We talk to Graeme Black of fashion label 1436
Miss World is hugely honoured to be presenting its Top Model competition in association with burgeoning Chinese luxury cashmere label, ERDOS 1436. Fashion heavyweight, Graeme Black has just taken the helm as Creative Director - after stints at Galliano, Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo and Hugo Boss - we’re in awe!
Although he’s been rushed off his feet with an intensive programme of auditions and fittings, he still found time to sit down with us and give us some inside information on the label, and what we can expect from the Top Model show.
Miss World: You’ve had a stellar career in fashion and worked at some of the most prestigious fashion houses, how do you think this has shaped you and what you will bring to 1436?
Graeme Black (GB): I’ve been very lucky to work with very different companies with unique creative and business structures. At Armani it was all about the jacket, easy to wear clothes and a very Italian aesthetic - I really learned my craft. Then at Salvatore Ferragamo, the emphasis was on shoes and accessories so I was getting another fashion perspective. Hugo Boss in Germany taught me a lot about manufacturing in volume. It’s been very diverse!
1436 is a young company and their specialty is creating amazing sweaters and knits, very luxurious. My aim is to broaden the collection, expanding our Ready-to-Wear collection for example. We’re already having cashmere made in Italy for the Chinese market and we’ll be looking into developing new product categories. It’s a very exciting time.
Miss World: What sort of woman embodies the essence of 1436?
GB: An active, dynamic and discerning woman - she’s discreet (definitely not a fashion victim!) with a youthful, enquiring spirit. There’s definitely an inherently Chinese feel to the label though, in that the clothes are casual and comfortable to wear during the day but can also be glamorous for evening.
Miss World: Does the label have a signature piece?
GB: Oh, definitely - the cashmere jacquard sweater! It’s made with the highest-quality cashmere you can find and it’s absolutely light and beautiful. I436 has an intense selection process that ensures we use only the longest and finest yarns for their garments (the brand name is a reference to the technical yarn type). These fibres are then developed into incredible intarsia knits, made up to couture-level standards. When you see the show, you’re really going to appreciate the craftsmanship that has gone into each piece.
Miss World: How would you describe your current collection? What can we expect to see on the catwalk?
GB: It’s a real celebration of colour. In the show, I’ve created a collection of daywear and then built up to a crescendo with the most elaborate pieces for the finale, but the whole show is going to be a spectrum of different hues. Turquoise is actually the company colour so we’ve incorporated that into some of the pieces.
1436 is a young and dynamic brand, so we want to reflect this in the positivity of the collection. Our name is already known in the marketplace for amazing knitwear but we’re branching out into new products and this is the start of that development.
Miss World: How did today compare to your usual show castings and what were you looking for from the girls you selected?
GB: The broad range of women was incredible! There are so many different body types, such variety – the dynamics are beautiful. The castings were pretty overwhelming, having to narrow the number down from 118 contestants to maybe 40 or 45!
Obviously, I know the collection really well so I was looking for girls that walk in the right way to interpret the clothes. They needed to have a cool edge, I wanted them to be ‘actual’, someone would represent the women of today.
Miss World: What does it mean to you to see your designs at Miss World?
GB: It’s just amazing - I grew up with Miss World, you know! It’s wholesome, good fun and super glam! My family and friends always used to get together and watch it, and we had some really happy times sitting round the tele all rooting for our favourite contestants. When I told everyone I was doing this they were incredibly enthusiastic.
Miss World: Thank you so much for your time, we can't wait to see the designs at the show!
Don't forget to tune in on August 12th to see all the excitement for yourself.