Sheree Robinson is a Knitwear Designer and Central Saint Martins graduate. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2011, Sheree went on to develop knitted fabrics in New York for Diane Von Furstenberg and Wool and the Gang. Once back in London Sheree then worked for luxury knitwear designers such as Craig Lawrence and Luetton Postle and eventually ended up working for the UK high street on Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Lipsy’s going out ranges.
During her time working for the high street, Sheree was alarmed by the amount of wasted fabric and the unfair labour costs that kept the industry thriving. She decided to create her own brand that knits limited amounts of stock and uses recycled/end of line yarn to reduce waste. This also benefits the customer as they will be the only one at the party wearing their dress!
The 28-year-old designer is inspired by all things shiny so firework formations and festival styles are a constant source of motivation. Sheree hand makes knitted clothes using sparkly, colourful materials for women to wear during festivals or on special occasions. Each garment is either knitted by hand or on a domestic knitting machine. All pieces are handmade in the UK and not mass produced meaning the designs are all limited editions. The brand consists of ready to wear pieces made up of body con dresses, crop tops and skirts in going out styles which will be launching online in 2017. The couture pieces are also handmade in the UK and will be made to order.
Sheree, describe your path into fashion design
I studied a Textile Design degree at Central Saint Martin’s where I learnt how to knit. Fabric construction and painting are huge loves of mine and the combination of these two elements lead me to learn how to knit clothing. I want my clothes to make people feel happy and confident in what they are wearing, which combined with my love of shiny things made me focus on creating knitted going out clothes.
Tell us what drives you?
Women drive me. I want to empower women and be around other empowering women. I have also spent time in my career designing for the high street where I saw a huge amount of waste in terms of fabrics and garments. All of my pieces are hand or machine knit by me using end of line yarns to minimise waste and create items using materials already deemed as waste. The cyclical cycle of design is very important to me as we are pushing the earth and its resources to the limit.
How has your personal life influenced your career?
Watching my parents get dressed for nights out inspired me greatly! When I was younger I used to watch them get ready and see how glamorous they looked on a Friday or Saturday night. I would always wear going out clothes in the day time as I preferred them to normal casual clothes. I am from a Caribbean culture and carnivals and celebrations have always been a big part of my life. I love the transition from waking up, getting ready, putting your outfit on and feeling special.
What was your greatest success in the past few years?
I had a dress I hand knit feature at London Fashion week as part of Bora Aksu’s fashion week collection in 2012. I have also knit freelance jumpers for Wool and the Gang that have featured at an exhibition in Westfield for Save the Children. The jumpers were customised by designers such as Giles, JW Anderson, Burberry, and Alexander McQueen. These were then auctioned off and the proceeds went to Save the Children.
Do you have a muse you wish you could see wearing your designs?
I would love to see Beyoncé and Solange in my garments. They are both strong women in different ways and I would love to show that all women are different and get their strong points from different places. My clothes are all made from materials to flatter a range of body shapes so two very different women could still look great but unique when wearing the same garment.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to show everyone that knitting can be sexy and desirable and keep building my knitted empire.
We’d like to thank Sheree for taking the time to chat with us and look forward to seeing her designs at the SS18 Fashions Finest event. Check out the website http://www.fashionsfinest.com/events/fashion-week-shows for more details and tickets.