Designer Caren Downie launches Finery, her new online brand

A new womenswear venture shows two high street  heavyweights refining their vision, says Rebecca Gonsalves

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Caren Downie is one of the most influential women in British fashion – but you’ve possibly never heard of her; her previous roles were as fashion director of and buying director of Topshop. Now she’s bringing her expertise to a smaller-scale project: new online brand Finery.

Downie’s vision for Finery is to combine a point of design difference with accessible pricing, an endeavour in which she has the help of Emma Farrow, a former colleague at Topshop who had worked her way up to head of design during her 14-year tenure with the high street behemoth.


The debut collection covers luxe-looking mannish workwear to more feminine dresses and evening attire. While trends are nodded to and winked at, Downie and Farrow aren’t interested in attempting to replicate that which Topshop and its ilk do so well. Instead this is a brand for the shopper who has perhaps outgrown the mass appeal of the high street stylistically but not of how purse-friendly such purchases are.

“We’re designing for the girl who knows her own style and doesn’t take herself too seriously,” says Farrow. “This is a brand with it’s own point of view. We’re not trying to be everything to everyone.”

But that’s not to say that choice is limited: the 150 styles that make up the spring/summer collection are staggered, so that something new will be found on the site each month, the majority of which will be priced between £40 and £80, with investment pieces tipping towards £250.

It seems that Downie and Farrow couldn’t resist the lure of the high street entirely, as a three-week pop-up “Fitting Room” will open in Covent Garden, London, on Thursday. launches on 5 February