In honour of HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and to celebrate all things GREAT about the British Fashion Industry, Oxford Street is flying 147 fashion flags throughout May for our Brit Cool shoppers to enjoy!
As the first street in the UK to raise a spectacular Union Flag display, we’re kicking off Jubilee-Mania in style by paying homage to the unsung heroes that put the GREAT into Great British Craft and Design - Find out more about the Faces in the Flags below.
Be sure to indulge in a good dose of British pride this Diamond Jubilee and come down to enjoy our patriotic celebrations here on Oxford Street…!
The faces of the flags
1. Mati Ventrillon, Knitter, Fair Isle Knitwear
Having fallen in love with Fair Isle knitting, Mati is now one of the last commercial knitter on Fair Isle, producing the famous multi-patterned garments from her home. These iconic designs, which were first produced in Fair Isle in the mid-19th century, have famously influenced top designers such as Alexander McQueen as well as high street brands John Lewis, Topshop and French Connection.
2. Kevin Bellham, Pattern Room Manager, Topshop
Kevin has worked for many top brands and designers, including the award-winning Hussein Chalayan, before going on to work for Topshop as Pattern Room Manager; an opportunity that has enabled Kevin to further develop his expertise in creative pattern-cutting and, of course, is good news for fashion-hungry shoppers.
3. Geraldine O’Brien, Head of Design Development, Topshop
Drawing on 21 years of experience working for the Arcadia Group, Geraldine works with a team of pattern-cutters and sample-machinists each day. Her job is to create the new season’s shapes and silhouettes for the many Topshop and collaborative designers, including Kate Moss and Christopher Kane.
4. Kay Christophe, Head Machinist, Temperley London
Kay has worked for Temperley London since its very beginnings in 2001 and works on the designer’s special collections for London Fashion Week. Kay is Alice Temperley’ first port of call for expert guidance when any of her creations need particular attention.
5. Jean Seddon, Production Room Supervisor, Cooper & Stollbrand
Ever the hard-grafter, Jean began her working life at the tender age of 14 in a Salford textile mill, before joining Cooper & Stollbrand in 1999 where she still proudly works, aged 75. Jean has helped produce outerwear for British fashion industry heavy-weights Aquascutum, Cath Kidson, Paul Smith, Gieves & Hawkes, John Lewis and Topshop.
6. Donald John MacKay MBE, Weaver of Harris Tweed
From his tiny corrugated tin shed in the Outer Hebrides, Donald John weaves the most magnificent Harris Tweed cloth by hand and has done so for 45 years. During his career, his designs have been used by Nike, Clarks, Savile Row Tailors and many of the world’s fashion houses.
British Fashion on Oxford Street – The Facts
- 49,000 skilled manufacturers
The number of individuals behind the scenes who make the British fashion industry so unique; from the Outer Hebrides-based Harris Tweed weavers to renowned Midlands outerwear seamstresses at Cooper & Stollbrand; our fashion flags celebrate these individuals!
- 200 British designers
The number of Great British brands available on Oxford Street. Including Alexander McQueen, Aquascutum, Mulberry, Stella McCartney, Alice by Temperley, Jenny Packham, Betty Jackson, Joe Casley-Hayford, BIBA, Amanda Wakeley, Anya Hindmarch, Erdem, Gareth Pugh, Lulu Guinness, House of Holland, Burberry, Rupert Sanderson and Barbour.
- 70 fashion flagships
More high street brands than its global rivals including Selfridges, H&M, Gap, River Island, Topshop, John Lewis, Miss Selfridge, Next, American Apparell and Urban Outfitters
- 50,000 fashion experts
Oxford Street boasts 1.5 miles of fashion expertise from the personal shoppers, style consultants and stylists from Selfridges to the fashion advisors at Topshop
- 100 million style hunters
From fashion Royalty Kate Moss to UK’s most renowned Royal style icon the Duchess of Cambridge, over 100 million shoppers from 200 countries per year flock to Oxford Street for their fashion-finds every year!