When Art meets Fashion - Deborah Campbell Atelier

We interview this amazing designer to find out about her stunning new collection

Contemporary ethical womenswear label Deborah Campbell Atelier turns art into fashion, creating one-of-a-kind designs in collaboration with artist Tabitha Wilson. Renowned for combining striking digital prints with unique ethical fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles, DCA create season-less style to covet.

The 'A Summer Breeze' collection is inspired by nature and includes a dress £135, skirt £140 and short sleeve top £120. The abstract print in blue and yellow is the perfect addition to a summer wardrobe. I'm especially loving the drop hem at the back of the dress. Ooh come on Summer, we need the sun to come out!

DCA partner with long established fair trade factory Jacobs Well, who pay fair wages to their largely female workforce, enabling them to support their families for a brighter future. We are proud to support Make it British and work with heritage British knitwear producers.

Founder Deborah Campbell has previously worked for major British high street retailers and manufacturers. Becoming increasingly concerned with cheap fast fashion and over consumption she disengaged, beginning the journey to offer an alternative model that is DCA.

They are proud to support the Phoenix Foundation a charitable fund that supports vulnerable children suffering with burns as a consequence of war. 20% of the Tee-shirt profits are donated.

We caught up with Deborah to find out about her design process, collaborating with others and her inspiration...

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I studied fashion at Manchester Metropolitan back in the 90”s super cool place to be a student. And I am originally from Manchester, but grew up in Devon from age 8 onwards.  I then spent 18 years working in fast fashion for manufacturers and also retailers, Miss Selfridge, Topshop and ASOS. I got very disillusioned with cheap fashion and the notion that buyers year on year would push the price down. Fashion is one of the few industries where prices have gone down in the last 20 years. We kid ourselves that its good because we are helping emerging economies grow, but thats just fuelling the problem, cheap labour is not sustainable.

How did you start designing?

I come from a design background from my uni days but spent most of my career, developing product, selling it, sourcing and then running a manufacturing business as a supplier to River Island, Oasis, Miss Selfridge etc.

What's your creative process?

I always start with the print and the fabric, then design from there. A busy print needs a simple shape for example. 

What do you love about being a designer?

I love the fact that I can turn art in fashion, an idea spawned from a conversation with Tabitha Wilson. She had seen the first collection I had created where I took inspiration from artist Howard Hodgkin’s brush stroke art and said how she loved the idea, and then we got onto the concept of turning her art into fashion and it got really exciting.

Who do you admire in design and who inspires you?

Art, art and more art. From a design perspective I love Dries Van Noten, his imagination and low profile is so inspiring. And I have always had a strong connection to fabric, and most recently I have discovered this amazing handwoven denim from a mill using traditional jacquard techniques, we are launching the AW/17/18 collection in Berlin this week.

Can you tell us a bit about this new collection?

Turning art into one-of-a-kind pieces in collaboration with artist Tabitha Wilson is super exciting. The summer breeze collection is made from fabric regenerated from recycled plastic bottles, made by a fair trade factory by our amazing team in India, we love supporting the ‘many hands’ that go into producing our collection, so they can earn a fair wage to support and enhance the well being of their families.  Touching the lives of others in a fair way is one of our key drivers and as important to us as our customers.  

What's important to you in a collaboration and how do you go about setting up the process?

You have to have the same vision. Tabitha was a dream to work with because we agreed from the beginning that I would take on her painting and create the best collection I could. As we were so aligned the process was streamlined and the outcome perfect. 

When and where is this collection available?

We launched today 16th Jan in John Lewis, Loved and Found, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds and online.

Thanks to Deborah Campbell for her time. For more information on her, click here to visit her website.