Veryan Raiker is an effervescent and driven London-based designer creating beautiful clothing with a sustainable and socially conscious twist. Her style is thoughtful, deliberate, sophisticated yet incredibly wearable. It was my absolute pleasure to interview Veryan and find out more about her fashion inspirations and motivations.
Q. When did you know that ethical fashion design was something you wanted to pursue?
A few years ago, I nearly missed out on a length of beautiful, light, frothy silk voile needed for my sister’s wedding veil—it was touch and go, I just managed to place my order before the tiny mill in the south of France, where the fabric’s woven, closed for the whole of August. The romantic history of the fabric struck me and I realised that I wasn’t the sole creator of, in this case, Merryn’s wedding dress, but part of an interlinking web of designers and artisans.
My interest in the heritage of fashion and the consequences of decisions made by this enormous, thriving industry was sharpened—how could I make a positive contribution to it? Sustainability, through ethics, design and ecology became my sole focus when creating Veryan.
Q. How would you describe the design aesthetic of Veryan in 10 words or less?
Simple, classic—we dance the line between practicality and tailoring.
We are a growing brand and each new series we create affirms and concretes our principle of sustainability—not only in ethics but in design. To create a wardrobe of style, a selection of interchangeable garments that work seamlessly together, that are locally made from the most luxurious ecological and ethical fabrics will be our enduring aim.
Increasingly, as we grow, we will offer this: simple luxury and positive social change.
Q. Which ethical designers are inspiring you right now?
The jewellery by Johari is beautiful, their Miale necklace with its roughly textured cascades of hammered brass is my particular favourite. Their designs are elegant and the fact that their Johari Foundation uses 100% of their profits for local social enterprises, is inspiring.
|Miale (‘sunrays’) necklace by Johari|
New York designer Titiana Inglis’s structured minimalist designs showcase how well ethical and high fashion can intermix—with the variety of ethical and ecological fabrics available to designers now, fantastic designs can be created without compromise.
Q. What advice would you give to other young designers interested in becoming more sustainable?
I’d say: research, research, research—then take time to build up relationships with like-minded companies and individuals. Enjoy the development of your brand, it can be really tough, but each difficulty that arises is the beginning of a new learning curve.
Q. If you had to choose another career other than design – what would that be?
Honestly, I can’t think of a career I’d love more!
Q. Do you have a favourite item that you’ve created?
I love the shirts we’ve released on The Beautiful Think for AW and am very excited for what’s coming up next season. I do love the organic cotton shirt though, it’s so easy to throw on with dark blue vintage jeans and tan sandals—I’m a hoarder of clothes I can throw together, that can be worn in the studio and out and about in London too.
Q. What does the future hold for Veryan?
There are so many exciting things coming up! We’re polishing off the next SS womenswear collection right now, which I can’t wait to launch. I’m beginning to dabble in menswear design, plus there’s an exciting underwear collaboration coming up this autumn. Every day I’m pushing my ethos and designs further—I’m loving every moment.
You can connect with Veryan via Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Stay tuned for an exclusive Kindness by Design + Veryan photoshoot!