How One Affordable British Brand Is Revolutionizing The Way High Street Fashion Is Made
Contemporary British brand Oasis has been spotted on celebs like Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift and singer Mollie King—so you know it has to be good! I recently sat down with Clive Reeve, Oasis' design director, to discuss how the label's custom-created prints makes the clothes stand out, what to expect for Fall 2014 and where the design team finds inspiration. Read the full interview below and click through the slideshow above to shop Oasis' incredible—and totally affordable—pieces!
Lucky: Why did you all choose to create prints in-house?
Clive Reeve: The UK high street style is very competitive. There are a lot of brands in a very small amount of space. So it's really important that we stand out from the crowd. Our prints are what our brand stands for; they make us stand out against our competitors. Over 80 percent are made in-house. This really gives Oasis a point of difference and personality.
Where does your team find inspiration when creating a new print?
We will look at—but do not copy—high fashion runway style. We use Pinterest a lot, and street style blogs. We use a combination of runway, street style, architecture, art and exhibitions when looking for new styles and trends.
That's a wide range! Are there any prints you consider your specialty?
Florals are important to our customer—the rose—and they always will be. But we love mixing prints. Geometrics. Oversized spots. Jacquard prints. We use vintage and in-house designs to create all of these on various fabric bases. Many of our prints are also woven into the fabrics.
That's so cool!
Yes, our prints are quite varied. We can be working on a print from a vintage archive of 17th century wallpaper that is really beautiful in its details. Or maybe something that was picked up at the Rose Bowl in Southern California. We really pull from varied sources around the world. It really makes us unique and exciting as a brand.
You just announced your Art School collaboration with Katie Whitton, which we can't wait to shop. Any more upcoming collabs we should keep our eye on?
We do a lot of collaborations with smaller designers. This makes it more exciting for us. Ceramicist Peter Ting has beautiful plates and china; we've teamed up with him for a limited collection called Flutter. It will be in stores in August. It's all about birds and inspiring color palettes. Collaborations with people you wouldn't normally expect is what I really love about this business.
Oasis is a really colorful brand. Was this intentional or just sort of organic?
We felt (creating our own prints) was an opportunity as a brand to be colorful in ways others can't.
But not all of your key pieces include prints. You all are very well known in the UK for your coats, for instance.
Yes! We are really excited for coats this winter. Color in coats. Beautiful winter pinks. Checks are on the big print and pattern messages for winter. But it's not just about prints in the winter, it's also about the fabrics and patterns—lots of wovens. Coats have really become one of the key items on the catwalk. They're coming into their own as a fashion item.