Wednesday 2 December 2015

THE INTERVIEW: Designer Jessica Biltoft

Her HIGH-VOLTAGE t-shirt and jumper dresses are a FIRM favourite on my weekly wish lists, so it was a total NO-BRAINER to track down Jessica ofJESSICA BILTOFT for my first SCHEDULED interview. The woman behind the brand is as 'sharp, sexy and unmissable' as her described clothing....

Jessica Biltoft - where did it all begin? Did you always know that you wanted to design your own brand? 
'No definitely not, growing up in the Yorkshire Dales I wanted to be a farmer from the age of 4! But as my Gran used to say I 'blossomed' at 17 and with that I realised how much fun it was to express who I was through fashion and style. It became my hobby, sometimes creating different characters for myself with a simple change of clothes.' 

You describe the brand as 'sharp, sexy and unmissable', which I love. What is it about your pieces that tailors them to this description?
'Sharp; because of the simple cuts, the no nonsense bold fonts and that I only used black and white. Sexy; because the slogans are provocative, they fit like you're wearing your mans t-shirt (that was my inspiration) andI like to wear them showing a bit of leg! Finally unmissable; who wouldn't notice 'Euro Trash' walking down the street?!' 

For AW15, what trends and styles are on your radar? What are you loving? What are your most recent inspirations?
'You can never go wrong with a classic Burberry trench coat and thigh boots in the autumn and winter months, I bought these Cassadei PVC thigh boots from Harrods at the weekend. I felt very Pretty Woman-esquire! I also have my eye on a very decadent Louis Vuitton necklace, it's black mink twisted with a gold chain with a velvet tie fastening. I'm not really a person to follow trends and styles too much, I like to stick with anything that's ostentatious, sleek and empowering. I describe my style as a high class Russian escort!!'

What brands are you loving right now?
'I discovered a brand recently called Self Portrait, they have a couple of pieces I loved and instantly bought. The prices are not intimidating but you will be when wearing them!...very sexy! Giuseppe Zanotti is my all time favourite shoe designer, he has everything covered. His designs are very sexy, very relevant and very Italian. I personally cannot fault them.'

If you had to collaborate with a high street brand, which one would it be and why?
'Probably Brandy Melville, their clothes are sexy, skimpy and go to place for fast fashion.'

If you had to collaborate with a designer brand, which one would it be and why? 
'Either Tom Ford or Balmain. Tom Ford because he was so brilliantly outrageous when he created the risqué adverts for Gucci and also he describes himself as 'his own muse' and participates in his own adverts...he's a man after my own heart! I think we would understand each other creatively his brand is simple, sharp, sexual and black, you can never go wrong with that. Balmain because I think Olivier Rousteing has very sexy, innovative ideas. His pieces have such clever detailing. He knows how to dress a woman and to accomplish all he has at 29 is incredible.'

If you had to choose a FACE for your brand - who would it be? 
'Myself would be my first choice but if it had to be anyone else I would choose Khloe Kardashian, she has the curves and a hip hop edge, I think she would suit my dresses well.' 

Where would you like to see your brand in 5 years? 
'I'd love to be a firm favourite in all the luxury department stores, here and abroad and be as well known as Wildfox and Zoe Karssen. Being alongside Khloe in an advert would be up there, especially if it looked anything like her Complex cover!'

For all of the budding designers out there, what three pieces of advice would you give them?
'A wise lady once said to me 'pray but move your feet' meaning you can have all the desire in the world to achieve your dreams but you must always be taking little steps until you eventually arrive at your destination. praying and wishing alone will not give you your dreams. Secondly my mum would always say to me if you want to do something 'just do it'. I always used to think that there was more, a secret I was missing - in the end it turns out she was right. Finially PR, you can have the most amazing designs or business but until people know about your product you're not going anywhere.' 

Final Question: Your wardrobe is burning down, you have 10 seconds to decide which three pieces to save...what do you grab? 
'Ok I don't even need to think about this - my Self Portrait topaz plunging ribbed-knit dress, I've been doing intense squatting at the gym and it makes your bum look great! My second item would be my pair of Giuseppe Zanotti black mink ankle-cuff sandals and lastly my Marlies Dekkers cut-out black bra, the cups are only criss-crossed elastic, I've seen nothing like it and I'd wish I'd designed it.'


       All images and quotes are sourced from Jessica Biltoft/ Richleigh & Co PR

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