Christian Louboutin & Anya Hindmarch Share Their Career Success Secrets

3 min read

Career success secrets

Have you ever wondered what it would take to run a successful business in the rag trade? After chatting with four of the world’s top fashion designers, I’d say it’s certainly not for the faint hearted.

Fashion designers work tirelessly for decades perfecting their craft, refining their business models and building their brands.

Christian Louboutin, Anya Hindmarch and the Preen power couple, Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, are the crème de la crème of the fashion industry. They were more than happy to share a few of their own success secrets and some choice top tips, just for us.

Christian Louboutin – be open to all possibilities

The Paris born shoe aficionado has been sketching shoes since he was 12 years of age. Such was his passion for creating beautiful heels that he cold-called Christian Dior’s Director of Couture (successfully) asking for a job. In 1991 he discovered a small studio behind an art gallery in Paris and his brand was born. So, what’s Mssr Louboutin’s key advice?

“It’s better to be carried by your life rather than trying to drive your life. It’s not very easy to drive your own life and also it’s very boring because life will bring you things that you won’t expect. Deciding what to do and sticking to it this will narrow your vision. But, if you let yourself go you end up having a much richer experience.”

Career success secrets
Elissa chats with Christian Louboutin about his career success secrets
Anya Hindmarch be consistent and true to your brand

Award winning fashion designer, mother of five and chairwoman of a multi-million dollar global accessories brand with 50 stores and 400 employees, Anya Hindmarch MBE started her eponymous label at the age of 18 after falling for an Italian leather bag. Hindmarch believes in living and breathing the core values of her brand.

“There is a great quote from Oscar Wilde, ‘Be yourself, everyone else is already taken’ I think it says it all. Also, persist and don’t forget to enjoy the journey-it’s fantastically hard work but worth every second.”

“…the core values that mattered to me at the very beginning, when I was 19 working from the kitchen table, are the very same 25 years later.”  

Career success secrets
Elissa chats with Anya Hindmarch about her career success secrets
Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi of Preen – retain your independence

Hailing from a tiny island off the coast of England, life partners Justine and Thea are the darlings of British fashion. Their business has always been self funded. They credit the success of their world renowned international women’s clothing brand to this strategy.

“It’s very difficult to be creative when you are being told what to do by investors.” Thea Bregazzi

“Don’t worry about not knowing anyone in the fashion industry. We didn’t. We met people slowly over the years. Work with your own contemporaries who are interested in the same things because they will become the next generation of editors and leaders in the fashion world.”  Justin Thornton

And finally, here’s a piece of advice we certainly can’t ignore,

“If you love what you do there will be someone else who loves it and it will grow.”  Thea Bregazzi

Career success secrets
Elissa chats with Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton of Preen about their career success secrets
Which piece of advice resonates most with you? Click here to chat with me and other female entrepreneurs in the Iris Lillian Squad about launching your own business.

Career success secrets

Cover photo: Anya Hindmarch

  1. Valentina says

    Loved reading through your post! It’s truly inspiring, thanks for sharing!

    Have a lovely day!

    1. Iris Lillian says

      Hi Valentina, you’re very welcome! Are you interested in starting your own business?

  2. Debra says

    It’s always so inspiring to read advice from people who have had success in the arena they are passionate about. Great article about people in a very competitive industry.

    1. Iris Lillian says

      Hey Debra, I agree. It is tough to make an impact in the fashion industry, which is why I was so grateful when Christian, Anya, Thea and Justin were happy to offer advice and share their war stories. They are all refreshingly down to earth.

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