Alex d’Arche is one of Britain’s most talented young designers. She set up her high-end label, Daisy Darche (so-called after Alex’s middle name), when she was just 20 years old, and is now stocked on ASOS and in iconic London department store, Liberty.
Currently studying for an MA in Textile Designs at the Royal College of Art, Alex certainly knows a thing or two (or three… or four…) about fashion.
Here, we quiz her about her fashion inspirations, how to start up your own label and what advice she’d give to budding designers.
Have you always had an interest in fashion? When did you realise that you wanted to pursue a career in it?
My parents have been in fashion for over 20 years so I suppose you could say it’s in my blood. I have always had an interest in fashion, being exposed to it from such a young age, I loved being around creative people. I always knew that I wanted to work in the art/fashion world. I studied History of art of Asia and Africa – which was really fascinating, and for a while I was planning on traveling and working in China and Japan, but then I set up Daisy Darche While still at university, so I guess it was fate!
Who’s your fashion hero?
My fashion hero… There are many – the usual suspects, they are still here for a reason! Yves St Laurent, Lanvin, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld, Issey Miyake, Claude Montana… Those are the main ones I suppose, it’s very difficult to choose just one!
Prior to setting up Daisy Darche, did you do work experience/internships/etc in the
Prior to Daisy Darche, my whole life was one long internship. I had the privilege of working with many designers from a very young age; my mother took me everywhere so I really was a ‘fashion baby’.
How did you set up your own label? Were you scared/confident/etc?
I set up my label with the help of my parents, they guided me and I definitely could not have done it without them! I was very apprehensive and I don’t think I really understood what having a label really entailed – I was only 20, I had no formal training but a lot of guidance and passion. I suppose this is why I decided to do a Masters in textile design at the RCA – best decision ever!
What are the inspirations behind Daisy Darche? What makes it distinctive from other labels?
I like to create a collection around a certain mood by using colour and imagery; the main inspirations are: urban gardens, European architecture, areal photography and textures.
I find that many labels only cater to a certain type of customer, or the garments are very occasion specific: evening, casual, occasional. I would like to think that our pieces are timeless, elegant and ageless, very easy to wear and versatile (weather-wise, but also can be worn day-to-night).
What advice would you give to any budding designers?
Research your market, know who you are designing for and why you want to be a designer. If you have the passion and patience then keep going.
What’s been the greatest achievement of your career to date?
The greatest achievement has been selling our collection in Liberty’s of London – from the very first season!
What’s next for Daisy Darche?
We are hoping to add some accessories to the collection soon and I am also working on a range for interiors.