We all like to look good when leaving the house in the morning, but here at Splash, fashion has become a way of life. Splash Beach designer Joanne Johnson tells us what it’s like to be constantly living in the now – she’s one of the lucky few who gets to influence what we’ll all be wearing next season. In her own words…
1. How did you get into fashion?
I have always been interested in fashion; from the age of around 14 or 15 my interest began to be guided by others around me. I took my first steps to making it a career by studying a Fashion Design course at college.
2. Who or what influences you as a designer?
I draw influences from all sorts of places, but I particularly like British designer Alexander McQueen and Italian fashion company Versace.
3. What’s hot at the moment?
Designers are usually working about two years in advance of the current collection, so I won’t spoil the surprise about what’s in the pipeline. Splash is all about funky, youthful new colours and prints – fashion that young people can relate to. This Spring/Summer, there are lots of animal influences, lots of tropical and tribal prints, and fruit features quite prominently; there’s a definite tropical feel to things.
4. How do you stay ahead of the game, so your designs look fresh?
I do lots of research to keep up with what’s happening: reading blogs, keeping astride of what’s walking down the world’s catwalks, looking at street fashions in places like London, Tokyo, China and the States.
5. Are there any constraints or limits on your designs?
Price points mainly - we work to a fixed budget so can’t get too carried away. It’s important that my designs always keep the Splash customers in mind.
6. Compare your own personal style with that of your Splash designs.
They’re not so different actually, a designer’s personality has to influence their work and mine certainly comes across in the garments I create.
7. If you weren’t a designer, what would you do?
It would have to be something creative like a graphic designer. I know that’s not very different from my actual job, but I can’t imagine doing any other work as this is what I’ve always wanted to do.
8. What’s the best part of your job?
Walking by a store and seeing something I’ve designed hanging in the window, I get a sense of instant gratification. Sometimes, if you work for a company that sells to an export market you don’t get to see the finished product in store. Splash has a big presence in Dubai, so I get to see my designs quite often.
9. Which part of your job is your least favourite?
Convincing other people to sign-off my designs is challenging sometimes as everyone has differing opinions. Fashion is quite a subjective thing and it’s sometimes hard having to alter designs that I think work as they are. Obviously, it’s important to maintain a consistency across the range and Splash generally gets it right; that’s one of the reasons they’re so successful.
Do you have an interesting or unusual look that works for you? Why not tell us about it?