What I Know About Style

Julie Townend


Julie Townend, founder of her eponymous luxury shirt label, on modelling, colour and London style

You started your career as a model – how much did that influence your decision to specialise in shirts?

Modelling inspired me to want to be a designer of my own collection – a passion I’ve had since I was 14 years old. Modelling at a young age gave me confidence and appreciation of style. It also taught me how to walk smartly and hold my posture, which is very important when presenting oneself.

What was the biggest lesson you learnt from your time at Central St Martins?

St Martin’s is an amazing school. It’s where I studied fashion illustration and learnt to draw, mix colours and to critically assess what works well together. Different colours have different effects on different people and finding the right combination can transform a person’s appearance. My studies also taught me how important it is to have your own individual flare and style.

Who are your clients? And can you name-drop any celebs?

My clients are primarily affluent woman from mothers-at-home to professional woman who value looking smart and stylish. I have some hugely successful clients who are in the theatre business, including Judy Craymer and Lisa Snowdon.

You steer away from ‘trendy’ fashion – what are your thoughts on fast fashion?

I like fast fashion, which is inevitable in the world that we live in. Although I steer away from fast fashion, I don’t have a problem with it. Sometimes I like to incorporate ideas from the catwalk while keeping a smart classic look. Classic fashion will always have a place in a woman’s wardrobe.

How would you describe your personal style?

It’s London and classic at the same time.


How would you describe London style?

‘London style’ is diverse and ever changing but the classic look of London is smart and elegant and this is what I love most.

You’re based in South Kensington. What does your home mean to you?

My home in South Ken means a lot to me and it is an expression of my style and love of art. The area is lovely and convenient for my daily walk in Hyde Park.

Why do you choose to get your designs made in London?

I have my designs made in London because I believe that the quality is much better. I am proud to have my products ‘made in London’. The factory that I use has been in business for more than 30 years. It produces for several leading global brands.

What is your favourite London building?

My favourite London building is St Paul’s Cathedral – one of the most recognisable sights in London and famous around the world. It epitomises our national identity and of course survived the Blitz on London – it makes me proud to be British.

What’s on your bedside table?

My current read, Diane: A Signature Life. It is the story of Diane von Furstenberg, an extraordinary woman who built a fashion empire while raising two children and living life in the fast lane. She is my inspiration.

What are you most proud of?

My two lovely daughters, Charlotte and Elizabeth, who both work in property in London.

What’s your philosophy on life?

It’s simple: be happy and be grateful for what you have and hang onto it!

What’s next?

My new collection for summer – I can’t wait!

Julie Towend’s new collection is available at Baar & Bass, 336 King’s Road, London SW3 5UR; baarandbass.com; 020 7351 9352


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