An interview with New York boutique début

As London Fashion Week is in full swing our Exhibition space has seen a huge number of international buyers flock to the Freemason's Hall to chat with and view the S/S11 collections of our much talked about exhibitors. Earlier today I got the chance to chat with Lisa from New York based boutique début was she visited the space. Amongst an amazing selection of emerging talent début stocks current and passed Vauxhall Fashion Scout designers including Eudon Choi, Felder Felder and Gemma Slack. When asked about the concept behind the boutique Lisa expained; “début provides a launching pad for emerging designers by offering them an opportunity to showcase their collections in a gallery-like environment. Through which they can establish a sales track and greater exposure for their brand”

It is clear that the niche for boutiques stocking exclusively new design talent is an expanding one as its customer base continues to grow. With this in mind I quizzed Lisa to find out what the début customer is looking for, what debut, as a stockist, looks for during Fashion week and what the boutique can offer to a young designer.

Do you feel there is a growing niche for boutiques like début?
For sure. I find our customers are very educated on emerging labels and they are interested in discovering what’s new. They are capable of styling themselves and look at it as a way to individualize themselves from their peers.

début stocks a number of emerging designers, some of which have shown with Vauxhall Fashion Week in the past, is it important that you support emerging designers as well as better known labels?
Our focus is really on emerging labels. Some of our designers may be more well known in other countries and still at an introductory level in the US. We bring in designers from their first season to 8th (and on). The unifying theme is that they are all looking to increase their brand awareness, they are passionate about what they are doing and offer an aesthetic that is unique.

What kind of events does début hold in order to raise the profile of its international designers?
Trunk shows have been very popular, they give the designer an opportunity to meet customers in person and show more from their current or upcoming collections. Cocktail receptions/trunk shows are often attended by industry insiders helping to spread the word about a designer’s collection. Our customers enjoy the personal experience, knowing the designer and owning something special from the collection.

Aside from the New York store do you have plans for reaching a wider customer base?
Our online store is in the works, we already take phone orders and would like to make the collections more accessible to customers that are not in New York.

We are excited about your visit to our exhibition this season! Tell us, what will you be looking for in particular?
I am looking forward seeing some of the presentations of designers we already stock as well as discovering new talent to introduce in New York. Each of the collections we stock offer something special bringing a unique perspective to fashion and I feel confident my trip will be productive.

What can our London designers do to really grab the attention of a stockist like début during the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Exhibition?
Its hard to see everyone, so it is always good to follow up. A great way to do this is by sending look books, staying in touch.

What is it about British design that attracts you to LFW?
Cutting edge aesthetic and an unrivalled unique approach to trends.

And finally who is the début customer?
Not only does our customer have an appreciation of fashion, our customer has a unique sense of style. It is someone who is interested to know about the designers they are wearing.

I am more than certain that the début team will return from London with bags of potential new labels as London Fashion Week S/S 11 serves up a fresh batch of innovative and covetable designs. For more information on the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Exhibition head to

Words by Lara Angol