This has actually taken longer than expected……I found myself at the HYMN London launch party a few months ago just after I got the initial idea for my blog. Determined to ensure this range was to become one that I would showcase I started talking to everyone I could. I finally met the press officer for Joy stores and both her and a colleague have been excellent  ever since.


Joy stores never really had a standout men’s range, but with Hymn the tides are definitely changing.

They have created a range with a premium feel at more affordable prices.

It’s classic with interesting detail, mainly seen in the buttons and stitching.

I was able to get all sides as to what it took to get to that faithful launch event.

Enjoy the read…….

For those aspiring designers out there i was able to get some very valuable insight from Dylan who’s is a buyer for JOY Stores & Katy who actually designed the range.

Tom Leamon1Sam Mason1

Dylan – Buyer

For those not in the know, can you give a quick summary of what fashion buying entails?

The most important thing is to buy with your customer in mind – it means spending time in your own stores, in order to understand your customer’s shopping habits. A great deal of time is spent monitoring sales data to see the reaction to the latest styles and catering the brand mix accordingly, but occasionally you need to have the confidence to take a risk and try something new which you hope will appeal to your customer base.

What do you look for when picking up a new designer/piece?

One tries to find a balance between a brand that complements the range that we have in store, but which also has a consistent point of difference so that it will stand out and draw customers in.

What do you feel is required to become a successful fashion designer?

Creative flair, organisation, a keen eye for detail and lots of elbow grease!

What is your favourite piece from the collection?

I love Stites, it’s a chambray one pocket shirt in a deep indigo wash, with a fantastic fit.

Do you have any advice for all the up and coming talent out there?

Identify stores that your brand will sit well in; try and build a relationship with buyers so that they’re willing to give you a chance and don’t give up!

Katy – Designer

What made you decide to go into fashion design?

As a teenager I liked the idea of boys clothes on girls. As I grew I started to design clothes for myself but on men. I still do that today.

What is the inspiration behind your current range?

Everything nautical. Starting a new brand called out for a classic theme.

What is your is your signature/favourite piece from the current range?

The Donald jacket. I love the fabric with the contrast colour coating. It’s by far the easiest piece in the collection to wear and carry around.

What struggles do/did you face as an upcoming designer?


What do you enjoy most about being a designer?

That feeling when an idea pops in to your head and you run with it and it works. Best feeling in the world.

Do you have any advice for upcoming/emerging designers?

Stay true to your style. Obviously you need to be flexible and design for your customer, but you need to be passionate about the product your designing. Also don’t turn your nose up at designing for a supplier. This is where I learnt my most valuable design knowledge, and it makes you super organised.

If you could sum up what it takes to make it in fashion design in one word what would it be?


What does the future hold for Katy? 

Hopefully growth and stronger collections at HYMN. And a lottery win.

Hymn Jacket

JOY Stores are currently stocking the range, and it can be found here.

New season has just been released, photos to follow.


Crown Rose

So I hear its almost summer time in London. Everybody is harbouring thoughts of putting the winter wardrobe away and getting out the t-shirts, shorts & flip flops. Don’t even get me started on the holiday season……

For those of you as excited as me to finally get some consistent sunshine, you definitely need to check out Crown Rose.

Crown Rose UK are a London based contemporary Swimwear and Lounge wear brand. They specialise in providing African print Swimwear and Lounge wear for both Women & Men. The brand was established in early 2013 in an aim to make African traditional  prints accessible in a popular and diverse market. The brand represents contemporary style and tradition and produces a range of diverse designs with niche patterned swimwear fabrics.

Women’s Range Africa Fashion Week

The name Crown Rose looks to express the strength behind the vision of the brand. It encapsulates royal traditions and the class and flair of contemporary style.

They use traditional prints from both Ghana and Nigeria (Ankara & Kente) are are used to inspire and create patterns which are then transferred onto swimwear suitable fabrics. They have a diverse range of designs to cater to a variety of customers. They also offer a custom range that aims to make each piece as unique and personal as possible to give their customers something that is exclusive to them.

Available sizes: 8 – 16 ‘Aqua De Jewel’

18 – 24 ‘De Arc Range’

Prices: Women £36 – £60.

Men’s Shorts £25.

Men’s Tops £15.

Crown Rose was founded by two young ladies Nikky and Miriam, originally from Nigeria but born and raised in the UK. They combined their love for contemporary swimwear fashion and their cultural backgrounds to create a brand that stands out from anything that is currently available on the market. Through exploring traditional colours, prints and designs from their African heritage, they infused culture and class to create a contemporary yet traditional brand.

Miriam & Nikky

I had the pleasure of catching up with Miriam, she explained how all this was born out of one faithful day, watching a creative show(which she does not recall). She claims she is not very creative but Crown Rose proves otherwise. After some research she realised that there was a huge gap in the market and not much competition, so they decided to create something a little different with a African print on trend. As long as it is bright colourful and different she believes it is something that will never go off trend.

They have been getting some amazing coverage including Africa Fashion week & CNN inside Africa.

Here is a link to the Africa Fashion week show.

Women’s Range Africa Fashion Week

As with many up & coming designers funding has been and issue, they are currently looking for funding so definitely get out there and support them.

Hopefully once this is secured they can move onto the next phase, luxury lines, Holiday wear, beach wear etc…..

Asked to sum up Crown Rose in one word, she looks at me smiles gently and says “Afro Centric/Afro Temporary”.

If you are as excited as me and can’t wait for the full launch, follow the link to join their mailing list.

As always feedback and comments welcome.