Last year, Fashion Discovery was launched to find and nurture fashion’s most exciting emerging brands. Two winners were given a grant of £50,000 each, along with business support, plus an edit of their collections sold on ASOS.com. London-based HANGER wowed at every stage with its distinct British-Japanese influences, ‘Made in London’ sustainability and unique latex craftsmanship. We sat down with its designer Claire Yurika Davis…
Tell us about yourself
I grew up in London, but as I’m half Japanese, my aesthetic is very influenced by Japanese culture. It’s really over the top, while also being minimal – if that makes sense?! It’s extreme simplicity, in a way.
What made you want to start your own label?
Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a designer. I was constantly changing up my clothes and when I was about eight, my mum bought me a sewing machine from a car-boot sale. Making clothes has just always seemed like the natural thing to do.
Tell us about the inspiration behind this collection?
It follows on from my last one, which looked at Bosozoku biker girl gangs. It’s called Spring Demon because that’s the name I’ve given to my fictional gang. In my mind, it follows a story. They have a clash with another gang, so they need to put on their best battle garms.
Do you make these clothes with any particular in mind?
Girls who wear whatever they want, you know? Confident and assertive.
So, why latex?
It’s super-simple, but also really impactful. I was mesmerised by the way it moved. It’s so unusual and, also, I like a challenge! Initially, it was hard learning how to use it and I started out watching videos and tutorials on the internet.
What was your favourite part of the competition?
Winning! And celebrating, obviously. The party was fun. And being able to start planning and putting into action things that I’d wanted to do for a while.
Why do you think it’s important to shine a spotlight on emerging brands?
In London, it’s all about the emerging designer. But it can be financially and mentally difficult. So it’s important for there to be support because it’s genuinely a hard slog and people need to help and recognise young brands a lot more.
Any advice to the future generation of designers?
Budget. Always budget. Keep in mind what your goals are. Set goals and then measure yourself against them. Otherwise it’s really hard to look at your work objectively, especially when you’re the owner and designer. Sometimes you’re so deep in it that you can’t see it from a wider perspective.
Fashion Discovery 2017
Think you’ve got what it takes to win this year’s competition? We want to help you take your brand to the next level with prize money of £50,000, mentoring from our experts, plus your collection sold on ASOS for at least two seasons. Apply now for your chance to win big for your brand.