When it comes to hot trends on a budget, ASOS is your number one destination, but not a lot of people know the faces behind the brand. Jacqui Markham, the design director for ASOS, who has previously been the brains behind fashion giants Karen Millen and Topshop, has successfully moved onto ASOS, just as fashion is heading more into the online world. Couturing spoke with Jacqui about future trends, collaborations and the contemporary, digital age of fashion.
You’ve had such a successful career in fashion, what has been the biggest change you have seen over the years with regards to women’s design and trends?
“Our access to trend information online. All information is literally at everyone’s fingertips, from social media to blogs, street style reportage – it is immediate and has accelerated the demand for newness, especially within our core twenty-something demographic”.
ASOS seems to have paved the way for online fashion, what do you think has been the key to its enormous success?
“Choice. With our unique mix of brands, our own label proposition, marketplace and beauty, we aim to be the one-stop shop for fashion forward twenty-somethings worldwide”.
The great thing about ASOS is that it’s a site that is constantly on trend and affordable for students who want to keep fashion forward. How do you stay so up-to-date on incoming trends?
“Our 30-strong design team is constantly seeking out new trends worldwide, and putting an ASOS unique spin on styles that our girls want to buy – all at an accessible price”.
Are you seeing a change in the industry as fashion is beginning to transcend more online?
“I think the traditional seasons are becoming less defined. Trans-seasonal garments that can be layered up or down depending where you are in the world are becoming increasingly important. Colour palettes are similarly becoming less seasonally specific”.
Who has been one of your favourite collaborations in association with ASOS?
“Our partnership with Soko in Kenya for our ongoing ASOS Africa brand. The next collection will be available in March next year and is inspired by the traditional garments worn by the Masai tribes and the natural environment in which they live”.
Could you let us in on any future collaborations ASOS is planning?
“Puma for ASOS. This will be the debut women’s collection and will launch on site in January”.
You’ve been down to Australia recently to host the new season’s trends from for your Spring/Summer 2014 range. What are your essential, ‘go-to’ items to have over the warmer months in Australia?
“A cami dress, statement skirt, sheer shirt, a pair of leather skater shorts and a pair of flat or platform sandals”.
What trends can we expect to see online in the coming months?
“90’s minimalism, unstructured macs, fluid tailoring, slip dresses and matching coordinates. For accessories it’s all about sliders for footwear and the mini duffle bag”.
What do you think is biggest difference in planning and marketing in an online-only fashion store compared with other brands like Topshop and Karen Millen, which rely a lot on their customer service and in-store experience?
“The biggest difference is that we are not constrained by physical walls. It is a great freedom from a design perspective – we can make all of our creative ideas happen and offer endless choice”.
You’ve had such a successful career, had you always planned to be in the fashion industry?
“When I was young I never realised that you could have a successful career from commercial design. I always loved art and once I discovered fashion design at my art foundation course I was hooked”.
Australia is one of ASOS’s largest markets, has it been hard adapting to an international market in terms of seasonal trends, shipping, etc?
“Not really – our in-house country team is a fantastic asset. They give us insight into the territory as well as localising the site’s content for our consumers”.
Finally, ASOS has been taking the world by storm in the short time it’s been around, what’s next for the online giant?
“Our next big ASOS adventure is launching in China this month”.
If you haven’t already bookmarked the site, you can find all the up-to-minute trends at asos.com/au/.
Images courtesy of ASOS