Wow! Can I just say thank you so much for everyone that joined in last week. It really made me smile.
In this week’s Celebrating Style, it’s not about me, but another lady you may already know of. If not then please take a look at her site after reading. Let me introduce you to Jacynth Bassett of Bias-Cut.com
I discovered Jacynth through Instagram. Admiring the clothing that’s available on her site. It was the unusual printed shirts that caught my eye!
Then I discovered that Jacynth really flys the flag for us more mature women in the fashion industry.
When the Facebook page Ageism Is Never In Style was launched, I was one of the first to join. This is now a fantastic group, discussing all sorts of topics.
Further down the line Jacynth kindly shared some of my photos with a question and answers post on her website. I am now going to share the answers that Jacynth gave me when I fired some back. If you would like to see my interview with my answers you can find it Here – Storys Of Style
An introduction to Jacynth…
I was studying law at Cambridge, having always thought I wanted to be a lawyer. But I realised I wasn’t passionate about it, and I wanted to do something that I cared about. I realised I had an interest in business after being president of the Cambridge law society, and when it came to what industry I’d start my own business in, it was obvious that it would be fashion. I’ve always held a long-term interest in the fashion industry and taught myself about it from a young age. I was that girl covering my books in cut-outs from magazines, and my walls at uni were covered in fashion photography.
But it did take some time to get my head round to seeing myself as an entrepreneur and working in the fashion industry. Despite my love for fashion, I’d pigeonholed myself as “the academic” and the fashion industry was other-worldly. Throughout my studies, fashion was escapism for me, and certainly never thought I could or would go into the industry. But now I look back it all makes sense. I remembered the other day that I actually did my IT GCSE coursework on starting up a fashion boutique so clearly, there was a part of me that knew where I belonged after all!
1) Why did you aim your brand at the more mature woman?
I was inspired by my mum. When I first concluded that I wanted to start my own fashion business, I thought about what angle it would have. I knew that there’s plenty out there for younger women, but not much for more mature women. My mum and I would go shopping together since I was a teenager, and by the end of the day, she’d often feel dejected
I realised there was a real issue, so as soon as I left uni I started researching it more and discovered so many 50+ women felt invisible or irrelevant in the eyes of the fashion industry. The wanted to wear quality modern styles, but equally not to have to pay ridiculous high-end prices or opt for looks that their daughters would wear. So I resolved to start an on-line and pop-up boutique that curates collections by some of today’s most talented contemporary labels, with a primary focus on celebrating the mature woman.
Because every woman can_ and deserves to- look stylish.
Because every woman can and deserves to look stylish
2) How do you get yourself heard in terms of social media? Where can women find your brand? And which channel has been best for you to use?
Jacynth – The Bias-Cut.com is on Twitter (@the-bias-cutcom) Youtube and Polyvore. So women can easily find us on these platforms. We use the hashtag #NoWomanIsInvisable to get the word out. I also write weekly blog post’s, have done numerous interviews (including a podcast in Australia) and we have a forum called Ageism Is Never In Style on Facebook, where women (and men!) can come together, share their thoughts and favourite post’s and let their voices be heard.
I’ve found each platform useful for different things. Twitter has been great for making connections, whilst I use Instagram to discover wonderful bloggers like yourself. And Facebook has been a great channel for getting the word out about the-Bias-Cut.com
3) Do you think us women are starting to get heard more now regarding fashion design requirements?
Yes and no. The voice of mature women is being heard a lot more in the media and it is certainly making some smart designers sit up and take notice of them. But there are still many who don’t want to be associated with that market, which is so disappointing and insulting. I speak to some designers who still think style and sophistication only derive from youth, and I refuse to work with those that think that way. Even recently I’ve known of designers turning down famous actresses from wearing their outfits because of their age, which is just appalling.
I think part of the issue stems from the fact that many designers don’t actually understand what the customer wants and the female form. When they’re at fashion school, certainly in the UK they’re encouraged to explore their “vision” rather than understand how to actually design clothes that can be lived in. So they don’t appreciate the different markets and types of customers out there. However, All walks beyond the catwalk is a great charitable organisation that now works with fashion schools to encourage students to really embrace all kinds of diversity, so there is hope!
4) You have some very interesting brand names and the designs that you stock are gorgeous. What inspires you to pick these brands and how do you source them?
Every brand and piece that we sell at the-Bias-Cut.com must tick 3 boxes: contemporary style, beautiful quality, and a flattering cut. If the designer or piece compromises on one of these elements, then we won’t sell it. And it also has to be interesting – it must not be easily found elsewhere. Style is about expressing your personality, so you don’t want to be walking around and seeing 4 people wearing the same sort of thing in a space of an hour! If something has a strong, unique identity – from design to fabric choice – then that really catches my attention.
Given the exceptional quality of the pieces, our prices aren’t ‘high-street’. But I always make sure the prices are accessible and fairly reflect the craftsmanship that has gone into the piece. Plus everything has to be versatile; they’re investment pieces that can be loved and last for years. So every season we add pieces that work with items from our previous collections, so that our customers can slowly build up their wardrobe. We won’t sell anything that can only be worn for just one or two specific occasions, or fall apart after a few wears!
The other thing I always take into consideration is that every woman is different. So areas one woman may want to cover, another would want to expose. So I make sure the labels I pick offer decent variety.
Of course, this means we have set a pretty high threshold to cross. I take a very long time finding designers and selecting the right pieces. I like to keep an open mind, so I might find them at trade shows, through word of mouth, on social media, or being approached. But it’s worth it to find that special gem for the customers – it’s been amazing hearing from them how many compliments they’ve received and how great they’ve felt in pieces they’ve bought from us.
1 Describe your style. New trends versus Classic style?
Contemporary (but non-trend driven) with a dash of quirkiness. I’m a bit of a style chameleon – one day I’ll go ultra feminine and another day will be edgy. Every look is true to me but just reflecting my mood and a different side of my personality.
5) You host great parties and events. Why do you prefer this instead of just setting up shop somewhere?
At its heart, the-Bias-Cut.com is embracing diversity and being inclusive. So I feel if I stayed in one place, I would be limiting access to our collections. Hosting events around the UK (and hopefully one day beyond) allows me to meet many more women and listen to what they’re looking for. Plus I know some women prefer to shop in person, rather than online, so it’s a great opportunity for them to feel and try on the pieces in person.
And I love throwing the events as parties because ultimately the-bias-cut.com is a celebration of women! They offer a relaxed, fun atmosphere for women to meet fellow style-lovers, share ideas and inspiration and feel comfortable in a supportive shopping environment.
6) What are your favourite colours for this Autumn?
Out of Pantone’s Fall ’16 colours, my top picks have to be Warm Taupe, Lush Meadow and Potter’s Clay. They’re elegant and classy, but still modern. But personally my favourite colours this autumn are burgundy and fir green. To be honest I love all autumn style generally – it’s my favourite time of year!
7) Will you ever be holding a fashion show? I love shows and I want to attend!
It’s certainly something I want to do, but I’d like to build up the collection even more first to show off as many styles and shapes as possible!
I would love to view one of Jacynth’s fashion shows! I hope you can find time to look at the website and join the Facebook group.
Let’s get on with the link up.I look forward to seeing your styles ladies!
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it would be great if we can build a little or a huge! community here. I’m going to start using #celebratingstylelinkup to my twitter and Instagram. I’d love it if you could support this after you have linked up. Plus of course I will be sharing the blogger love back xx