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Meet the genius woman behind Temperley London.
Alice Temperley Interview
Buro247ME caught up with Alice Temperley in Dubai, where she discussed her creative vision and aspirations. Discover our exclusive interview with the designer below.

In a recent exclusive interview, we had the privilege of sitting down with Alice Temperley to dive into the intricacies of her design philosophy and her unique perspective on fashion in the Middle Eastern market. Alice offered us a glimpse into the inner workings of her creative process, her dedication to crafting the highest quality pieces that transcend generations, and her vision for her brand. 

Read Buro247ME‘s exclusive interview with Alice Temperley below. 

Alice Temperley Interview

What makes the Middle East an important region for you?
Right from our very first collection, we’ve always had a great response from Middle Eastern shoppers. It was just really evident early on that they loved the gowns and the escapist feeling of beautifully made things, whether it was lace or a kind of elegant decadence. Also, because a lot of my stuff is quite unconstrained, it’s very easy to wear. It’s somewhat modest and very elegant. The Middle Eastern taste is perfectly suited to our evening wear. 

Alice Temperley Interview

The Middle Eastern audience has its own fashion preferences and cultural nuances. How do you ensure that your designs resonate with this audience while maintaining the essence of the Temperley brand?
I love a gown, so that bit’s not a problem. We also do a lot of the cover-ups, and people over here love those. We also have a lot of long hems, sleeves, and breezy silhouettes. And the sleeve doesn’t need to be heavy; it can be a sheer sleeve as well. And the back doesn’t need to be totally covered; it can be sheer with, like, embroidery on it. It’s essentially about covering a woman’s body so she feels elegant and comfortable. 

Do you see any parallels between the British market and the Middle Eastern market?
I do, yes, especially when it comes to evening wear. The Middle Easterners understand that feeling of romance, and so do the British. In England, we still have formal events to dress up for. In the Middle East, obviously, the ladies dress up a lot more. The way an English person would dress for a wedding, cocktail party, or a black tie event is more normal over here to wear on a more regular occurrence. I believe this is essential for a brand to understand and tap into. Honestly, I see a lot of parallels between the English and the Middle Eastern markets.

Alice Temperley Interview

What does your design process look like? What are some of the things that inspire you?
It’s about making clothes that have a story to each piece. It’s not just about buying fabric, cutting and sewing. Even if it’s a printed piece, the print has to tell a story, and it has to be placed accordingly. The same goes for the embroidery. 

So usually, we come up with a theme, and once we’ve got a mood board of silhouette, we’ll go through the mood board of pattern, and we’ll start painting lots of things. So we’ll paint some of our laces, flowers, and leaves that go with them. Once that is done, we move on to the embroidery stage. 

We’ll then go into the knitwear. We play around with all of our patterns across the fabrics that we make. We’ll make our jacquards, prints, knits, embroideries, and laces. Once we finalize the fabrics, we make prototypes. And then we kind of put it all together, which is the fun bit. It is really important to me to make pieces that I am proud of. 

Is comfort a key element of your designs?
Yes. of course, for a woman designing for a woman. The fit is so important for us girls, especially the ease of movement. My pieces are quite ornate, but the shapes are usually simple.

As Gen Z becomes a driving force in the fashion industry, what strategies do you employ to stay relevant and appealing to this demographic, especially considering their penchant for authenticity and social responsibility?
Our pieces are made to last. Recently, we’ve had young girls discover Temperley dresses in their mothers’ closets and fall in love with them. So there’s definitely a market there among the younger generations. As for our efforts to cater to this market, we’re trying to be authentic as a brand. We are attempting to be transparent about everything and more diverse and inclusive than we already are. 

Alice Temperley Interview

Sustainability is a growing concern within the fashion industry. How does Temperley London approach sustainability in its design and production processes, and what initiatives can we expect to see in your upcoming collections?
By producing in small volumes and gradually increasing as demand dictates, we avoid excessive turnover. Take our Heritage gowns, for instance. They’re consistently available for purchase, though we maintain limited stock. We refrain from excessive ordering, redesigning, or resampling. These gowns, beloved by many, embody timeless elegance. 

Additionally, we prioritize sustainability by using vegan leather, cellulose-based packaging, recycled materials for boxing, and revamped hangers. Our fabric choices prioritize natural materials instead of polyester. But most importantly, our clothes are made to last, both in terms of the silhouettes and quality of the fabrics and embellishments. I find satisfaction in knowing that these pieces can be cherished across generations.

What are your aspirations for the future of Temperley London?
My goal right now is to grow a fantastic team that can take it to the next level of being a British heritage brand. I have worked very hard for 20 years, and we have got so much more to give. I’d love to explore other product categories, especially homeware and accessories.