The fashion industry is in a state of flux and with consumers heightened awareness to how and who made their clothes, we’re seeing an exciting array of new brands that are emerging with niche product offerings, Smockworks is one such brand. Created by Louise Stocks-Young in the North West of England, Louise used her skills from a background in fashion promotion and communication to launch her passion project. Here, she tells us more…
What was the inspiration behind Smockworks?
The seed was sown for Smockworks two years ago out of a very personal love of smock dresses. I’ve always loved the volume in dresses and the effortless, easy styling. I couldn’t find anything in a high quality denim that was rigid and had a real quality to it and as a collector of vintage clothing I’m continuously inspired by the attention to detail in the topstitching so I started to build mood-board and sketches of ideas and inspirations. I’m not from a design background but I knew I wanted to use a rich colour palette of shades of indigo from the start.
How do you approach your fabric sourcing and production?
I had two goals for production when I launched; to be made in the UK and to have denim that is woven in the UK. Unfortunately I’m not yet able to have denim woven in the UK, so I source my denim from Japan, which has been a learning curve – especially trying to find a mill willing to supply smaller quantities, but I’ve really enjoyed building relationships with my suppliers, I’ve also been engaging with Make It British as I am passionate about the opportunities we have to create clothing in the UK.
Your brand ethos and business approach is very refreshing, tell us more...
Our approach is intertwined with our product. Each dress is handmade to order and made from one person from start to finish. I initially explored the option of CMT but it didn’t fit with the personal care and attention to detail I wanted to provide. Since then, I’ve teamed up with a fantastic pattern cutter and from there built a network of talented makers which allows us to be both cost effective and make use of the talent we have he in the UK. Building and utilising peoples skillsets and helping others on their creative journey is a real privilege.
What's next for Smockworks?
Smockworks is still in its early stage, so I’m working hard on building momentum right now, we have a capsule offering that I’d like to expand upon over the next 6 months, perhaps adding an additional fabric option and I’d like to explore the option of showroom space so that people are able to see the quality and craftmanship for themselves. My long-term ambition is to create something that supports small scale manufacturing and has an inclusive, fresh approach to business that’s collaborative and human.
Images courtesy of Smockworks