Isla Campbell is the designer and maker behind Studio_icampbell.
Studio_icampbell is a small and sustainable fashion studio based in Cornwall. Her core principles are to produce high-quality garments designed with the functionality of workwear whilst upholding style and comfort, and she deliberately designs and develops her garments with time, care and consideration.
She’s inspired by the natural world and the people she meets to produce artistic yet functional workwear.
Her designs start as simple line drawings in a sketchpad, then morphed into patterns laid out on linen, in such a way as to minimise material wastage. When meticulously cut from the cloth and sewn together, these garments, made to last, may begin their life full of love and adventure outside the studio. The sustainable fabrics and earthy colours that she chooses are particularly important to her work as they inform her design process.
When you buy a piece from Studio_icampbell you can be assured of the quality and sustainability of my practice. The nature of the fabrics is such that it will change with time to embrace the uniqueness of the wearer’s body and its movements. So, as you live and change so too can your clothes. In this way, your clothes gather your life stories and become more fitting, more ‘yours’.
As another important element of her sustainable approach to designing workwear clothes, Studio_icampbell offers a bespoke mending service where you can bring your favourite pieces back to where they were made to be mended.
Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Isla to discuss her journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:
How did you get into the fashion industry?
Since GCSE’s I have always known that I wanted to be working with my hands and so I did work experience in both Interior Design and PR for Fashion Brands, working in the behind scenes of fashion I was able to go and work at LFW on three separate occasions. It was there that I saw the team of sempstress’ sewing before the show that I knew then I wanted to be the one making the garments.
What do you like most about being a designer?
Being able to design clothes that I myself would wear and then seeing these 2D sketches come to life when created in a unique fabric
The downside to being a fashion designer?
The downside is that it really never stops, I love keeping busy but as this is my own business there is always something to do…especially the business side and making sure that everything will run smoothly.
What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?
Definitely when I went to Amsterdam having differed a year of uni after my second year to intern for 8 months for the couture designer Iris Van Herpen.
Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
Other creators, I believe that collaboration is an integral part of my process and so I’ve worked alongside a number of really creative designs to create something totally unique.
What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.
To trust yourself, that everything is a risk, whether it’s buying a roll of fabric for £200, it’s super important to know that no matter what you’ll make it work. And also to keep going, no matter what!
Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?
My mum and sister and brother are very supportive. My sister actually just got engaged this morning and she’s asked me to make her wedding dress.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I would have looked for my own shop from the start, and also do a business module…but there’s still time for that.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
From my experience in Amsterdam, I was told to never be scared to ask questions or ask for help.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
With this upcoming new shop, I hope to make a name for myself as a slow fashion Designer in Cornwall. I would really like to move more into creating unique bespoke clothes that are made to measure and continue to explore sustainable fabrics. I also really want to move into menswear clothes as most of my designs and fabric choices are gender-neutral.