UK Brand Focus: Something Wicked
Something Wicked is a bold, seductive lingerie brand that is made right here in the UK, FashionCapital talks to Steff McGrath, the brand’s Managing Partner about the realities of production on home soil and the importance of handmade, provocative lingerie interlaced with a clear conscience…
Steff at the studio
FC: Tell us a bit about the ‘Something Wicked’ journey – how did the brand begin…
SW: Before Something Wicked, my background was originally in marketing, so I already had experience with how brands work and their strategies. I knew Something Wicked would be an exciting journey, and when I was introduced to the brand, I couldn’t wait to get involved. With entrepreneurial spirit and an appreciation of beautiful lingerie, I became the Managing Partner of Something Wicked in 2016. Since then I haven’t looked back, Something Wicked has grown into a luxurious brand with a story, empowering women to be bold, seductive and beautiful.
FC: The entire collection is made in the UK – was this key to the ethos of the brand?
SW: Yes absolutely. Made in the UK is an important factor of the Something Wicked brand, and something I feel really strongly about. The rise of fast fashion in recent years has really made me think about the ethical consequences for cheap on-trend clothing. With fast fashion putting pressure on speed and cost, somewhere along the line someone is going to end up paying for that, whether it’s due to environmental impact, forced labour, dangerous working conditions or child labour.
I’m proud of Something Wicked for being an independent British brand. As a big supporter of the Fashion Revolution, which is a movement that calls for transparency in the fashion industry, it’s so important to me that Something Wicked is manufactured in the UK. I wanted the lingerie to not only be provocative and elegant, but also ethical.
All our lingerie is 100% handmade from start to finish here in Yorkshire. We don’t outsource any of our manufacturing to other countries, even our accessories and leather polish are made in Britain. By manufacturing here in the UK, we can ensure that every single piece of our lingerie has been made in an ethical environment to the highest standards. Provenance is really important to us, and we feel proud that we can be transparent with our customers about their clothing’s journey. Your lingerie can be Wicked and your conscious can be clear!
FC: How easy was it to source the right UK based manufacturer?
SW: At Something Wicked, we actually manufacture all of our lingerie collections in-house at our studio in Leeds, where our team of skilled seamstresses handmake each individual and bespoke garment. Our risqué accessories are manufactured by a female saddler based in St Albans and our leather polish is made by an award-winning London beekeeper. We work with a lot of locally based designers, and my long-term goal is definitely to keep the heart of manufacturing in the North of England. I think it’s really important to support other UK based companies, so we have sourced our stockings from one of the last remaining hosiery manufacturers in the UK. Even our luxury gift boxes come from an ethical packaging company in the UK too.
FC: What would you say to those that think manufacturing in the UK is too expensive and not viable?
SW: It’s really important to think of your clothes and their journey. Other retailers might be cheaper, but many of our competitors outsource bulk orders from overseas. Although it costs more to buy clothing that’s been manufactured here in Britain, you can be guaranteed quality as the whole manufacturing process is closer to home.
As all our lingerie is handmade in-house, we can easily tailor bespoke orders, as well as helping to reduce our carbon footprint. In regards to Brexit, we offer employment opportunities and skills development in a British industry sector, which has declined rapidly in recent years, due to companies outsourcing labour from other countries. We actually work with local organisations such as The Textile Centre of Excellence in Huddersfield and provide work experience to people who have been out of work. So, going back to the question. Yes, manufacturing in the UK is more expensive, but we’re proud to be British, knowing that our customers can be seductive with confidence as there’s nothing wicked about being Something Wicked.
FC: Tell us about the latest collection and its inspirations
SW: Our latest collection is the AW18 Jade Collection, which will be available to buy online from June 2018. We named the collection after a strong woman we admire, The Wicked Jade. The inspiration for the range came from bold, beautiful and strong women, and stems from the trend ‘underwear as outerwear,’ which, as proven by London Fashion Week, is as hot as ever. We’ve designed Jade as lingerie to be to be seen. We want to empower women to feel body confident and to experiment with wearing provocative lingerie both in the bedroom but also in less intimate situations throughout the day.
The collection includes intricate bras which look beautiful when worn under a sheer blouse, a risqué mesh dress which looks fabulous over a bodysuit, a satin and leather belt, and two stunning kimono style robes. We’ve designed Jade using materials, which feel amazing on your skin, such as buttery soft Japanese plonge leather and silky, soft satin. We’ll be stocking the range from a size XS up to a XL.
FC: Future plans for the brand…
SW: We’ve been going from strength to strength recently. Each month we’ve been securing new stockists which is fantastic news for the brand and our growth potential. We plan on meeting with plenty of new designers and looking at opportunities for collaborative working partnerships. We’re really excited about forthcoming fashion trends and exploring how we can incorporate them into our designs. In regards to manufacturing, we will definitely continue to be made in the UK as it’s such an important part of the brand and our ethos.