London based designer Nadia Minkoff is delighted at being a finalist in this year’s ‘Drapers Footwear & Accessories awards 2014’ for the ‘Accessories Designer of the Year’ category. Emily Crowther, Drapers event coordinator commented that this year the quality of entries were better than ever, so making the finals shortlist is indeed a great achievement! The winners will be announced at The Awards black tie event, which will be taking place on May 1st 2014 at the Park Lane Hilton.
Minkoff, embarked on her fashion career having completed her BA in Fashion design in 1989, she set up her company with no investment or previous knowledge of the industry and was fortunate enough to be spotted by and given her lucky break by Caroline Burstein of Browns. Her first accessory range soon secured orders from Saks Fifth Avenue USA, as well as Harrods and in 1991 she won Fashion Weekly’s award for ‘ Best design in accessories’. Minkoff says she found the financial demands of her quick growth curb difficult to manage. Uncertain she could find the kind of long-term investment she was hoping for she says: ‘I realised that I could potentially offer my design services to the UK high St Multiples in a design/manufacture capacity and use the capital raised from this to further develop my Nadia Minkoff London label. It took me a long time to build up the ‘private label’ side of the business and establish my China manufacturing. Not through lack of demand, but as I still had no investment I took small, safe steps ensuring I was able to build up a relationship with my customers and offer them the service they required. All along, I continued showing my Nadia Minkoff London range in London, Tokyo and Paris. These days I design and supply the likes of Jaeger, Hobbs, Next, Jacques Vert and East and with that side of my business stable I am now able to focus on establishing my Nadia Minkoff London brand as I had envisaged it to be from the onset: a niche, boutique brand with its manufacturing roots firmly set in the UK. The aspiration was always to create a timeless collection, which evolves from simple, well, balanced aesthetics, natural raw materials, attention to detail, colour and a mix of vintage and modern.‘
When asked why she thought she should win Minkoff advised ‘My journey has been a true labour of love! I love what I do. The hardships that all business's face at some stage (and in my case I faced many) made me more determined to make my brand succeed. I am as passionate about it now as when I started. My growth has been slow but consistent, my brand has withstood the test of time, has a great global following, strong firm roots and its own identity. I now feel that in order to take the brand to the next level it could really do with industry recognition. Whilst I come across confident in my work environment I am in fact quite shy, so blowing my own trumpet as such doesn't come easy.. still, I believe that my London born, London based, London inspired and London manufactured brand deserves a shout, so I went for it!’
For further details visit Nadia’s website at www.nadiaminkoff.com
George R Vaughan