VISIT LOUISE KÖRNER’S KICKSTARTER PAGE UNTIL 28TH OCTOBER
Originally from Sweden but resident in London for the last nine years after some time living in Belgium, Louise Körner runs a contemporary womenswear brand with a unique look that’s based on striking statement prints, often of subjects not usually connected with the fashion industry. Her clothes are designed to flatter the natural feminine shape and she aims to produce garments that are reasonably priced.
Louise has a Diploma of Excellence in Foundation from Central Saint Martins and she also graduated as an honour student from the Instituto Marangoni, London. Before setting up on her own, Louise worked for a variety of distinguished names including the English National Ballet, Puma Black Label by Hussein Chalayan and Nordic design outfit MUUSE.
Once she’d started her own business, Louise launched her first collection for autumn and winter 2014. That won the prestigious Premium Young Designers Award and was displayed in the shop window of the exclusive Galeries Lafayette in Berlin. Other well-received collections for spring and summer 2015 and autumn and winter 2015/16 have since followed.
“I’d enjoyed working with companies like Muuse,” says Louise, “but ultimately I was very glad to become independent which obviously means I have complete control over design and production. For example, I specifically chose to produce in the UK using ethical and responsible makers so that I have full control over the process and the production run. That means I can be sure that the garments are made to the highest standards and are of top quality.
“I first came across the Portobello Business Centre through a recommendation from a designer I was working with, and I decided to sign up for the four-day Fashion Masterclass course. Obviously, I already had good qualifications and experience as a designer, but one thing they really don’t teach you at university is the business of fashion. My training had been excellent at developing my skills and abilities as a designer, but I had little knowledge about the nuts and bolts of actually running a fashion business.
“David Jones was the tutor on the course and his wide knowledge of the fashion business and his many years of experience means that he really knows all the day-to-day details of running your own business. He offers lots of concrete information on the course such as what company structure to choose, whether to set up as a limited company, the sort of administration you need to do and all kinds of practical issues like that. The course was very down-to-earth with lots of information about the actual production process and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of going into fashion.
“For the future, I’m hoping to expand my sales with two collections each year, and in the short term I’m trying the crowd funding route through Kickstarter for my next collection. Obviously, it’s potentially a good way to raise finance, but it’s also a great way to make contact with potential clients, to do market testing and to create excitement around your brand.
“The Business Centre has really helped me to get my business off the ground and I have to say that the Fashion Masterclass was incredibly inspiring and motivating.”