Next in my series of designers featuring at HSFW is the fabulous TerraDea. TerraDea was launched in late 2012 by emerging designer Terri Nicole Hughes, taking
her love of travel and incorporating it into her collections. Always fresh, summery and ready to hit the beach, her lines are meant to be worn in the sunshine as she uses vibrant prints along with a muted colour pallet.
TerraDea (the Latin for earth goddess) is an ethical brand sourcing the finest eco fabrics from around the world. These include GOTS certified organic cottons and bamboo silks handmade in India, recycled beads from Uganda, and UK sourced ‘GREEN’ leather to ensure the humane treatment of all livestock. Materials are only used if they are a by-product of the meat industry. Her style is flowing with an abundance of luscious layers that still flatter the figure. Her elegant boho beachwear is finished with beautiful touches of leather and organic silk linings.
Terri is an avid animal lover and does not condone the slaughter of animals for fashion. She is always looking for great recyclable materials like her fabulous recycled sari’s that she up-cycles into her designs. Due to the use of recycled materials Terra Dea always has great unique pieces available.
TerraDea has already been noticed around the world. As well as selling in the UK, many of her pieces are exported to Europe, in particular France, and she has also been approached by buyers in Australia, the US and Canada.
What inspired you to start up the brand?
I’ve wanted to be a fashion designer since I can remember. As a child I would sit and draw clothing for hours on end and make dresses for my dolls. I went to university earning my bachelors degree with honours in fashion studies. I’m very headstrong and independent so owning my own business was the obvious choice. I then did a post grad in enterprise management. Then away I went with my first online venture www.terrihughesboutique.com – very poorly named I know. I started with mainly vintage items which were easier to purchase and sell on quickly, saving time and money. I wanted to define my brand creating something unique and personal to me and my beliefs, which is where the idea for TerraDea came from. I’m a huge animal lover and eco enthusiast and felt that there was a shortage of designer brands breaking into this opportunity. I wanted to design great fashion items that were eco friendly, without being the stereotypical hippie hemp clothing we all used to think of. Some of the most beautiful fabrics are organic and I wanted to show this in my designs. I wanted to market TerraDea on the great designs and luxurious fabrics and have the fact that its eco friendly as a bonus feature, rather than being another ‘fad’ brand.
How would you describe your clothes?
TerraDea is definitely a summer brand! I love to travel and I base my designs around the fashions and cultures of other countries I have visited. The silhouette tends to be quite layered and free flowing being cool to wear in the summer, but is also flattering to the female figure. To sum it up I’d say they are perfect for a beach party.
How important is it for you that your brand is ethical?
Very! Not only to the environment but also for human and animal rights. Everything is made by myself or my team here in the UK, but as the business expands I will ensure that we only select ethical manufacturers, ensuring fair treatment of all involved in the process. I promise that with all leather and fur sales, 10% of profits made are donated to animal charities annually. All of our fur is strictly recycled vintage only, and all leather is either recycled or sourced from our UK based green seller, ensuring the humane treatment of all livestock and only created as a by product of the meat industry.
What did it mean to you to be awarded the Positive Luxury Blue Butterfly trust mark (for ethically sustainable products)?
It was amazing, as an eco brand I worry that I’m not doing enough, so to be awarded the trust mark so early on in my career is an amazing achievement. I think the most amazing thing was that I received the same award as Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. It was that point I realised that my brand may actually become a success and I was so excited to see what the future might hold for Terra Dea.
If you could collaborate with any designer, who would you choose?
The choices are endless there are so many designers and brands that I adore. I would have loved to have worked with Dior or McQueen. I would have to say Stella McCartney due to her ethical work, or Vivienne Westwood.
Which celebrity would you love to see wearing your clothes?
I think any celebrity would be fantastic as its always great press for the brand (within reason). If I could choose anyone it would be someone beautiful, who looks fantastic in summer clothing. A few favourite people of mine are Audrina Patridge, Angelina Jolie and Megan Fox (Major girl crushes). I’m really eager to break into the American market and it’d be amazing to have someone as fantastic as them to wear and promote my brand. I always like to aim high. Another favourite would be Victoria Beckham (I’ve always been a fan) although I’m not sure she’d like the style of TerraDea, she tends to wear more structured monochrome clothing, and she has her own brand to promote. Who knows maybe I could convert her?!
What do you enjoy most about creating your own lines?
For me that’s just it, creating absolutely anything I want and having no boundaries, other than the cost of organic fabrics which can be quite pricey. It’s an amazing feeling when someone compliments you on a design or when you see someone in the street wearing something you’ve created.
How did you get involved with HSFW?
I received an email from one of the organisers, who found me on Twitter. Twitter has been an amazing outlet for promoting the brand.
How is preparation going?
It’s great; I exhibited at Oxford Fashion Week in 2010 and The Clothes Show Live in the NEC last December which has given me a little insight into events like this. But I feel a lot more prepared this time. I’ve already got all the stock packed up and ready to be sent off. I’m now getting lookbooks and extra business cards printed up. I’m really excited for the event!
What are you looking forward to most about attending?
I’m really looking forward to the catwalk show, that’s always my favourite part. I love seeing my design up there being strutted around by the models. I also like to look at the audience and try to gauge their opinion on it. I’m also really looking forward to networking with people from the fashion industry. I find living outside London can be difficult when running a fashion brand, so I love any excuse to get into the city and network with like minded people. There’s also a buyers lounge which I’m really hoping to get some contacts out of. I’m already selling worldwide via websites based in Australia, Canada and the UK and regularly make a lot of sales in Europe and America via my ASOSmarketplace boutique. It would be really nice to get my clothing into actual boutiques now. Using such luxurious fabrics people really need to see them in person to appreciate the quality, be able to feel them and try them on.