My secret life: Petra Ecclestone, fashion designer, 19


The home I grew up in...was my big family home in Chelsea, with my sister Tamara, my parents and a rabbit, a guinea pig and a bulldog. It was a big house on a corner, with a lovely back garden.

When I was a child I wanted to be...a gymnast and a vet. When I was 12 or 13, I got into modelling and then wanted to be a fashion designer.

The moment that changed me for ever...I got meningitis when I was 13, which was a pretty traumatic ordeal. I've appreciated life much more since then. I was hospitalised for two weeks.

My greatest inspiration...is my parents. My mother because she is extremely honest and humble, and my father for his work ethic.

My real-life villain...is myself. I'm too much of a perfectionist, and my own worst enemy. I give myself a hard time about everything. I want my private and working life to be flawless.

If I could change one thing about myself...I'd stop worrying about everything I have to do the next morning. I keep a notebook and my laptop by my bed, in case I think of something during the night.

What I see when I look in the mirror...a lucky girl. I am privileged and I don't take that for granted at all.

My style icons...Steve McQueen for his laid-back look. He doesn't try too hard, but looks glamorous and rugged. I love Brigitte Bardot's big blonde hair and eye liner. She's sexy without trying.

I wish I'd never worn ... For my mum's birthday in Monaco, I wore a pink and black Gavin Douglas dress, and the zip broke. My friend had to go and get help to have it fixed. It was an ordeal.

It's not fashionable but I like... Ugg boots. They're not the most attractive thing, but they're just so comfy.

The shops I can't walk past... are generally in Soho and the meatpacking district in New York. It's always clothes shops and shoe shops. And handbags. I probably have 50 pairs of shoes. I rarely buy shoes from the high street, I like them to be top end.

My favourite work of art... I just bought a piece by the artist Dan Baldwin called 'Autumn Girl'. It's a graffiti-style cartoon with a girl on a spider web. It's hanging next to my pool table.

My favourite item of clothing... My mum gave me a purple Hermès Birkin bag, which I use every day.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at...Texas hold 'em poker.

You may not know it but I'm no good at...singing.

All my money goes on...my business and my dogs. I have two bulldogs, a boxer and a King Charles living in my apartment. I buy them treats and lots of different collars.

If I have time to myself...I curl up on the sofa and watch television with my boyfriend and dogs.

I drive...a white Range Rover Sport.

My house is...just finished. The designer went for quite dark, sensual colours: brown suede wallpaper in my bedroom and dressing room, and deep purples.

My most valuable possession is...my mother's engagement ring. It's beautiful – gold with a white diamond.

My favourite building...is my father's office. It's tall, with black glass and reminds me of the TV show 'Dallas'.

Movie heaven...'Seven'. I love the part at the end when Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt find the head.

A book that changed me...'The Lovely Bones' by Alice Sebold. I found the way she writes incredibly haunting. Normally I get bored of books after a few chapters, but I couldn't put down this one.

The last album I bought/downloaded...Was Duffy's album 'Rockferry'. I like a bit of indie and rock, but when I go out I like to listen to R'n'B.

In 10 years' time, I hope to be...as good a mother as my mum is, and as successful in business as my father.

The best invention ever...is the BlackBerry Bold.

My greatest regret...Regret is a pointless emotion.

My life in seven words...family, lucky, busy, stressful, fulfilled, just begun.

A life in brief

Born in December 1988, Petra Ecclestone is the daughter of the Formula One billionaire Bernie Ecclestone. After taking A Levels in Media, Art and Photography, she launched her menswear label, Form Clothing, in Harrods this month. She lives alone in Kensington. Visit form clothing.co.uk to see her collection

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