Only the intrepid so-and-so who first coined ‘sliced bread’ can understand our joy upon discovering Olivia Rose The Label. That’s because this Edinburgh-based designer is, quite frankly, the best thing since...

Founding her brand in January 2017, Olivia Rose Havelock champions independent British fashion with handmade pieces and a small-scale production line. Accepting up to 30 orders per week, and completing the whole process (including a personally handwritten note) herself from start to finish, Olivia’s mantra is to waste as little as possible in terms of resources and fabrics – all of which are sourced locally in the UK.

A star that’s rapidly on the rise, Olivia spoke to Because Magazine about her slow fashion philosophy, as well as her inspirations behind the statement blouses that are quickly becoming her brand's style signature.

Your aesthetic seems to be the ultimate marriage between vintage references and something more directional and modern. What does your moodboard look like?
My moodboards are usually filled with lots of textures and fabric manipulations; I studied Textile Design for five years, so that is something I really love to express in my pieces. The Victorian era is amazing to take inspiration from – I love the regal feel that the clothing gives off – and the 1960s and 1970s also inspire me, as the style was so expressive and always felt confident.

Inspiration-wise, I have a-million-and-one ideas for blouses in particular; they are my favourite items to make. A blouse, in my opinion, is the most important part of an outfit. Everything else can be styled around that one amazing piece, and I love to cater to that.

The made-to-order business model you operate by is such a refreshing departure from the norm of fast fashion and surplus stock. Where did the idea for working in this way initially come from?
I feel that the process of making-to-order – creating a piece from scratch when it has just been requested, and tailoring it to a customer’s personal recommendations – is a more meaningful and special experience. Making-to-order is definitely more practical as well, since it means that I have no wasted items or fabrics and I only make what has actually been bought. 

Depending on the time that it takes to make an item and the cost of the initial fabric, the price differs – however I always try to keep my prices as reasonable as possible. I spend almost 10 hours every single day at work, whether that's cutting, sewing, packaging items, answering emails, or taking care of the ‘business’ side of things. There’s a lot of work that goes into each piece – and yet, even though I hand-make everything and run the whole business single-handedly, I still want my customers to receive quality items without feeling like they have to spend an entire month’s rent on them.

As an up-and-coming designer, how do you see the future of your brand – and the fashion industry as a whole – developing?
I created my brand in the way that I have, so that I could express my vision in my own time; I work very freely and love that I can do so. The fashion industry is so fast and forever changing with the seasons. Items are in and out of stores within the blink of an eye, and clothing – especially from the high street – is seen as something very disposable. I personally believe that clothing needs to be appreciated more, and that's what I am trying to achieve with my brand.

That said, I do think that the Fashion Industry is changing slowly, especially online. People seem to really appreciate independent brands that make everything themselves, and are gradually becoming more interested in learning the ins-and-outs of the ethical side of things. This is really great. As brands, we need to be more open and accessible to our customers... I hope to see a lot more of that in the very near future!

Click here to discover Olivia Rose The Label. All images courtesy of Bethany Grace.