- Words Ryan Cahill
Ahead of her show at London Fashion Week, designer Roberta Einer gives us a sneak peek into her AW19 collection.
Born and raised in Estonia, designer Roberta Einer always dreamed of being a designer. With an aim of attending the prolific Central St. Martins, she moved from her home country to London at the age of 16 and enrolled in an Arts College, prepping herself to fulfil her destiny of bagging a place at one of the world’s most prestigious fashion schools. After a successful BA degree, she then levelled-up to do her Masters at Westminster, where she quickly caught the eye of the British Fashion Council and international buyers.
Her dedication to design and her instantly recognisable aesthetic led her to securing internships at major labels, including McQueen and Mary Katranzou, to name a few. These days, she’s enjoying the success of her very own eponymous label, which specialises in bright and bold embellished dresses, and skirts, perfect for women hoping to stand out at cocktail parties. It’s fair to say that the Estonian dreamer is well and truly living her dream.
As she gears up to showcase her latest collection at London Fashion Week, we go behind-the-scenes at her studio to take a look at what she has in store for AW19…
Tell me how you got involved in fashion.
It was kind of cliche. I really knew what I wanted to do all my life, and I really wanted to go to Saint Martins. I moved from Estonia when I was 15 and went to Art School, did my A-Levels and then got into Saint Martins. I went to Westminster after and then during that time, I was interning everywhere you can imagine, from McQueen to Roksanda to Mary Katranzou, everywhere you could go, I went! I got a job in Paris with Balmain and I stayed there for a year and a half and then decided to come back [to London]. I rolled into my thing! I used to be completely minimal and didn’t use colour, but the embroidery and use of colour were so amazing there and it was so fun to work with. I wanted to do more of that and so I took the suppliers and factories from there. I thought I would do it for one season and then get a job, but now it’s nearly been four years!
So it’s almost second nature to you now!
Yes! Every season I wonder how I can do it when it’s so stressful but it comes so naturally that I can’t really imagine myself doing anything else.
Tell me a bit about your inspiration for your new collection.
It was a revisit of my first project in my final year of Westminster, which was very much based around the story of my grandmother’s life. It was based around Soviet Union graphics and posters, postcards, fonts, what people used to wear, and the glamour. I just wanted to see what the result would be using the same starting point, but this time the outcome is totally different, so it was really fun to revisit.
How does this collection compare to your previous collections?
I think with every season, what I realised at one point, I was doing this crazy pink, kiddy teenager thing, and that is where I was at that time, and now I’ve grown up ten times more every year, both because of the business and my own life. I think this season the woman that is wearing the brand is growing older and she’s covering up a lot more. I try to grow the brand with what people want and where I’m going myself. It’s still bold and colourful and has a good humour to it but it’s just a bit older.
Describe your customer.
It’s a weird one! We do amazing in the States; New York and LA because people go out to fabulous parties and have cocktails and also, the Middle East like Dubai, because people are incredibly wealthy and they want to wear things that get them noticed. The woman is over 40 or 45, kind of like yummy mummies, who work in art or design and have a bold taste!
Where does your influence generally come from?
It’s usually travel! I always take time off after every season because it drives you crazy otherwise if you don’t! When it comes to textiles and beading, I try and create something that I’ve never seen before. I recently went to the Sahara Desert and got stuck in sandstorm and didn’t do anything, and then we did a collection about Marrakech, and I’ve been to Iceland to surf in ice cold water which was completely ridiculous and you shouldn’t do that! So I try to recreate those experiences which bring me back to what life is. I come back and I put my experiences into a collection.
What do you think it is that makes the British Fashion Industry so unique?
I just think it is so varied. If you think of New York, it’s red carpet or its streetwear. If I think of London, people who are showcasing and getting the press, it’s so varied. I can’t imagine anywhere else being so open. I’m so thankful that I can be here, in terms of I’m a girl from Estonia who had no idea what she was doing and now I have this amazing opportunity to be doing this.