Heti trained as a textile designer and colourist before becoming the shining star of the luxury silk scarf industry with Heti’s Colours. Her sumptuous designs recently flew off the shelves of Liberty as fast as they were put on. We caught up with Heti to talk scarves, specs and slow fashion.
You set up ‘Heti’s Colours’ so you could enjoy all aspects of textile design while focusing your attention on just one product. Which part of the design process do you love most?
I love putting a design together. I’m like a magpie when researching, taking inspiration from all over the place. On a recent trip to South Africa, I found this bookshop selling 15th century books about patauas (South African plants), which my next collection is based on. My work tends to juxtapose different elements in one design so I’ll layer these patauas against a very different source of inspiration. It’s this process of collaging which I really enjoy.
You’ve worked with some big names - Marc Jacobs and Donna Karen to name a few. What did this entail?
I used to travel to New York and sell luxury designers colour palettes that I’d mixed up to use as inspiration for their next collection. I’m really not a natural salesperson so this set-up was perfect as I could just let the colours talk for me. Surprisingly, I had a lot more success with this in New York than I did in London. In my experience, Americans were more open to opportunities; if I showed up at their door, they’d meet with me, whereas in the UK, the process was a lot more formal and I’d have to book in a meeting several weeks in advance. I did however work with Topshop for a few seasons, which was great fun. I hand-dyed colour stories for their knitwear and coat collections.
Going against the grain of ‘fast fashion’, what’s your favourite thing that you’ve ever saved up for? ?
I’m a bit of a fetishist for Dries Van Noten shoes! My favourite pair are kitten heels in the most delicious blue. They have a beautiful strap which curves around your ankle and loops over it. I’ve had them for over ten years and they’re just as stylish now as the day I bought them. They were definitely well worth the investment.
This must involve a lot of eye-straining work! How have your ByOculars helped streamline your day-to-day?
Yes, it really does! I’m constantly researching online and in books, so much so that I’ve spent my whole life looking over glasses frames or tediously taking them off. Now, it’s perfect! It’s also really revolutionised having meetings with people where I’m chatting to them at the same time as looking at the information they’ve given me.
ByOculars take four to six weeks to arrive as they are all handmade in Britain. With the rise of ‘see now, buy now’, are people becoming too impatient and forgetting the importance of quality?
Absolutely! I really hope throwaway fashion has had its day. It’s so bad for the environment! Surely the whole idea of having something, loving it and nurturing it will prevail. Of course it costs more to buy something that’s well-made but it’s an investment that won’t need replacing, or at least not for a lot longer. I actually think phones are to blame for making us think that we can have instant access to all. Quality takes time to produce. Using my design process as an example, researching, creating colour palettes, producing the final design and manufacturing all take time. These stages mustn’t be rushed if you want a quality product.
‘it’s nice to wear something different without having to shout'’
Definitely a Catseye - I love how quirky and feminine they are! I don’t wear hugely expressive clothes so it’s nice to wear something different without having to shout.
For any enquiries please contact:
Caren, Shaun or Nigel
For PR enquiries please contact:
Todd Watkins. Preditor PR