Lulu Kennedy sees herself as a fashion “foster mother”.
The designer is renowned for striking up close friendships with up-and-coming style stars, having helped the likes of Gareth Pugh and Roksanda Ilincic make it big.
She isn’t happy with the tag of fashion’s ‘fairy godmother’ though, insisting she is more nurturing than that.
“No. I’m just a foster mom. The designers are with me for one or two seasons and then I let them go. I can’t grant them wishes. They make things happen. They’ve got to put the work in,” she said.
Lulu is behind the Fashion East company, which gives new designers a stage to show the world their creations. When they make it big, Lulu tries to stay in contact with them.
“Yeah, they’re all friends,” she told guardian.co.uk. “Basically, what we do is select designers we believe in the most and who need some support and then we give them sponsorship, a show, advice and mentoring. We bring a good audience into the show and we give them a small bursary as well, which doesn’t get very far. The equivalent would be a music industry showcase.”