A fashion designer from West Wales who was inspired to launch her own sustainable clothing label after buying six rare breed sheep has seen her tweed designs take centre stage on one of the UK’s biggest TV shows.
Clare John from Pembroke was asked by the production team of Made in Chelsea to design a series of exclusive tweed lines for the cast to wear when they went clay pigeon shooting in an episode screened recently.
With her team the 34-year-old spent two weeks working up to eighteen hours a day to complete the 40 garments, which included hooded tweed coasts, flat caps, waistcoats and trousers for the BAFTA winning E4 show.
“It was incredible,”
said Clare, who has a BA Hons fashion degree from the University of Wales.
“The production team got in touch with me after learning about my designs through one of my friends and I got to spend the weekend with the cast filming at this very grand and stately manor house in the South of England. They were lovely and looked fantastic in the clothes. We used a total of 40 metres of tweed to make the garments. It was a lot of hard work, but worth it.”
New Made in Chelsea cast member Freddie Browne was an instant fan of Clare’s designs tweeting pictures of himself wearing the stylish tweed lines after the shoot.
Clare launched her fashion brand three years ago after she became what she describes as ‘accidental farmers’ with her husband at their smallholding in Pembroke. Each of her designs is completely hand cut in Wales and traditionally milled at one of the country’s last working mills, Curlew Mill near Cardigan.
“We always had a passion for animals so just decided one day to buy six rare breed Ryeland sheep. That was seven-years-ago and we’ve now got 40. I wanted to do something sustainable with the sheep wool so decided to launch my own business after speaking to a local weaver,”
Since then Clare has gone on to enjoy huge success. In 2017 she displayed at London Fashion Week and this year joined the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme in Cardiff where is hoping to take her fashion brand to even greater heights.
Siwan Rees, NatWest Entrepreneur Development Manager, said:
“We’re delighted Clare’s fashion lines have appeared on such a popular TV show. It’s a great opportunity for her and one that will create a lot of interest and exposure, which can really help her business grow. We’ve supported a number of fashion brands on the accelerator programme, which underlines the diversity of exciting businesses that have benefited from being part of it.”
Clare’s latest tweed collection is now on sale. Visit clarejohnslabel.com.