Top image: Phoebe English MAN FW17 / Photography by Takanori Okuwaki / Fashion by Naz & Kusi (Tzarkusi)
London designer Phoebe English has announced that she be showing her menswear and womenswear collections together under the label ‘Phoebe English’ during London Fashion Week Men’s, starting with next month’s SS19 offering.
Having initially founded her brand as a womenswear label in 2011, English expanded into menswear in 2016. Citing the closeness of the fashion weeks as a large factor in her decision to combine the two lines, the designer says: “We’ve decided to merge the two lines to allow for a longer period of design development time between collections. While both lines enjoy quite different aesthetic personalities, the closeness of some of the fashion weeks means there are some points in the year which are a stretch – timing wise and creatively. We are hoping that by making this move it will allow better development time for fabric sourcing, fittings, liaising with factories, research and recovery between creative outputs.
Both lines will continue in the strains that they currently have, but they will be shown and sold at the same time. Our menswear has been popular with female customers from it’s outset and we also sell our womenswear to men – people buy what they want to buy now it doesn’t matter whether it is menswear or womenswear. This allows the whole breadth of our products to be seen together as a unified concept. We are hoping to do more by showing less.”
While highlighting the struggle young designers face in keeping up with the industry’s ever-increasing speed, English’s decision is indicative of a larger shift in the fashion industry: in recent years we’ve seen the likes of Burberry, Gucci, Tom Ford and Calvin Klein all merge their men’s and women’s collections into one co-ed show.
Phoebe English will show as part of London Fashion Week Men’s on Sunday 10th June.