In a bold move and true Patrick McDowell fashion, the pioneering luxury label has announced an industry-first business model ahead of London Fashion Week set to take place later this month, further embracing sustainability in the brand’s day-to-day operations.
Founded in 2018, Patrick McDowell is known for its atelier-centric, demi-couture pieces that champion avant-garde designs without sacrificing wearability. The newly launched business model, set to disrupt the sector and raise the bar for fellow designers in terms of social and environmental responsibilities, reimagines the role of the catwalk and leads with an uncompromising approach to sustainability.
Under this new solution for sustainable luxury, the brand is committed to redefining the approach to zero-impact growth, reconciling the limits of seasonal production, whilst balancing human and environmental impact, within the concept, development, and planning of each collection.
With sustainability becoming a buzzword in the sphere of all things fashion, Patrick McDowell, the brand’s eponymous founder/designer, says sustainable design has always been at the core of his brand: “The first thing I made as a child was a bag from a pair of jeans. It’s about taking a longer view and understanding that designing with sustainable and circular values creates a long lasting sustainable business.”
The brand’s AW24 collection — the first season to be presented on the runway under the new business model — will be unveiled on February 17 during London Fashion Week. The accompanying collection notes will detail limited edition quantities available for each item, allowing seasonal impact to be balanced, controlled, and managed as part of the early design and concept stages.
Following the show, McDowell’s atelier will release made to order items from the collection using a variety of carefully sourced, advanced sustainable materials, with drops timed with environmental and human capacity considerations in mind. Furthermore, each purchase comes with a complimentary re-fit by the atelier, allowing customers to return their item at a future date of their choosing for adjustment, as testament to the brand’s ethos of conscious consumption and designs which stand the test of time.
“True luxury is about knowing that the garment you’re wearing is made in the best possible way,” says McDowell, referring to the new business model when asked what his definition of luxury is. “It’s about understanding that we’re there for you when you want to redesign , repair or even clean your garment in the best way. The future of luxury is about being there for your clients in an authentic way, giving them the transparent information to know that their decision to buy with you is the best possible option.”
This considered approach will aid in limiting the impact to local manufacturers and makers, avoiding unnecessary pressure, and strengthening ongoing partnerships across the supply chain throughout the production process. But with conscious production and further services provided as well as less consumption encouraged by the brand, would there be a commercial conflict between the ever-rising costs and ensuring value for money for consumers?
“I’m interested in creating relationships with clients that last for a lifetime. Offering aftercare for our pieces makes sense and it’s the right thing to do.” McDowell isn’t concerned about any potential short term financial fluctuations. He points out that clothing is about creating emotions — “and creating limited edition and made to order pieces means that we can limit the quantities we create intentionally to ensure that every piece crafted is made to the highest standards.”
“We offer the world’s best materials crafted in London to fit and suit you perfectly at a competitive price. I think we’re working towards all of the future market shifts in fashion and we are well positioned to cater to a changing landscape over the coming 5-10 years.”
Adding a modern touch to the brand’s founding principles of inspiring authenticity, social impact and moral practice, McDowell says all pieces come with certification and traceability on the provenance of fabric, makers, and miles in transit, providing an unparalleled level of transparency into the sustainable practice within the new model.
With his AW24 show being just a week away, McDowell touches upon the inspiration and aesthetics behind the new season. “This collection was created as 6 icons inspired by Eurydice from Greek Mythology — beautifully crafted pieces in classic tones with a splash of golden gabardine create looks that elevate any wardrobe while providing separates to incorporate into existing looks.” In terms of his favorite, McDowell names the silk gabardine double breasted coat without hesitation — “It delectably shimmers in the light. It’s a perfect addition to any look. Created from the world’s best silk , woven by Taroni in Italy. It’s such a special piece.”
Patrick McDowell’s AW24 collection will be shown on February 17 at 8pm GMT during London Fashion Week.
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