Ricky Harriott graduated from London College of Fashion (LCF) in 2011, and set up the eponymous label Wesley Harriott the same year. In May this year, the brand was announced as the winner of the ASOS Fashion Discovery Judges’ Choice award, where the prizes include the chance to launch at least two collections on ASOS, receive one-to-one mentorship with industry experts on how to grow his brand, and a £50k cash bonus to get started! We caught up with Ricky to see how he’s feeling and to find out more about his brand.
Congratulations on winning the ASOS Fashion Discovery award! How does it feel?
It is such a dream come true. I have worked really hard to push my brand and get it out there, and to be recognized by such a huge company like ASOS is incredible. I feel really lucky to have their support moving forward.
What first inspired you to study at LCF?
When I was growing up I always viewed LCF as the place I needed to be to get the knowledge and training to really better myself. LCF has such a rich history of neutering talent so it was always somewhere I felt would really help me grow.
What did you do after graduation?
After I finished at LCF I went on to the University of Hertfordshire. The course offered there focused on areas I felt would further diversify my fashion design education, so between both institutions I feel really lucky to have been taught such a rounded education by such incredible tutors.
When did you set your label up?
I actually set Wesley Harriott up in 2011, I did a small capsule, but quickly realized I needed to really hone my craft more and really figure out my points of view creatively. I put it on hold, did some internships and revisited the brand again in 2016 and have been working on it fully ever since.
Who is Wesley Harriott designed for?
Wesley Harriott is designed for a women who is simply inspired by amplifying her own presence and desire for self. My brand isn’t about changing or cloaking a women, it’s more about enhancing and empowering what already exists.
What are the challenges and benefits of running your own label?
I love being able to have complete freedom of speech creatively and be able to tell my own stories and share it, but it can be a little lonely. You really have only yourself to rely on and that can sometimes be overwhelming. I think it’s really, really important to learn patience when running your own label. We live in a world where social media grants instant gratification and praise and you can become very easily frustrated. I think it’s important to remember there is no such thing as over-night success.
And finally, what’s next for you?
I am working on my next collection at present. I have a few exciting things in the pipeline but for now it’s best I keep a lid on it, for now I see really positive things in line…but not without a lot of hard work, which I welcome.
Images courtesy of Wesley Harriott.