Style & ShowbizFashion

Preen designers inspired by 'cool, arty' women

Preen designers inspired by 'cool, arty' women

Preen's Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi want their designs to appeal to successful women who are looking to add a touch of edge to their ensembles.

The pair founded their brand in 1996 and have since built up a reputation for offering women a sophisticated take on everyday cool, with collections featuring floral dresses with ruffles, monochrome suits and embellished mini dresses.

But the duo, who aren't only business partners but partners in life too, explain that they have had to evolve alongside their clientele, who now include the likes of actresses Kristen Stewart and Scarlett Johansson as well as U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.

"When we launched our label was a lot darker, more raw, and it reflected what we were doing at the time: partying," Bregazzi told Britain's Elle magazine.

But as Thornton and Bregazzi are now parents to daughters Fauve, seven, and Blythe, four, they admit their clubbing days are over and the designs reflect this accordingly.

"(The Preen woman) is still rock'n'roll, but at the same time she's in the boardroom. We're lucky to know so many people who are successful but still grounded in that cool, arty attitude," said Bregazzi.

She also notes that there have been many changes in the fashion industry since the pair first showed at London Fashion Week in 2001 and they've had to adapt their campaigns for the digital age. However, while they have embraced social media as a tool for marketing the couple are ultimately focused on designing effortlessly chic clothing.

The duo now designs six womenswear collections a year and have their clothes sold in over 25 countries globally. As well as branching out into eyewear and children's clothing, Preen has launched a capsule collection in collaboration with fashion retailer Net-a-Porter as means of marking the label's 20th anniversary. The line, which went on sale this month (May16), features a number of classic silhouettes in hammered silk or georgette as well as romantic peony or colour pop prints.

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