Inspirational Women: Alice McCall
Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Tell us about your role? What is it? What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
Being creative director of my label, I’m across everything that’s happening in the label. Normally I’m designing 2 collections at the same time, which also involves sourcing fabrics and deciding on the range of the collection. After that we have to do look book shoots, campaign shoots and sell the collection! At the moment we’re in the lead up to fashion week, so very busy! I’m in the midst of getting the collection ready, styling the show, collaborating on the set and music – lots to do!
When did you know this is was what you wanted to do as a career?
When I was about 6 I started designing and making clothes for my dolls, so my love for fashion came from there and evolved!
Alice McCall the label is now over 10 years old, congratulations! How has the brand evolved over the years?
Thank you – it’s still surreal knowing its 10 years! The brand has definitely grown up over the years and evolved into a more sophisticated woman. I’m lucky to have had a loyal customer base that has also grown with the label.
The fashion industry is infamous for being an extremely tough industry to crack. What were the initial stumbling blocks at the beginning of your career and starting your own business?
It is and it’s also very hard to stay in the industry as things are changing all the time. My time styling in London was a challenge as there were so many great people there, but I was lucky to work with some amazing talent and it went from there!
How did you overcome these?
It was mainly through trusting my instinct and knowing that I was onto the right thing. Making great relationships with people you could trust and never becoming complacent even when succeeding.
The fashion business is known for being fast paced and cutthroat. How do you deal with the constant pressure to continually create and impress?
I feel like every season I have something new to say, but it’s not always that easy! It helps a lot to have a great team with people you can rely on. It’s always important to take time to relax and centre yourself so you don’t feel the constant pressure.
As a designer, where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration for me comes from everywhere – music, art and different cities. My collection for MBFWA is very much inspired from music, rhythm and romance.
Who has had the most impact on you as a designer? Do/did you have a mentor?
I would say different eras like the ’60s and ’70s have had a lot of impact on me. And then great icons like Carine Roitfeld and Vanessa Paradis.
What are your goals for the future?
I just want to keep creating pieces that people love to wear. Would love to open more retail stores and grow presence in the US and China.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
It’s important to maintain an aesthetic true to you and trust your instinct.
To shop or find out more head to alice McCALL