Emerging British luxury designer label Hemyca won this season’s Fashion Press Week competition to find the UK’s brightest and most directional fashion brand: see Tipped for Success. Lawfully Chic talks to Helen Clinch and Myra Nigris, the two designers behind this beautiful contemporary and sustainable fashion brand.
What does winning this mentoring prize mean to you and why?
Winning the mentoring prize is an amazing experience, and to be awarded “the brightest and most directional brand in the UK” at Fashion Press Week by a professional panel of judges is a dream come true. It’s great to be recognised for our hard work over the past four years in a competitive industry. We now have this incredible opportunity to get the best mentoring advice in the areas we need it most – from legal advice through to PR and brand development – from mentors who understand and believe in our brand ethos.
Below: Hemyca’s Sarai Coat
We’re inspired by architecture, beautiful lines and silhouettes, historical female figures and corset inspired shapes which we translate into our garments. In all our collections, there’s a lighter and a darker side. We often use menswear classic tailoring fabrics, which create a beautiful drape on the body while holding the shape and structure. Emphasis on the waistline is pivotal to create a beautiful silhouette. We are passionate about tailoring and creating contemporary yet wearable garments for all women no matter their shape or size; it’s about making women feel amazing and confident.
What is most challenging/enjoyable about a fashion design career?
Being a fashion designer is not a career choice; it chooses you. It’s all about passion. You need to live and breathe it to be able to put up with long hours and daily dramas, but also lots of excitement as no two days are ever the same. The most challenging part of being a designer is realising that you have to learn not just to design but to run a business. We attend lots of business talks and workshops as university doesn’t prepare you for this role. The most enjoyable part is the creative side where we can explore and develop our ideas, work with fabrics and create beautiful things – and of course showcase the collections at London and Paris Fashion Week!
What are your plans for the future?
We’re working hard to make Hemyca an internationally recognised brand. This season we secured a new stockist in Hong Kong, which opens a door to a new market. We’re also working with the UKTI as part of their exporting program, which will help us to select the right international market for our products. We’re also extremely excited to be launching our first ever limited edition bag for the charity Age UK. This has been an incredible learning curve and we are thrilled to be supporting such a wonderful charity.
We have several high profile projects lined up and are currently in talks with two of the UK’s leading department stores. Our plan is to expand our range to include Hemyca Accessories, Hemyca Menswear, Hemyca Home… and to create a whole Hemyca World! For us longevity is key. We want to grow steadily, and we know it will take some time but we’ll get there.
Any tips for young designers looking to make a career in fashion?
We’d suggest all young designers gain as much work experience as possible. Only when you put your studies into practice will you really understand how the fashion industry works. A key tip is to always carry a notebook and write down all the contact details of people you meet during internships as you never know where it might lead! Fashion is a very ‘hands-on’, rewarding career which requires complete commitment and passion, skill, talent and belief in yourself.