September 1, 2015

It’s all about finding that staple bag to carry you through multiple outfits, multiple events, and multiple seasons. That’s why we love Danielle Foster’s AW15 collection, boasting a minimal aesthetic that you can’t go wrong with. The clean lines and structured shapes, combined with the croc embossed black leather makes for an elegant and timeless look. We headed over to Danielle’s studio space in Hackney to find out more…

UO: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m originally from Leicestershire and I moved to London when I was 18 to study an art foundation at London College of Fashion. From there, I went on to do a FDA FDT in accessory design and technology at LCF. After graduating, I collaborated with Charlie Li Mindu designing and making five bags which were shown at LFW. During the same time I was scouted by Elite model management, and took a year out to model full time. I then launched my first collection in January 2012.

UO: How did you get into design?

I was always creative from a young age and I remember constantly sketching on car journeys with my family. It wasn’t until my A-levels that I developed an interest in fashion, before then it was more interior. I guess it just spiralled from there.

Is design something you always wanted to do, or did you fall into it?

No it’s not something I always wanted to do, but I wouldn’t say I fell into it either. It gradually developed from playing around with fabrics which then led to an interest in fashion. It was part of growing up and experimenting.

UO: Can you tell us about the design process?

From the initial seed of an idea to the finished product? First of all it’s research and sketching. I normally look back at the previous collection and decide which pieces were strong and those that were being carried over. After this, it’s designing new developments on the existing designs and also selecting which need replacing and designing new styles. From here I research leathers and colours. I normally visit a leather trade show to get inspiration for this. Once all of this has been gathered I would then start sampling design details to see what ideas work. After the detailed ideas have been figured out, I would then sample the entire bag. It can take between one and four samples until I’ve got the design correct before sampling in the final leather.

UO: Where do you seek inspiration?

Everyday objects inspire me, that’s why I like to walk a lot. I’m constantly looking at what people are wearing and thinking why they might be wearing that. I’m always observing my surroundings for inspiration. I don’t really like to force inspiration, so I’m collecting ideas day to day.

UO: What was the biggest challenge pulling together this collection?

Ensuring that I built upon the previous collection.

UO: Which is your favourite piece from the collection?

I do love the Charlie X-body, it looks really clean and fits in with all your essentials. I also love the all croc textured leather in this collection.

UO: How would you describe your personal style and how does this influence your designs?

I would say my style is very relaxed, sometimes boyish. My colour palette is very monotone, which I think is reflected in my designs. But the Danielle Foster bag is designed to be a timeless piece which goes with every outfit.

UO: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Seeing people wear your product and hearing that they love what you have created, is definitely the best feeling. Stocking with Urban Outfitters is also a highlight.

UO: If you feel creatively blocked, do you have any rituals to get the creative juices flowing again?

I leave the city and go back to my family home in Leicestershire. I sometimes feel that London can get too much and you need to just rest your mind. This pretty much always does the trick.