By Jill Brooke
Known for his bold, lively designs and love of florals, Richard Quinn sparked headlines around the world when none other than Queen Elizabeth II went to his fashion show last year.
The date: February 20, 2018. It was for his autumn/winter show at London Fashion Week and marked the first time that the Queen had ever attended a commercial runway show. Quinn, a British designer, was also the first person to receive Her Majesty’s British Design Award.
Although Queen Elizabeth wears colorful florals, she mainly wears them on her pastel hats.
But Quinn represents the future – especially for his futuristic, happy designs. Even with hefty prices – several thousand dollars for a dress – he routinely sells out. (His blouses and other items, like tights covered with daisies, are a little less).
It seems that Quinn was destined for stardom; his career benchmarks have fallen into place like dominoes. At a student, he was awarded the Stella McCartney Scholarship at Central Saint Martins, where he was awarded a masters of fashion degree. Following graduation, he won the H&M Design Award, including a 50,000 pound cash prize. With the prize money, he designed pieces that were sold at H&M stores.
These were pieces that didn’t have the current price tags – but also didn’t have the current superior fabrics.
In April 2017 he was named as the British Fashion Council’s NewGen one-to-watch and awarded exhibition space in the London Fashion Week Designer Showrooms, which led to him being awarded full NewGen sponsorship for the following season.
That allowed him his 2018 show at London Fashion Week.
Not bad for someone who had his first collection in 2016. As he told Dazed, London’s trend-spotting magazine, “People like to invest in a unique limited run of pieces that have quality.”
The story said he favors “’60s upholstery feeling but completed taken out of context,” and is drawn to the “textiles from this era: the colors and florals are perfect.” Known for textiles that he often hand paints as well as creates, he says he tries to have strong textiles that contrast but are not completely random.
“There had to be some order to the madness,” he added.
More recently, he sparked headlines when Amal Clooney, the human rights lawyer and wife of actor George Clooney, chose to wear a Quinn design instead of one by Tom Ford at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s gala overseen by Vogue’s Anna Wintour. Clooney’s choice brought him attention from the international fashion world.
Luckily, he has recently partnered with Debenhams for a collection that will be in the hundreds vs. thousands.