BRAND: LABOUR OF LOVE
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