I started the A Day in the Life strand on LLG to highlight the work of extraordinary, intelligent women in all fields. Today I am thrilled that British fashion designer Amanda Wakeley is our newest LLG contributor, taking us through her working day.
Amanda Wakeley launched her signature label in 1990 and over the last two decades has developed an international reputation for designing stylish, supremely luxurious, womenswear and accessories, dressing high profile women from Scarlett Johansson to the Duchess of Cambridge. She was awarded an OBE for her services to the fashion industry on 16th February 2010, and has been the winner of several awards including three British Fashion Awards for Glamour.
Since 1996 Amanda has co-chaired the committee for the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Appeal and has helped to raise over £10m to date.
Over to Amanda…
My alarm goes at 6.30am, giving me 30 minutes with a mug of green tea at my computer before my trainer arrives. I am a big believer in “fit body, fit mind”, so I view these sessions as an essential luxury and they really set me up for the day.
I stop by our Fulham Road boutique on my way to the office. It is currently being refurbished in line with our new retail concept so it will echo the look and feel of the new flagship store at 18 Albemarle Street in Mayfair. Things are progressing well and we are on track for the new Amanda Wakeley furniture to be installed next week. We are pushing things forward as quickly as possible, as obviously we want our retail stores closed for a minimal amount of time.
Next stop: the office, where my first priority is to review the graphics of a foldout brochure we are creating. It’s a map of Mayfair marked with all my favourite spots and why I like them. The idea is to have a fun handout that will be available in our stores, as well as from the concierges of West End and Knightsbridge hotels.
I dash to the new Albemarle Street store, where I have a personal shopping appointment with one of my top customers. She is attending a huge gala dinner in Paris with various heads of state and so wants a dress that is particularly special.
We decide that only my semi-bespoke Atelier collection will do and begin trying her in the samples to see which colours and silhouettes suit her best.
Each dress is hand-embellished and named after a different mythological goddess or historical queen, such as Aphrodite and Cleopatra. We decide on Luna, a striking lipstick-red asymmetric grown with a crystal-beaded over-layer. It looks amazing on her and only needs a couple of minor alterations to fit perfectly.
We also select a white tuxedo suit that will be perfect for a dinner the night before.
I have a quick chat to the Albemarle retail team about the type of customers we are getting through the doors and which pieces they have been drawn to.
Next I have an informal meeting with Sagra, my CEO, in the upstairs drawing room. I always wanted the space to feel relaxed and have a sense of “home”, so I’m really happy with the way it’s being used.
Sagra and I discuss an upcoming in-store event – a party to celebrate the latest issue of Herself. I have no doubt that the editor, Lula, is going to be a huge star and I am excited to support her at an early stage and throw this party for her. We decide to keep it very simple with our signature Eightini Belvedere cocktails (created by Mark Hix for our launch party at 18 Albemarle Street) and canapés courtesy of Mark and his wonderful team. I make a quick call to our PR and ask them to pull together a guest list of creatives and potential collaborators that we can introduce Lula to at the party.
I catch up with emails in the cab on the way home, where I am greeted by a massively over-excited, singing hound in the form of my black Labrador Lola. I have only been away for a few hours, but the welcome makes me feel as though it’s been days. The howling makes me laugh, which only makes her more excited and vocal. After much petting, she finally settles down and my partner Hugh and I take her to Lucio’s which is a local Italian restaurant in Chelsea. Not only is the food great, Lucio warmly welcomes you and your dog which is always a winner in my book!
It’s been another full day and we head home for a night cap in our apartment overlooking the Thames…
Amanda Wakeley has just opened her flagship store at 18 Albemarle Street and the website is at www.amandawakeley.com