20 YEARS OF EVC-ELLENCE
Creativity comes second nature to Emile Vidal Carr, his attention to detail to celebrate the female form through his designs has allowed him to explore and strengthen his capabilities which extends to 3 unique lines; Athlecture, Newtechure and recently EcoSwimure. Like every artist, Emile has a unique approach to design, drawing influence from hip hop music, Emile learned that Jay Z doesn’t write his rhythms and instead lays down his versus in one take. He decided to follow in this style, he has now honed this skill and operates all of his design work in this manner.
“I would spend weeks going over a design in my head, working out every little detail, without drawing it. Then finally when I was ready, I would cut out the style freehand and sew up the design on the sewing machine. On meeting my wife 11 years ago, I changed the kind of woman that I was designing dresses for. I went from designing dresses that were more suitable for going raving to sharp dresses suitable for professional women. Having her as the muse for the brand, I have been able to understand the psychology of the target consumer, more especially as a straight black male in the fashion business”. Emile Vidal Carr
Emile has always been encouraged by his friends and wife to explore what he is truly passionate about, originally from Sierra Leone, Emile came to England when he was 3 and has always shown a keen interest in fashion and the arts. This network includes his sister and parents whom at first were sceptical about a young man from Africa starting a fashion label, however seeing the label progress over the years ensured that Emile had their support. His 6.5 year old daughter is now at that age where she realises what her father does for work and when possible joins him in the studio so she too can work on her love of creativity, whilst his youngest daughter also watches with interest.
Emile learned his skill at the London College of Fashion under the watchful eyes of Claudette, Hillary and Angela Drisdale Gordon who took time to support Emile. Juggling a degree and full time work had its challenges however the tutors saw huge potential in Emile and enabled him to unlock his creative vision. After graduating from the London College of Fashion Emile designed a range that was stocked by market leaders Topshop, ASOS and Allders and in 2008 had the opportunity to showcase a collection as part of New York Fashion Week. Fast forward 2 decades and he has become one of London’s most sought after designers.
Inspiration from each collection is drawn from mainly art and music, Emile feels that these two disciples are steeped in cultures of different varieties which excites him. A trip a few years ago to Sierra Leone allowed Emile to see how they sue colour blocking; he has taken a little of this idea since that visit with his approach to colour and teamed it with his tailoring to create pieces such as his best seller the Kate Asymmetric Dress.
Having worked in fashion for nearly 20 years Emile has witnessed the evolution of the industry through a multitude of global changes and has always taken the approach to adapt accordingly and support across the board. 2020 has been a year of change and a new chapter of education through real life events. We continue to watch the rise of this independently owned and ran fashion house, expect the unexpected.
Since the start of this decade Emile Vidal Carr has survived all the challenges brought on by COVID and the brand can now boast that it is one of a few in the UK who own their own factory. Additionally Emile has recently been a judge for the second year running on for the Black British Business Awards as well as winning the Outstanding Achievement Award at the African Fashion Awards.
Watch my most recent interview here