Thursday, 17 December 2009

Santa's Little Helpers

Check out Santa's Little Helpers at Sara Berman HQ. When not performing outrageously funny routines they are busy beavering away to make sure that the Christmas operation is running smoothly and all those Sara Berman pressies are prepared for Christmas delivery (after being cross-checked with the Nice List of course). Watch the fantastic video here

Friday, 11 December 2009

The Paradox Of Luxury

Well nothing like the harsh truth to spur a girl on… Having been told in no uncertain terms that my last blog on Harris Tweed was bordering on the obsessive and frankly a bit dull I am back to my witty form and hope to regale you with tales of fun and frolics from The Studio.

But before I do I am anxious to fight my corner on the Harris Tweed front. Not that I want to make a whole Thing about it, because I don’t… But actually I do because I think the point is being missed. It isn’t just about tweed, it is about the Value and Virtue of Luxury. I can understand that not everyone’s idea of fun is a woolly factory in the Outer Hebrides. But I certainly can’t make any excuses for the fact that I think cloth woven by hand in the homes of crafts people is the ultimate in luxury whilst others paradoxically prefer to define the virtue of luxury by measure of abundance. I am bemused by people who think that the luxury status of a product is defined by the amount of money something costs as opposed to its rarity or emotional value. I find it incredible that we have reached a time where in some cases the cost of something can be inversely proportionate to the amount of time spent in its creation. I understand that one could justify expense as a definition of luxury by arguing that the more something costs the harder it is to afford it and thereby creates a scarcity value in so much as less and less people have the disposable income to be able to own it. However to my mind this is a shame because it creates a univalent relationship between money and value which disregards the properties of time and emotion as defining factors. For me craft will always be the ultimate in luxury because someone somewhere has spent time working with their hands, dreaming their dreams and thinking their thoughts whilst working on that piece, product or item whatever it might be. To own that item is to own a little of that persons skill, a smidgen of their time and a fragment of their dreams. There can be no higher value than that.

This probably all sounds a like a rant and slightly left of field but luxury has been on my mind... Last weekend Amiee, Helene and I hit the streets of Florence on our annual girl's trip. Every year at the same time we spend 3 days in this beautiful Italian city. We stay at the super chic J K Place where we share a room and giggle like teenagers. We eat at fabulous little restaurants (one is so little they seat only 16 and serve the finest wines with delectable cheeses and salamis) and get happy on red wine whilst propping up the bar at the wonderful Ringo’s at lunchtime (the best cheesecake in the world. Bar none). And we spend a serious amount of time enjoying the shops, the streets and the markets. Everything is a pleasure to look at and engage with because the Italians really understand beauty and craft. They also understand time. Nothing happens in a hurry, everything is exercised carefully from the hand crafted leather bag to the care taken over the preparation of a simple salad. It is this attitude to life, that anything worth having is worth waiting for that makes Italy the centre of luxury as time is the greatest luxury of all.

Amiee The Luxury Gimp!

On a lighter note, last night we had Team Berman Xmas shindig. We had a big round table at our old favourite San Lorenzo. Totally traditional and delightfully delicious. We had a blast. It was emotional. But most of all I want to take this opportunity to raise our glasses once again to our wonderful team. It has been a roller coaster of a year and you guys have been the bomb. Thank you for everything - your hard work, your integrity, your confidence, your power and your laughter. You make everyday possible and everyday a pleasure. Big up Team Berman.

Team Berman

Millie - Guest Of Honour

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

It’s a Tweed thing

Most readers of my ramblings will be aware that I have an obsession with Harris Tweed and that we have recently been endorsed by Harris Tweed Hebrides and are working in collaboration with them. So last week I took a plane, and then another plane and then a drive all the way to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides to visit the only existing mill producing Harris Tweed.

The purpose of my trip was for me to see the tweed designs that we are working on for AW10, check the colours and finalise the last of the development. I also wanted to take the chance to spend some time in the mill. I have a real attraction to the processes side of design as I believe that good design comes from understanding the boundaries and I always feel a better understanding of what can be done if I can see it for my self. I love the smells and noise of industry, handling the raw materials before they are transformed and the energy of true craft. This may sound dramatic but the reason we are so committed to the use of Harris Tweed is because we believe that craft is luxury and Harris Tweed epitomises this. Let me explain a little about this iconic cloth and why we place so much value on it.

Harris Tweed is probably the most famous textile in the world. It is the only cloth that is protected by an act of parliament and it can only be produced on the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The Harris Tweed Act 1993 states that Harris Tweed must be hand woven by the islanders at their own homes from pure virgin wool, spun, dyed, and finished on the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Only cloth that fully conforms to this definition is entitled to bear the world famous “ORB” trademark which was granted to the islanders in 1910.

The origins of the cloth are centuries old. It was first made by the inhabitants of the isles from the wool from their own sheep and made into practical garments to protect them from the harsh element of the Outer Hebrides. All processes were done by hand with each and every member of the household having their particular role to play.The wool would first have to be washed and then dyed, using natural materials such as the crotal, scraped off the rocks on the shore. Various plant materials were also used and the dyes were set using urine which would be collected and stored for this purpose.

The dyed wool was then carded by hand, using two flat combs. The spinning was done on a wooden spinning wheel and the yarn was then warped in preparation for weaving. The weaving was done on a wooden loom which was used for many years until the arrival of the Hattersley domestic handloom in the 1920s. The woven cloth was then washed and it was during this process that the famous "waulking" of the cloth took place. Several people, almost always women, would work the wet cloth back and forward across a table, usually accompanied by Gaelic song allowing a whole genre of music to develop around this activity. After drying, the cloth was ready for use or sale.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, the Isle of Harris was owned by the Earl of Dunmore and it was his wife, lady Dunmore, who first saw the potential of selling this fabric, produced by her tenants, to her aquaintances in London. Thus Harris Tweed was first marketed and, as the reputation of the fabric grew. The success of the fabric also led to imitations and it became necessary to seek protection for the genuine article. This led to the formation of the Harris Tweed Association in 1909 and the granting of the trademark in 1910. The Association became the Harris Tweed Authority with the Act of 1993.

(Guess what colour we're channeling for AW10!)

Harris Tweed is the only handwoven fabric produced in commercial quantities. The yarn production process uses specially blended yarns produced to secret recipes and then warped up to exclusive designs before being sent to weaver's homes to be handwoven by weavers using skills handed down from generation to generation. The cloth is then returned to the mill to be finished in a new finishing plant to a very high standard. The final process is examination by the independent Harris Tweed Authority, before application of the famous "ORB" trademark which is ironed on to the fabric as the ultimate seal of approval.

See below for photos of me at Harris Tweed Hebrides! I am actually weaving our very own Sara Berman Harris Tweeds! It was a great privilege to spend time at the Harris Tweed Hebrides mill and I would like to thank all the team for making me feel so welcome and for all their hard work and enthusiasm. It was a real highlight for me.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Win A Bailey With Grazia!

We're running a competition with Grazia Magazine this week (on sale today!) to win a Bailey Tote with a Mia and Vertity bracelet as well as Molton Brown goodies and an Accurist watch. So, for your chance to win, run out and buy Grazia and skip straight to the back page to the Grazia Giveaway.

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

As Seen In...

Today I thought I would do a quick post about my favourite press pieces. The Zip Frill bags (and the Jeane in particular) have been well received this month featuring in the likes of Grazia and You Magazine while the Sally Square Clutch is still going strong two bag collections on, proving what a timeless classic she is and just perfect for Party Season.

So, here we are:

Eva Cocktail Headpiece With Veiling
'Ladylike Chic', Grazia, 17th November 2009

'The Fashion Charts', Grazia, 10th October 2009

'All The Trimmings', Vogue, December

'Steel Yourself',You Magazine, October

 '10 Best Animal Instinct',

Friday, 13 November 2009

Pole Dancing

For the past few weeks there has been a palpable buzz in the SB studios. There has been whispering around the toaster, giggling over coffee and hysteria over afternoon chocolate which seemed disproportionate to any kind of sugar rush. When words such as ‘Spandex’ and ‘Orange’ started being bandied around I was forced to step in get some clarity on whatever it might be that was making our girls so excited... It turns out that after several months taming her inner sex kitten with pole dancing classes, our production manager Danielle had entered into a pole dancing competition held at the O2 Center. Once Amiee and I got wind of this we were not going to miss it for the world - it isn’t everyday you get to see your number one employee dancing around in (orange) spandex underwear!

So last night Amiee and I set off to watch the great Happening. We were meeting the girls there and had intended to get the tube as laughingly recommended by Danielle but it was dark, raining and a deeply unappealing idea so we decided to drive. We put on the Sat Nav and set off with Eve Karpfs’ dulcet tones guiding us our merry way. And we were motoring along just fine until we got to Shoreditch High St where they had closed the road. Obviously this sends Eve into tailspin-her now irritating monotone advising us to ‘in 100 yards turn right’ onto a no right turn one way system and subsequently driving us in circles around the Dickensian streets of Shoreditch in the pissing rain. In my great wisdom I had also printed off a map from Google but the stress of Eve’s ridiculously calm voice advising us to turn right had forced me to open the window to have a cigarette and the driving rain had soaked the map which was now illegible.

So we find ourselves lost in East London with no map and a confused Eve whose only advice is still to keep turning right. So we decide (with the logic of fashion designers) that if we drive a long way in what is clearly the wrong direction we will sufficiently confuse Eve to force her to find an alternative route (at what point we thought we could reason with a computerized voice I don’t know but at the time it seemed to be a good idea!). So we drove in a random direction, through a very long tunnel and eventually Eve stopped telling us to ‘please do a u turn’, shut up and obviously went to sleep. At which point we saw signs to Greenwich…

Everyone knows the Millennium Dome is in Greenwich so we figure that if we just get to Greenwich we won’t be able to miss it. The Dome is a 50ft Marshmallow with huge great lights sticking out of it which cost the country something like £800 million pounds. It must be hugely, highly, revoltingly visible. The least one would expect is a sign post. But no. Nothing. (Quick personal rant: First they spend £800 million 800!!!!! on a 50 ft marshmallow which is somehow meant to represent Great Britain and then they go and rebrand it O2 in the name of a Spanish Telecoms company! And on point of principle I will not refer to it as such.)

Not only could we somehow not see this 50ft structure but there was not one single sign. Not one! So out of pure desperation we stop the car and start asking the good residents of Greenwich if they could point us in the general direction of The Dome... Dome? They asked blankly with engaging intelligence… The Dome? Yes you know, that enormous £800 million pound marquee that is somewhere in this small district of Greenwich… Perhaps you noticed it whilst out walking the dog? Nothing. (worrying in itself I feel… Something in the water?).

And then, like a beacon of light, a mirage we spot a police station. I run in and ask the good policemen of Greenwich to help two girls find their way to a pole dancing competition. Admittedly some eyebrows were raised but once I explained that I wasn’t going to be the one up the pole they were very amenable, told me we were minutes away and gave me a whole new map. And off we went again with renewed vigour. So what if the residents of Greenwich hadn’t noticed the 50ft marshmallow? They do have a wonderfully modern police station.

But then we realise that despite the map we had gone wrong again and had no idea, once again where we were. So we pull into a petrol station. I need more cigarettes and maybe a new map. But guess what? Closed. And here is where I lose my temper. I turn around to the two young men who are walking across the forecourt towards the shop and start screaming at them about the inadequacies of the Greenwich petrol station and to be honest I was fully expecting them to look at me blankly uttering ‘petrol station?’ But they didn’t. And although they clearly thought I was a raving loon they stopped to ask if they could help. Once I explained that we were on our way to a pole dancing competition at The Dome they perked up considerably and offered to hop in the car and take us there. Honestly speaking I would be a little disingenuous if I pretend not to realise that these two lovely young men had clearly just thought they had pulled big time but needs must. They were so excited that they left their friend (who they later told us was waiting at home for them to bring back supplies for their evening on the Playstation!) and hopped in the car with a promise to take us to The Dome. Their disappointment on encountering the baby seat in the back was palpable but they handled it with good grace and chatted drunkenly with us all the way to The Dome. It turned out that Dave and Gareth were older than we first thought at 26 (worryingly I thought they were about 21 compared to my worldly ways!). They turned out to be charming, good looking and very sweet boys and we were delivering them straight into the hands of our girls! That is what team building is all about!

And they were good to their word. Thank you Gareth and Dave. We got there seamlessly (we never, ever would have made it without them). The girls were thrilled to meet Gareth and Dave and Gareth and Dave were thrilled to be there. And most importantly we got there in time for the big moment...

And then there was Danielle… The epic journey was worth it as she was amazing. Hundreds of people, a huge stage, long slippery pole. She worked that body (clad in orange spandex) and was utterly brilliant. Less stripper- more gymnast. Worryingly as her boss, it was one my proudest moments in her career to date!

Unfortunately I can't get hold of the video to post for all to see but here's the picture of Danielle that graced the front page of The Muswell Hill Journal...

And here's the latest move to be perfected by our genious gymnast!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Look Books and Birkenstocks...

Good morning girls and boys. It’s been a while I know but I was so busy sunning my fashionable self in Tel Aviv that I didn’t have a second to write to you and fill you in on the intimate ins and outs of my fascinating endeavours. Actually we had torrential rain for 3 of 6 days and Handsome D (don't worry my forgetful friends the glossary is right here) was diagnosed with diabetes but it’s nothing a spray tan and sugar-free diet can’t fix. Never fear Handsome - Beauty and the Beach do a fabulous ‘Dark & Lovely’ for only £20.

View from the apartment in Tel Aviv

Apart from that we had a great time. Tel Aviv is an amazing city-utterly urban and modern with the bonus of being on the sea which really gives the best of both worlds. I have a fabulous pink bicycle out there and cycle all over-to the beach, the restaurants, the galleries, the shops, for coffee, up to Jaffa, down to Hyarkon Park…Basically my Birkenstocked feet don’t hit the ground. Yes you read correctly-Birkenstocks. And before you mock please understand that I LOVE my Birkenstocks. They-along with my fat John Travolta T-shirt (he was normal John Travolta but age, multitude washings and the effects of my growing bust between the ages of 13 and 17 have disfigured him somewhat but I will never, ever give him away) are mainstay of my Tel Aviv wardrobe. Tel Aviv has an amazing design culture but fashion is relatively slow to catch up. This is beginning to change and I can see the ‘green shoots’ of £350 + handbags emerging but it is far from being a fashion Mecca and I must confess that I adore the freedom to make like a fashion icon in a pair of Birkenstocks and fat John T-shirt.

Actually I left London on a high and have been so excited to write this entry that I got a little overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start… Just before I packed my Giant Bailey and set off for supposedly sunnier climes we shot our SS10 look book. The shoot started off as a very neat idea of Grandfathers -our fabulous stylist and muse (because she is very a-muse-ing) the basis being that we wanted to go back to the roots of what we do as a very British brand with an ingrained English Eccentric philosophy and shoot the streets of London alive with Sara Berman. So we asked our girlfriends to spare a mo of their time and simply come as they are and pose with one of our new bags, jackets or jumpers in exactly the way they would wear them. Given that most of our motley crew wears SB anyway-this wasn’t an enormous stretch and the results are so fantastically cool, such an amazing point in history of all the relationships that make a life and define an era. The whole thing spiralled utterly out of control with friends bringing friends and friend’s friends bringing more friends! We ended up having to shoot over 4 days in 5 locations with 35 models. And what amazing models they were! Never have our clothes and bags looked so exactly and wonderfully perfect and fabulously cool. It must be said-our girls rock! A big thank you to all concerned.

A sneak peek at the SS10 Look Book

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The Eugogoly: Roxy this one's for you

I realise that most of you reading are doing so because you love fashion, but today is not about fashion. It is about Roxy so if you are not interested just log off. And if you are I am sorry it is going to be sad but it needs to be done as we can’t let her slip from our lives unmentioned, uncelebrated or unnoticed. Roxy has been Amiee’s faithful and adored companion for 5 short years but today Amiee has had to take the painful, heart wrenching decision to let her go.

For the last year Roxy has been losing the feeling in the base of her spine. She was brave and stoic and didn’t give in. Roxy had a huge love for life and her favourite thing was to run with Chester on Primrose hill. It is no small feat for a smaller than average French Bulldog to keep up with a larger than average chocolate Labrador but she did it with joy and enthusiasm until she truly wasn’t able any more. Slowly Amiee has watched her condition deteriorate until she can no longer go for her beloved walks, or control her bowels. This wonderful, beautiful dog lived her short life to the full but it was no longer fair to allow her to continue to suffer.

Roxy has spent every day in this office laying snuggled behind Amiee’s back. We will desperately miss the not so gentle snoring and less than subtle farting now that it will no longer be there. The most mellow, friendly, beautiful dog (looks a little bit like Diana Ross.-In a good way). She has been a loyal friend to Milly who will miss her and her left-overs greatly. She has been an adored sister to Chester who will be utterly bereft without her. Instead of being jealous at the arrival of Cydney, Roxy was warm, inclusive and protective with Cyd’s love for her furry sister evident as she chases her around on all fours. I truly believe that Cyd’s efforts to walk have been hindered by the fact that she believes she is a dog.

So Roxy, this one’s for you. We will miss you. So, so much.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Harris Tweed Love

This week has been exactly what I love about my job. Fashion week over and my mind is beginning to trip over the little nuggets of inspiration which will eventually grow into the new AW10 collection. This stage is the Thursday of design… The weekend is looming but not yet close enough to touch. Full of promise with the end nowhere in sight. We are starting to select all our yarns and fabrics and on that note I want to tell you about some rather wonderful news…

As I am sure you know we are more than a little obsessed with Harris Tweed… 11 pieces made from it in AW09 should give a fair clue. For those stylistas who have been living under a rock for the past 100 years this incredible cloth is hand dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides - which I think is the coolest thing ever. And from the beginning of Sara Berman I have been utterly enthralled by the whole process and we have had a great time being as creative as we like developing our own tweeds. It has become the mainstay of our collection and gets us really excited every season… (apparently there is a name for people who get excited about things like this - but that’s not for now)… Well the news is that yesterday Harris Tweed Hebrides have recognized this passion and officially endorsed Sara Berman! We are ridiculously excited about this and in November we will be off to the Outer Hebrides (!!!) to work on our collaboration and see our yarns being spun.

However excitement aside, we have a problem...what does a girl wear in the Outer Hebrides? Will the islanders of Stornoway appreciate my Opening Ceremony ankle boots? Will my ivory Cecilia bag need to be scotch-guarded against the elements? And most importantly which Harris Tweed coat do I take?

Monday, 5 October 2009

New York, New York

It was my full and real intention to write this live from the Big Apple, but truth be told my eyes were bigger than my stomach, I took too big a bite and it has taken a full week of R and R back in good old Blighty to recover and put finger to laptop.

The Oracle and I travelled together and to understand what that means you really have to live it. No half measures considered, no short cuts taken, no stone unturned. She knows every baggage handler, every customs official and every special services officer working today in JFK. I kid you not. And her influence extends further... Mrs Berman is a living legend at the Four Seasons (where we showcase our collections in wonderful, sumptuous luxury) and is the only person I know of who actually has a long term storage facility at the hotel! However my respect for her status was truly sealed when she was the only person in the whole hotel who was not subjected to the searches of the US special security agents who populated the hotel all week due to the presence of the UN delegates. She strode through the hotel unhindered leaving utterances in her wake of "Oh that's Mrs Berman" as I cluttered along behind her carrying her (multitude) bags. She swears that it is an exercise in teaching me 'How It Is Done' in order that, when she dies, I will be fully equipped for life in the fast lane. I do find her logic a little bizarre at times but I feel her intentions are good...

So back to business... We spent 5 days in meetings selling clothes, bags, hats and boots. If you can wear, want to wear, or would even consider wearing it-we were selling it. We started with breakfast meetings at 8am and finished with supper meetings at 10pm. We worked hard, we played hard and of course we found time to shop hard. It is amazing what can be achieved in the frenzied panic of a 45 minute Shop-Slot. The adrenalin pumps, the blood rushes through the veins and sharp, savvy decisions are made. Like drugs to a junky we embraced the New York retail offering with lust and enthusiasm and I would like to believe that we single handily made a contribution to their economic recovery. Well a girl has to do what she can!

The shops were in a much better place than they had been. Lots of changes have taken place since last season whether it be new senior (numbers led) management at some of the larger department stores, more focussed and concise product selection (the wonderful Bendels has chosen to focus completely on accessories, which they do so well), an increased consideration for price point (evident in all accessible designer entry level ranges) and most importantly the Value and Virtue of Luxury. Although many of these adjustments have undoubtedly been forced by the economic downturn and have been potentially difficult decisions to make and then execute, it is clear that the results are positive. The stores are busy, product looks excited and that jazzed New York buzz was palpable again as though oxygen had been pumped into its veins.

The buyers responded to that renewed energy in their approach to the new collections we were showing for SS10. On our own side of the pond we at Sara Berman had made some bold decisions about what we wanted to show the buyers for SS10. We wanted to embrace the chance for change and present a collection that was not dictated by past parameters and instead was simply and honestly what we wanted to design and to own. We pared the collection down to the essentials. Truly luxurious pieces which were trans-seasonal and would be fabulous through our unpredictable summer and into seasons to come… Extravagant leather jackets, kooky-classic cashmeres, cool cotton knits and of course loads of amazing bags. We are having so much fun designing the bags and we are lucky enough to own our own business and have the freedom to chose our direction and put the emphasis on whatever is inspiring us most and giving us pleasure as well as a financial return. And I think it paid off. The reception to our work in New York New York was so enthusiastic and positive. It was truly wonderful to feel their energy and excitement with our work. It gives us the desire to be bold, to continue to innovate, change, push ourselves and have the confidence to do what we want above and beyond anything else. This is why we are in fashion baby!

Friday, 18 September 2009

London Fashion Week: Outfits At The Ready!

If you are reading this blog, the likelihood is that you have some interest in and awareness of fashion. Therefore I feel I can adopt a somewhat ‘knowing’ tone with you. You will be aware that London Fashion Week kicks off today with all the hype, hysteria and general hoopla that entails. I have to confess that after 10 years in business and a degree in Fashwani from the University of life it no longer fills me with the same levels of excitement as it did in the days when I would throw myself over a fence, under a train and snog a bouncer just to stand on tippee-toe at the back of the hottest, newest, I-buried-my-collection-in elephant-shit-and-am-now-selling –it-exclusively–to-one-shop-who-wont-pay designer of the moment.

That said it does still excite me in other ways. I love the outfits, the energy and the passion LFW whips up. I love the way that LFW gives the perfect excuse to unleash the fashion beast within. Clearly this enthusiastic approach generates a few odd looks in my direction on the school run-even if I do take the precaution of removing my white plastic star glasses (Alexa –I was following your ‘cool rules’) but on the whole I feel it is appreciated. One should always make the effort and if one can’t, then one needs to buy a very big and fabulous coat and cover up whatever hasn’t been appropriately styled. To within an inch of one’s life.

Obviously LFW is a very important time for us. It involves multiple outfit changes daily as we meet with the buyers, taste-makers and fashion mavens who buy our collections. It is incredibly hard work as I need to plan each outfit with meticulous care at least 3 days in advance…And the weather is just so unpredictable at this time of year…. I start off channeling a Belle de Jour meets Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights not the Ginger cat) vibe in a Harris Tweed Lou Trench and end up somewhere near Xanadu in a neon pink Alicia bubble dress due to a change in atmospheric conditions. All valid looks but incredibly difficult to pull off in terms of accessories all in the same day. I deserve an OBE.

Actually The Oracle and I will be off to New York bang in the middle of LFW. Sara’s Sister will fly the flag in the UK for LFW whilst The Oracle and I sashay around NYC in our fabulous outfits and hair by Fredrik Fekkai. It will be an exhausting round of meetings, dinners, drinks, parties and shopping. I don’t know how we will cope.

To be fair, it is fortunate that I only have to keep up this fa├žade for a very limited time as it is frankly exhausting, all-consuming and irritating for anyone being forced to watch. But for the 4 weeks that are the Fashion Week season (only in Fashwani could people take so long and be so late that a week becomes 4) it is great fun and I shall fully partake-outfits at the ready.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

'The Season'

We are now fully in the swing of what is known in Fashwani as 'The Season'. Contrary to indication this is not weather related, in fact the opposite- ‘The Season’ is all about the clothes we are going to be wearing in a totally different time of year to the one we are currently in and refers to the period of time allocated to the selling of next year’s fashion wonders.

This entails the channeling of next year’s summer looks on a chilly autumnal day. Importantly 'The Season' is totally different to 'This season' or 'Last Season' and should not be confused with either of them. To wear ‘This Season’ during ‘The Season’ is a Fashwani Faux Pas of gargantuan proportions as ‘The Season’ is the time to show the world (all watching with bated breath as missile defence shields in Eastern Europe fade into insignificance in the face of what we will be wearing for Spring Summer 2010) that we are so ahead of the pack that we are actually wearing next summer’s trends this winter. Believe me – every outfit counts.

However it is also when the Real Business of Fashion kicks in to play and the buyers use all their nous and talent to select the best pieces from the designer’s collections and puts them together in their own vision for their stores. And so it is that we find ourselves sitting in the lovely Palladio showroom taking appointments with buyers. It is actually quite unusual for the designers to take such a hands on approach to selling as we do-especially with the support of as agency as recognized as Palladio behind them. However it is a part of the business that we-and particularly Sara’s Sister enjoy. It gives us a fantastic insight in to an area of the business that as designers we don’t see firsthand. Buying really is an art and to watch a good buyer at work is inspirational and can teach a designer who is willing to listen and learn a great deal.

Sara's Sister is an amazing people person and loves a good chit chat with all the buyers whilst I am less of a ‘communicator’ and find the art of social interaction with anyone I haven’t known for at least ten years a bit of a mine field and have ‘issues’ with remembering who is who (unless their shoes are particularly fabulous-Hen you know who you are). Usually this isn’t really a problem and I simply bob around behind Amiee’s back looking (hopefully) welcoming and engaged. However this has all been thrown entirely out of whack by our new matchy-matchy hair cuts.

The story goes as follows..... Sara's Sister (not content with 2 weeks in her luxury villa complete with hammock, day bed and private yoga area) returned to Ibiza for a final dance-off with her friend Candice the Loud and Luke the Snippy. One drunken thing led to another and Luke The Snippy shaved Sara's Sister’s hair off. On her return I fell in love with her new lesbo-chic image (so SS10) and succumbed to the clippers (grade 3) in Sara's Sister’s kitchen. The result is that Amiee and I are now utterly indistinguishable from each other and have now officially morphed into one person with an exceedingly cool haircut and a passable sense of style. This is all well and good but has led to all manner of confusion, not least that the buyers need clarification as to which one of us is which. The problem we have is that I still have no clue who anyone is...

Thursday, 10 September 2009

In The Press

We've had some great coverage for the Autumn/Winter '09 collection so far - here are my favourites:

'10 Best: Fabulous Fuchsia', Glamour, October

Marlow Slouch Satchel
'Show And Tell',, September

'Beautiful Bags To Buy NOW',, September

Easy Living, September

Glamour, August

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Welcome To Sara's World

So it is with some trepidation that I put fingers to keyboard and start the Sara Berman blog. I do realize how important it is to  ‘communicate our brand message’, to engage you all in the World of Sara Berman. However I am also aware that it is a slippery slope from here on in. It is only a matter of time before I get over familiar and over exposed.

I have learned the hard way that any publicity carries its downside. A bit like the time I did a shoot with Living Etc ‘at home’…. I am sure you can imagine it… Amiee and I laying on a leopard print divan, laying on a cream sofa, laying on each other and rubbing cupcakes from the Primrose Hill Bakery on to our thighs... Obviously they cut all of that (including Sara’s Sister) from the shoot itself leaving us with a very chic piece which I was proud to show Granny G. However all the glory was blown to bits when a reader wrote in to the magazine the following month to kindly let me know that my bedroom wallpaper is upside down. Clearly I was previously blissfully unaware of my huge interiors faux pas and now lay in bed at night staring at said wallpaper and nervously trying to broach the subject with Handsome D. It goes without saying that Handsome is not interested but did offer the helpful solution that I might feel better about it if I stand on my head.

But all that blatant self promotion aside, it is time I started  ‘communicating our brand message’. It is essential that I raise our Google Rankings, Engage our Customer and create an Online Community. From here on in I will be letting you know about all our new collections, our inspirations and creative musings. You will be duly informed as to who I am sleeping with (last night my daughter provided animated company at 4am), who I fancy (Handsome-you know who you are) and where I am going on holiday (generally wherever Sara’s Sister goes her little lamb will follow). Clearly this will be fascinating for you all and our Google Rankings will go through the roof.

So in anticipation of more blogs to come I want to provide you with a glossary of terms to help you navigate the World of Sara Berman.


  • Sara’s Sister - Amiee. Frankly she says being my sister is truly a full time occupation and she is challenged and fulfilled on a daily basis.
  • The Oracle (Mrs B to you Ads)– Our mum Helene. Famous for her hats. An enigma wrapped in a mystery, wearing Moschino.
  • Handsome D – My ridiculously good looking husband who in more prosperous times won the Best Dressed Banker award. Twice.
  • Dog-Sara’s Sister’s husband. Needs long walks, regular feeding and the odd pat on the head. Enthusiastic licker.
  • The Boss-Danielle our production manager. We know where our bread is buttered.
  • Grandfather - Super Stylist and photographer extraordinaire
  • Milly - Joint CEO of Sara Berman. Milly would also like it known that her Great Aunt won Best of Breed at Crufts. Pedigree never dies.

*Sara Berman reserves the right to amend, update and strike off according to the social standing of the people concerned at any time. You have been warned.