Posts tagged clothes

Labour of Love was originally a (physical) shop in a cool and then (2004) up and coming part of London. It gained a cult status due to it's unusual interior, window displays and collection of hard to find British designers.

Now the brand has evolved into an online destination where you'll find their core collection of well cut, classic designs, carefully selected jewelry brands as well as their specially commissioned collaboration collections.  

I was attracted to Labour of Love's colourful prints and the cool, contemporary cuts of their clothes. Their quality and detailing is amazing and at last a brand that makes adult clothes that are a cool and colourful as the kids ones.

I meet with the very awesome mum of two's founder Fran to learn more about the brands and its roots:

NAME OF SHOP/BRAND: Labour of Love

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: I originally set Labour of Love up as a brick and mortar shop in Islington in 2004.

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Francesca Forcolini 

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: The idea was to showcase and support independent British designers alongside our own eponymous label. The buying was very much on the creative/quirky side as was the interior and the consistently imaginative window displays and as such the shop gathered a really interesting creative customer base ranging from musicians to writers and actors.

At the time we felt there was definitely room for more independent shops supporting the smaller fashion businesses as well as a need to counteract the growing number of faceless chain stores on the high street.

After 8 years the demographic change in the area coupled with the insane rent increase in the area forced us out, but by that point we were becoming aware of the changes in retail through our growing partnership online with the fashion marketplace Far Fetch and as a result decided to take the business solely online expanding our own label by adding mens and kids wear lines. We also felt the need to update the aesthetic of the brand by bringing it much more into the sport luxe arena which is more relevant to our current customer. 

Labour of Love is very much an London based urban brand with a leaning towards the arts, music, general culture as is reflected on our regular blog entries and monthly playlist.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: The collections run on two levels, a more basic rolling line which includes the more simple trans seasonal pieces/favourite styles for example a very low ladies fine jersey harem trouser style which has been in production for a couple of years now and proving to be our best seller, these run alongside a more seasonal  limited edition run of print pieces made in collaboration with various designers/artists .The current print is a collaboration print with Finnish graphic artist Hanna Konola and next season will see a collaboration with Camille Walala.

The ideas is to create a modern day/no fuss wardrobe for creative urban types  which will see them easily through a day at work and then on to an evening event, the look is laid back and louche with particular attention paid to fabric/finish and production. By avoiding wholesale and selling directly we manage to keep the quality of the garment at designer standard while maintaining middle market prices.

We also have a roaming shop that we built ourselves, we call it our Deployable Shop and you can see pics of it on our website. They are basically giant flight cases/trunks with inbuilt shelves, we also have one with inbuilt speakers which doubles up as a desk.When they are all closed up we feel like roadies going on tour! So far we have only toured London but we have plans for a Labour of Love Europe tour with Berlin and Copenhagen as top stops on our list


I wore my new Girl Power T-shirt out last Friday night and i loved it - super cool slogan, perfectly cut, fun, great quality AND not only that 100% of the profit from the Girl Tees goes to Worldreader who are dedicated to bringing digital books to every child and her family, so that they can elevate them out of poverty.

My Girl Power T-shirt is from Tease & Totes - here is some more info on what they do and how they started:



BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Twins Danielle Newnham (me) and Natalie Bardega. My background – I was on the founding team of apps agency ubinow, recently bought by Havas WorkClub. I co-founded digital innovation studio We Make Play and am author of Mad Men of Mobile, and a forthcoming book about female innovators and entrepreneurs in tech. I also recently launched The Junto Network which includes a series of filmed interviews with inspirational tech founders and innovators. Prior to Tease and Totes, Natalie Bardega spent her career as a buying manager, in charge of a multi-million pound budget for high-street store Jane Norman.

WHY WAS IT CREATED: Having spent ten years in tech, I was acutely aware that women were almost invisible in the industry and, after spending a day at a tech conference where all the men were wearing their startup t-shirts, I realised one way to make the women stand out more was with slogan tops. I saw guys approaching others when they recognised the logo on their t-shirt – it was almost a conversation starter so I looked into what existed for females in tech and female founders and saw there was nothing. At the time, my sister was taking a well-earned career break but, as fashion is in our blood, we discussed it and decided it made sense to pair up and start the business.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: We are not trying to compete with the high street – far from it. Our uniqueness is in our mission – we started Tease and Totes for one reason and that is to spread the message of empowerment. As big believers in the empowerment of women and children, we see fashion as the best medium to spread that message far and wide. We do that via our slogan tops, via our weekly Wednesday Woman interviews with awesome, inspirational women, and our ongoing partnership with Worldreader ~ 100% proceeds from our Girl Power range goes to the non-profit which is on a mission to bring digital books to every child and her family, so that they can elevate them out of poverty.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: My personal favourites this winter are the Here’s to the Crazy Ones and Misfit Rebel Trouble Maker jumpers as both slogans are inspired by one of my favourite speeches (Steve Jobs) but the GIRL POWER adult and kids tees naturally has a special place in my heart because of its simple yet powerful message, and because all proceeds from each sale of these twinning tees goes to Worldreader which makes it an awesome Christmas gift.

I wore my T-shirt with my Topshop velvet suit - i felt a little bit like Austin Powers (it was awesome).