The Fashion Folk S02 ep1 : Nicole Farhi, Farhi Fashion, [London]
Interview with Nicole Farhi
She is so well established as a designer who designs sympathetically for like-minded women that she needs little explanation. Born in Nice and trained in fashion design, she moved to London in the early 1970's to work with Stephen Marks on the French Connection brand. She launched her own label with Marks in 1982 and added a very successful mens-wear collection in 1989. Two diffusion ranges called Farhi now exist for both men and womens-wear. Her flagship store in Bond Street, London houses her collections, her home-wares, swimwear and accessories plus her popular eponymous restaurant. There is an almost identical store just off Madison Avenue in New York. London. She has won many awards for both her mens and womens-wear collections; sculpts for a little more than relaxation and is married to the playwright David Hare.
Farhi: I have been to Africa all my youth, I used to spend all my holidays there.
Farhi: I had no idea, I just read in some papers that it’s happening. Yeah I had no idea, and I
haven’t even seen yet … because we’ve been so busy I haven’t watched any shows but that’s what
Farhi: Why it would be good for the same kind of colours.
Farhi: For me, oh I just, I have a cupboard at home.
Farhi: I often go back to it and pull out things and we made a collection this year by … different
Farhi: But wouldn’t the same colour … as well, all in the red, beige and black, so, it was so
Farhi: When … see that’s okay, I don’t know how it came together I couldn’t tell you (thank you it
was a beautiful show) thank you very much (bye, bye). Thank you.
Farhi: I started when I was very young, I was going to art school and I was painting but there were
no resources and at the same time I was doing fashion and when I was showing my designs I was
getting a job.
Farhi: I was living in Paris and I started working I was 19, 20, and it was very easy for me the
fashion world then. It was the late 60’s, early 70’s, that was the beginning of fashion design.
Farhi: What is wonderful is that all of those who started such a long time ago, we’re still there, and
we’re still having the great pleasure and we have all big businesses, small as, and I’m not so sure
that the young people will carry on as long as we do. I think they get fed up because they get
famous far too early in a way, too quickly and they haven’t had the ground you know to build it.
Farhi: When we started, all of us, we did not have such expectation to become famous, greats or
you know we just were very happy doing what we were doing, having a good time, seriously
How do you approach coming up with your collections twice a year? I mean just as an
Farhi: In different ways, this one came about because I put together a lot of my vintage fabrics and
jewellery or colours that I had, books on photographs, it was a ménage of stuff that I had at home
for years and you know when you think about what you’re going to do next, you just look around,
look in books and I just thought well there’s something already made here, if I just put it all
Farhi: I never said to my team, let’s go and do an African theme you know I don’t know how to
work this way. But it so happened that when you put together what you like it does talk to you and
it said Africa.
Farhi: I sculpt and when I sculpt I never know what I’m going to start doing, you know I just play
with the clay and then something happens and it develops into something or sometimes a piece
that falls onto the floor and it’s even better. So as you say, happy accidents.
Farhi: As a designer I do rely a lot on my pattern cutters, my seamstresses, the factory who is going
to make the collection, the people who are going to buy you know so the business can carry on.
When I sculpt I’m on my own, you know I don’t have to have a show, I do exactly what I want
What part do you really enjoy?
Farhi: I think it’s the beginning of a collection, it’s the putting together the colours and looking for
fabrics and designing the knitwear which comes first. I think I love all that, I think it becomes
more and more tense when comes the moment to show it to the buyers.
Farhi: I love this collection and I will be very curious to see whether it sells a lot or not, I think it’s
fun, it’s young, it’s … and it’s lively and it’s so oh, we’ll see.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Nicole Farhi, Farhi Fashion, London