In this absolutely horrendous weather I thought it’s time to write about a designer whose vivid and fresh patterns will bright up the day. Quincy Designs is created by Coleen, who recently graduated from Hariot Watt University with a degree in Fashion Design.
I have to say her accessories are simple and practical. but somehow every item has a twist in the design. When I found the brand on Instagram I fell in love with the scarf, so unique, so different!
I was asking Coleen about being the owner and the designer of a young company!
You’re accessories can be found in the Scottish Design Exchange, how did you get involved? Why do you think it’s helpful for a young brand?
Ruth, one of the interns at The SDX got in contact with me. She saw the Quincy instagram page and invited me to put my designs in store.
The SDX has been so helpful because it gives small brands that maybe don’t have a large stock count or a lot of business experience the chance to be in a prominent shop and get your brand noticed. Its commission free so it also helps brands who maybe don’t have experience dealing with stockists and pricing and the business side of things. It’s very straightforward and gives brands a chance to learn and grow.
Why did you choose to design accessories?
My graduate collection was clothing. I designed a print for a dress and the lining in my jackets. After Uni, lots of people kept saying to me the print would make lovely scarves and that I should try sell them. The bags just came gradually. It was something small to start with to see how it would go. I would love to do another clothing collection but right now I’m quite happy with my accessories.
Quincy Designs is a super young brand, what are the biggest challenges that you’re facing with?
There are so many challenges. I’m finding new ones every day! I think the biggest challenge for my brand is getting it noticed. The internet is full of amazing brands and designers; it’s hard to get people to see Quincy. Instagram is great for building a following but because it’s become so saturated it’s getting more difficult for smaller brands to get noticed. It takes time to build relationships and get networking so I just have to be patient. The SDX has helped with that because there are other people in a similar situation so we can all help each other.
Another challenge I have come across is order quantity. Getting the fabric digitally printed is difficult because a lot of companies only offer a minimum quantity so it’s difficult for me being on a small budget to be able to order the fabric in such large quantities. For my bags I have recently worked with Kalopsia Collective. They have developed a Textile Micro-Manufacturing space to produce high quality products, ethical and sustainable products. They were able to produce the Quincy clutch bags at a quantity and quality that I was happy with. I was able to give them the fabric and the design and they created the product.
What was your inspiration for your first collection?
The first proper collection I created was my graduate collection. Before 4th year I had completed an internship at the late Richard Nicoll’s studio in London. His womenswear style was very androgynous and simple. It was clean-cut with striking colours and prints. I wanted to create something with the same feel. That is where my print idea came from. I made simple T-Shirt dresses with a bold print, a bomber jacket for a woman with a printed lining, a large oversized wool coat with printed lining. I wanted the collection to be comfortable but beautiful.
The print which I used and is featured in my accessories collection was an image taken during a trip down the east of the USA in Quincy market in Boston MA. The photograph was taken from out the window of a taxi cab. Spontaneous and unposed. I loved the striking blue colours and geometric patterns of the buildings. I played about with different patterns on Photoshop and eventually came up with the final image.
I feel it’s really important to support new companies, like Quincy Designs. They are the future and if you get one of their items you can be sure that you won’t bump into it everywhere!
Quincy Desins’ website: http://www.quincydesigns.net/