work on separate areas, it’s so nice to work collaboratively on a collection.

Can you give us a little insight into being a working mum?

It’s a tough balance being a full-time working mum – there’s a lot of guilt going on. At times you feel like you’re caught been two roles and struggling to find yourself in there somewhere. You have to be able to swiftly switch between two modes. But ultimately you do the best you can with the resources you have.

What women inspire you?

I’m inspired by all sorts of women every day. My peers, women I read about, women I see on the news. I’m inspired by women who are courageous, positive and unashamedly themselves – often in the face of adversity or extreme challenge. When women have each other’s back it can be very powerful and unifying.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to future generation of women?

Focus, listen and always be true to yourself.

 

“Live your life for yourself. Focus on who and what is important to you.”

Olivia
Print Design Assistant

Tell us a bit about your role at DP?

I assist the print design team and help edit and create print designs for all womenswear departments. I’m very new to DP having previously worked as a designer for accessories and homeware products, but I wanted to focus on designing for women so this role was exactly what I was looking for.

What’s the best part of your job?

Getting to see the full process of prints that start as a sketch developed into a beautiful garment. The staff discount’s pretty good, too!

How did you get into print design? Can you explain the process of creating a print?

Drawing has been a passion of mine for a long time and I chose print design because it combined all of my interests in drawing, fashion and digital design.

I like to take inspiration from the most recent catwalks and street-style trends and sketch out some ideas and compositions. I then start to work on new prints with watercolours or in Photoshop depending on the style I’m going for. Once I have a design I’m happy with I show it to the buyers and we finalise the colourway and scale.

We see some beautiful prints are part of the Design Edit collection, can you talk us through them?

For the Design Edit we created an abstract scenic palm print in neon pastel colours as well as a watercolour floral. We wanted to design prints that felt soft and playful at the same time capturing the romantic essence of the collection.

What’s the best thing about working alongside other women?

I find it really inspiring being around other women who share my interests in fashion and design. I love to hear their opinions and thoughts on what we are working on and just be around women who are talented in and care about what they do.

What women inspire you?

All the women in my life – my mum, sisters, grandmothers, friends and co-workers. Women who are true to themselves, who are kind, who support each other and are ambitious.

What advice would you give the next generation of women?

Live your life for yourself. Focus on who and what is important to you.

 

I’m inspired by women who are true to themselves, who are kind, who support each other and are ambitious.

Amaani
Design Assistant

What’s your role within the DP design team?

I worked as a Design Assistant intern for a year before going on to finish my degree at London College of Fashion and ended up coming back as a permanent assistant after graduating.

The placement year was great experience and proved to be invaluable for my final year and for understanding how a brand like DP works. I work closely with the Design Managers doing colour and trend research, catwalk analysis and mood and trend boards. I also get to name the colours on the palettes which is always fun!

 

What’s the best part of your job?

I think the best part is being able to see the progress working across a season – as I work a lot on the initial trends and colours it’s nice to be able to see it all come to life.

What advice would you give to other young women wanting to carve out a career in fashion?

Persevere – it takes a lot of hard work to gain experience but, I would say, take any advice you can, and try to stay as open as possible to new opportunities.

What women inspire you?

I’m inspired by strong female musicians like Suzi Quatro and Debbie Harry, and, of course, my mum!

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to the future generation of women?

Push boundaries and question everything.

For more inspiring stories of females in business check out our Women Making it Work series and don’t forget to shop our Design Edit Collection launching this March. 

AUTHOR

Ellie

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