An Interview with Sheila Toor

Sheila Toor, DesignerI was lucky enough to be offered a chance to interview Sheila Toor – a key designer for House of Fraser. As a huge fan of fashion designers since a young age, I was excited to ask Sheila some key questions; here they are:

Firstly, I’d like to know how long you have been a designer and where you started out?

I started my career as a Childrenswear Designer almost 23 years ago, for a manufacturer in Old Street in the heart of the East End. The brand in question has supplied to Mothercare, Adams Kids, Next, Woolworths and many more well-known high-street names.

What do you enjoy most about designing clothes?

It makes me smile seeing customers wearing something that I’ve designed and knowing the lengthy process behind the final garments. For me, it’s the best feeling in the world.

What is your proudest moment in your career to date?

Despite being in the industry for close to 23 years, I still love what I do and have a lot of fun designing. My passion is renewed every day: I would put that as my proudest achievement so far.

What is the most challenging part of being a designer?

For me, the most challenging part is translating my designs from the catwalk to the high street in order to create commercially fashionable pieces that are affordable.

As a blogger, I rely on social media to keep up to date with the latest trends and gain inspiration for what to wear. Where do you find your inspiration and is there a particular social media site you rely on?

Pinterest is brilliant for keeping up to date with the latest trends. I also get inspiration from the Far East — I’m a big fan of their culture and creative flair.

How do you select the materials you plan to use?

In order to ensure I have a wide variety of materials to choose from, I go on development trips each season to places like India, Turkey and Hong Kong.

What is your favourite piece that you have created, and why?

I have created so many designs throughout my career and I love each and every one. It would be too difficult to choose just one piece over the rest!

There are some fabulous trends for AW15 seen during fashion week. What’s your favourite?

It would have to be the trends showcased by Phillip Lim and Chloé.

Finally, what is the main piece of style advice you can offer women of all ages?

The advice I always give when I’m out shopping with my girl friends is that as long as you feel great inside and out, it doesn’t matter what you wear. If you feel wonderful, you’ll look wonderful — it’s all about confidence.

If you could ask any questions to a high street designer, what would they be?


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