London Athletics Club was born out of a desire to make progressive and innovative streetwear with a high end aesthetic and an affordable price point. The natural inclination to turn to bold colours, laid back and sports shapes created a marriage between streetwear and sports luxe. We speak to the designer Lauren Manville to find out more...
How did your career in fashion begin?
My career has been varied, not a direct route to design! I did a degree in history, then qualified and briefly practised as a speech and language therapist working with neurological conditions. I always had a desire to design and had been sketching ideas since a child and come from a family of art, design and textiles so it was innate. Since designing I have been senior designer of menswear for Reclaimed Vintage – a brand on Asos as well as gead of design for accessories and Jewelley for the same brand. I’ve also been fortunate enough to design for collaborations on licensing projects too.
Have you always been interested in fashion?
I adore fashion and shopping, I used to spend every saturday shopping with my mum and grandma! I have a genuine appreciation for the artistry and creativity of couture shows as well as avant garde designers such as Rei Kawakubo.
What have been the highest and lowest points on your journey so far?
So far I feel the most exciting element is when people are genuinely excited about the clothes and enjoy wearing them. The biggest hurdle is getting a brand out there!
What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?
I’m excited by using different innovative techniques and applications so last collection print played a key role whilst applique is for this. Finding a new fabric or coming up with an interesting shape can inspire a whole collection.
Do you ever struggle to stay inspired?
London is a pretty inspiring place to be and so I feel it’s easy to find inspiration in museums, art galleries or just hanging around my local park in Hackney.
Where is your go-to meeting spot?
The King’s Head in Hoxton is a great place to meet and also our converted marble factory office is a good spot!
How would you describe your customer base?
I think they are people who like to push boundaries, have fun with fashion and pay attention to fabric and cut.
Is there anyone you would love to see wearing your designs?
There’s quite long list really! I’m happy for all people to wear the designs, there’s a lot of stylish men and women out there, but probably ASAP Rocky and Chloe Sevigny.
What are the morals you run your brand by?
To make sure to be polite and kind to all suppliers and collaborators and to make sure that garments are made to the highest standard.
Do you have a mentor?
My mum and grandma have always been great style and design mentors and my managing director has provided sound business advice, so I have been lucky to be round some formidable women.
What apps keep you sane?
I’m not such an app kinda person, but I’d say yoga keeps me sane!
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
We just shot the lookbook for our new winter collection and I think my favourite piece is a black satin and lace bomber jacket – it’s a great piece for day and night and looks really good layered as well as with exposed arms. The new range is mostly unisex so lots of crossover pieces.
What’s the biggest style mistake you’ve ever made?
Apparently when I was about 2 I used to insist upon wearing wellies with everything, including pretty party dresses!
Is there another designer whose work you particularly admire?
I admire so many designers from Raf Simons to Jun Takahashi, Simone Rocha to Karl Lagerfeld, Phoebe Philo to name just a few.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
If it feels right - do it!
What drew you to Wolf & Badger?
I often go to Dover Street Market and my eye was drawn to Wolf & Badger window, I went in and really appreciated the exciting and eclectic collections as well as the ethos of championing new designers!
Where do you see the brand in 5 years?
I love for the brand to be global in 5 years and possibly have a couple of diffusion lines.