Richard Quinn is an unfamiliar name to most of us at present but this will soon no longer be the case. His debut show for London Fashion Week in February 2018 was attended not only by Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour but also by Her Majesty the Queen. The monarch was making her first appearance at London Fashion Week and she presented Quinn with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. Soon after this triumph Quinn received a call from Amal Clooney, one of the world’s most high-profile women, asking him to dress her for the Met Gala. Since then Quinn has added more celebrity clients including the actress Thandie Newton for the BAFTAs and model of the moment Adwoa Aboah.
Quinn was not your usual fashion graduate, he had not even heard of Central St Martins, the alma mater of many British designers, until, aged sixteen, he watched one of their graduate shows on YouTube and decided to channel his love for art into fashion. He completed his undergraduate degree and won a place on the much-coveted MA programme but could not afford the tuition fees. Fortunately for him a Stella McCartney talent scout spotted his work and the label sponsored his studies. Quinn went on to win the H&M Design Award, creating a collection for the brand and winning £45,000 in prize money with which he set up his studio in a railway arch in Peckham. A south London boy, Quinn has no plans to move and has offered workspace to other up-and-coming designers. His father has a scaffolding company a few arches up from his. He has no worries about celebrities coming to him for fittings. Amal came to his studio for all her fittings. His favourite pub is Beer Rebellion, next to his studio, and he loves Blackbird Bakery for its coffee, tarts and pies. There are no airs and graces with Quinn, neither is he starstruck when mixing with celebrities. He has said that he will not work with prima donnas or people who are rude. Social media has proved to be a powerful marketing tool, no doubt helped by the fact his Instagram following jumped from 17K to 50K in the 24 hours after his royal encounter. He now has a collection at Debenhams, clothes with a very reasonable price tag. Level-headed and with a gritty determination, Quinn is destined to become a household name before very long.
Gill Frost Summer 2018 Issue 153