REAL WORK: THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS: ELSPETH GIBSON
Sunday 13 June 1999
I've always loved fashion. My mum says that from the age of three or four I used to change outfits at least four times a day.
For my eighth birthday my grandmother gave me an old hand-powered sewing machine. I had hoped for a pony, but I think my granny knew me better than I did. At that stage I was already drawing silhouettes and designing dresses.
At 16 I did a foundation course in art and design, followed by two years of fashion design. My first placement was at Zandra Rhodes and then I designed for Monix. That was excellent experience as it taught me the commercial side to the business.
To be successful as a designer you have to keep your feet on the ground and ask yourself the right questions: whose going to wear it, is the fabric right? I like to design things that are innovative but wearable. I get my ideas from everyday living and I am passionate about designing. Even when I'm on holiday I can't switch off.
Designing is about having taste, but you have to balance that with the business side. Being creative is easy. It's harder to start up a business which doesn't fold. My own label started up in my home in north London. We were there for three years; looking back I could never do that again. It's great now that we have got our own premises - it feels like a proper company.
My husband runs the financial side of the business and loves it as much as I do. He's definitely one of the keys to my success. He gives me support and encouragement, but he's also quite tough on me - he always makes me go the extra mile.
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Life & Style blogs
America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
GTA 5: Rockstar bans gamers stealing in-game money worth millions
There's a snake in my hat! Snakes in tiny headgear becomes latest pet trend
Microsoft announces first exclusive Xbox One content: a documentary on the worst video game ever
Potential revolution in cancer treatment voted breakthrough of the year by scientists
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 4 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- 5 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
£35000 - £44000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...
£Negotiable: Citifocus: High calibre individual with institutional client serv...
£380 - £410 per day: PCR Recruitment Limited: Agile Business Analyst with expe...
£70000 - £80000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Solutions Architec...