Charlotte Taylor was born in Lancashire but began her life as a designer at Britain’s most prestigious design school, Central Saint Martin’s. Upon graduation she started work at Luella but subsequently left a year later in 2009 to start up her own label. Since then Charlotte has produced four collections under her own name and already has plans for a fifth.

All the business is run from her studio, situated in White City, London, which she shares with her brother Ben. When the Semple team went to visit Charlotte at her studio, it was a hive of creativity with everyone preparing for next season. Photos of her current collection lined the walls and fabric samples covered nearly every surface. The only surface left untouched was the desk of her brother Ben, who provides the business acumen needed to maintain the success of the label.

A normal day in the life of Charlotte just doesn’t exist. Everyday is different with a flurry of activity whirling through the studio. One day will be spent designing fabrics whilst the next may be spent putting together a range of toiles for the next collection. Sometimes the work load gets too much and the business shifts from the studio to Charlotte’s own home which provides a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The decision to break away and brave the world of fashion design alone came very suddenly and the process took just over a week. Still young and bursting with the necessary energy and enthusiasm that is essential for working in the industry, Charlotte gathered up her things and broke away from Luella forever.

Since starting her own label, Charlotte has experienced many challenges but the biggest challenge that she faced was dealing with cash flow. Without money, nothing can happen and being a designer you have to part with money weeks in advance before you can see any form of return. Surviving in the this cut throat climate is tough and Charlotte’s advice to anyone trying to start their own business, whatever it may be, is ‘decide what it is you are offering and focus on that. Don’t try and offer too much, define your style and develop on that.’

Charlotte’s treasured garment was the trigger in realising the future for the Charlotte Taylor label. Named after her best friend, the ‘Katie’ dress marked a pivotal point in her career as it was the first garment she decided to make from one of her print designs. From then onwards, she has never looked back and it is her fun and playful prints which make the brand truly iconic. Charlotte’s life changing experience has linked her to the Maggie Semple brand as she believes and has proved that ‘clothing can be life changing and for that it should be celebrated. Maggie Semple creates a network where women feel they can share their connections to clothes, it is a fantastic company for women.’

Charlotte Taylor is like no other designer in the world. Her unique prints and elegant designs have already caught the attention of the fashion industry allowing her to win the ‘One to Watch’ award in the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Awards last year. She has extravagant plans for future collections and has been featured in a variety of magazines over the recent months.

She is definitely one to watch.

Grace Molan


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