So. I had JUST landed from Paris and I was already on it. Matthew Williamson was propping up the bar in Manchester’s new French Brasserie, Aubaine, in Selfridges Exchange Square.
I picked his brains on LFW, Manchester, Online and Social. Here is what the Chorlton born designer had to say about Online.
Fashion Rambler: Your clothes are all over the .com, but you operate your own transactional website. How does it fare?
Matthew Williamson: It’s been going a year, it’s going OK. I think the internet and social media and anything to do with the internet is a difficult proposition if you don’t have the funds to make it a legitimate engine. We’re doing what we can with what we’ve got. We’ve just joined Facebook, about 10 years behind everyone else. *laughs*
fR: Watch out, you’ll be on Twitter next.
MW: Steady. Don’t hold your breath. We’ve just joined this Facebook and got 8,000 fans now so….
Matthew’s SS12 Collection
fR: So, online is a big scary world but you’re doing OK since 1 year isn’t long to be in the game and 8,000 Facebook likes means something.
MW: It’s a long, slow thought in our minds. We’re meeting the right people and for it to really work one needs to put in a lot of effort and time. It’s not about slapping up a sight and hoping you sell. You have to do a lot work.
Customers get a preview of the SS12 Collections in the new French restaurant.
fR: How do you try to keep your own personality as part of the online engine?
MW: We try to with Facebook. We keep our customer in the know. We’ve started, in the last 6 weeks, to post blogs that are personal, from me. They inform readers about what I’m up to. I do an event in my store in London once a month, we plot them 12 months in advance. Next week I’m doing a press event to meet people in industry that I may not have met yet. I know the Alex Shulman’s [Editor of British Vogue] and those kinds of people but not the new generation; bloggers, stylists.
I love being in the store, seeing the customers, I genuinely like knowing what women think of the clothes. It’s all well and good doing a show, on a girl that has a body like a boy but I do quite like engaging and learning. I’ve been in so many changing rooms with so many women and they’ve told me so many things!
Read the full interview here.