Valentina Karellas is a returning LDC designer, showcasing her beautiful sustainable London-made knitwear at both our Christmas concept store and our most recent London Fashion Week event. Valentina is London born, bred, and educated at the London College of Fashion. She received her Masters of Advanced Womenswear in Florence where she learned about the colourful history of Italian atelier and craftsmanship, and has garnered in experience across markets in Italy and China. She lives and breathes an organic lifestyle, a philosophy that carries over to her designs.
We caught up with Valentina post-LFW to find out more about her brand and her experience being an independent designer...
Tell us a little about your brand
Womens knitwear and accessories brand all hand-made in London, as well as using surplus yarn from factories, we focus on zero waste production processes. This is an ethical knitwear brand with an urban twist, still fun a vibrant for women who love to look and feel good both inside and out.
Why have you chosen to partner with LDC?
LDC have a great concept in linking like-minded brands together, having seen the pop ups around London, where all the items are cohesive and flow like a boutique, there is difference between other concept stores and LDC, they celebrate independent brands which is really important when focusing on niche products.
What advice would you give people who are thinking about starting their own business?
As well as focusing on the creative work, its important to focus on the business side, a lot of creatives spend a long time on their beautiful products but have no clue on running a business. It's best to join many online groups and forums, that help with business help and support, especially for creatives, its important to ‘learn’ to run a business, as without that, the creative side crash and burns.
What is your favourite part about being a designer?
Playing on the machine, where ideas from paper come out on swatches, a lot of the time it's not what was planned, but that generates a whole host of new ideas, especially with knitting, it can change from yarn, to tension or colour that’s what is really exciting, the unknown. Then seeing the final product worn by customers, it's very exciting hearing the response.
What is the ultimate goal for your brand?
Ultimately, the goal has always been to have a knit factory in London, train young graduates how to use the machines and bring back production to London, this isn’t easy as space and funds are limited, but possible. The customer is now more savvy and want to be more involved with where they buy their clothes, part of that is being able to have a transparent production process, which isn’t made on the other side of the world with no regulations on the makers well-being.
Check out Valentina's ethical and ultra-cozy designs at valentinakarellas.com
Or follow her on instagram at @vkarellas