Designer Womenswear, Bridal and Accessories Since 1990
Amanda Wakeley – OBE and Prolific Fashion Award Winner
View Amanda Wakeley Fashion collections on London Fashion Review Blog
A Brief History of the Amanda Wakeley Brand
Born in Chester, England in 1962, self-taught designer Amanda Wakeley worked for ‘Go Silk’ in New York before setting up her namesake label in 1990. Without any formal training, Amanda began designing clothes intuitively with the aim to create beautiful garments that women would love to wear. The brand soon gained a reputation for creating polished womenswear with attention to detail, use of quality fabrics and a perfection of cut.
In 2000, the Amanda Wakeley Company was acquired by International Clothing Designs Limited. The takeover signals the start of a lucrative expansion plan into the global markets. The brand was to change hands once again in 2005 when private equity investment company, W. Holdings acquired the label from International Clothing Designs Ltd for an undisclosed sum. As part of the deal Amanda held 20% of the equity in the company and with her business partners executed extensive plans for further global development of the company. Additionally, a new management structure was put in place within the company which allowed the international growth, retail expansion and the development of brand extensions.
In 2008, Amanda was to receive an unpleasant shock when she became the victim of a corporate takeover of her namesake brand. The Amanda Wakeley brand was been bought by the corporate restructuring specialist, Jason Granite, a former City trader with Deutsche Bank. In a statement on December 11th 2008 Amanda Wakeley said “I have been advised that I will be no longer required and have tendered my resignation which has been accepted with immediate effect. I shall leave the company today.”
Fashion Designer Amanda Wakeley.
However, in 2009 Amanda managed to complete the buy back of her business, secured long term investment of the brand and as a result saved 50 jobs across the United Kingdom. She now owns 100 per cent of the company and it is totally under her creative direction.
In January 2010, the Queen appointed Amanda Wakeley an Officer of the Order of the Britsh Empire (OBE). The award recognizes the significant contribution that she has made to the fashion industry and contribution to charity. Since 1996 Amanda Wakeley has co-chaired the committee for the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Appeal and has helped to raise over $10m to date.
Over the last two decades the Amanda Wakely brand has developed a global reputation for designing stylish, luxury womenswear and accessories. As of 2011 the Amanda Wakeley brand was celebrating 21 successful years in the fashion industry and the product range consisted of ready-to-wear, bridalwear, a cruise collection, fine jewellery and footwear. The Amanda Wakeley seasonal collections are shown during London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks.
Additionally, since its inception the Amanda Wakeley brand has become a completely international label with stockists throughout the UK and the rest of the world. The brand has four standalone stores in the UK including a flagship store on London’s Fulham Road and is available in 70 department stores. Also the Amanda Wakeley fashion label has a thriving business in the Middle East, Australia, the United States, Singapore, and Europe. Global representation includes concessions in prestigious department store such as Barneys in New York and Los Angeles, Holt Renfrew in Canada and Brown Thomas in Dublin.
Amanda Wakeley – Key Dates
- 1962: Amanda Wakeley is born in Chester, England and goes on to study at Cheltnam Ladies’ College. Throughout her youth she enjoyed making clothes and was entirely self taught in her design and making skills.
- 1984: Amanda moves to New York and started working for ‘Go Silk’, a modern silk sportswear brand.
- 1990: Returning to London, full of influence from New York, Amanda launches her namesake label.
- 1992: The brand is awarded its first British Fashion Award for Glamour, which the label will receive twice more in 1993 and 1996.
- 1996: Amanda Wakeley begins co-chairing the committee for the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Appeal, which has raised over £10 million.
- 1998: Amanda designs the work/uniform dress that will be worn by 80,000 employees of BT.
- 2000: The Amanda Wakeley brand is acquired by International Clothing Designs Ltd, which saw the start of an expansion plan for the London-based fashion label.
- 2005: The Company is acquired by private equity investments company W Holdings for an undisclosed sum, which plan to turn the Amanda Wakeley brand into a truly global fashion label. As part of the deal, Wakeley remains at the center of the development strategy, and will hold 20 percent of the equity.
- 2008: Designer Amanda leaves her namesake brand after becoming the victim of a corporate takeover.
- 2009: Amanda Wakeley buys back her namesake brand and secures long term investment for the label.
- 2010 – The Queen appointed Amanda Wakeley and Officer of the Order of the Empire (OBE) for her contribution made to charity and the fashion industry. Also this year, Amanda Wakeley launches her fine jewellery line exclusively for jewelers Earnest Jones.
Amanda Wakeley Inspiration and Aesthetic
Amanda Wakeley is inspired by the people of London stating “there is a vibrancy, freedom and individuality about the style of Londoners that I love”. The streets of of London also influence the designer saying she finds inspiration everywhere in London – “art, culture, and music is prevalent throughout the whole city whether you are in a gallery, restaurant or park. It’s on every street and neighbourhood”.
The Amanda Wakeley brand has developed an international reputation for designing stylish, supremely luxurious womenswear and accessories. The Amanda Wakeley signature style is about creating feminine goddess gowns which are intricately tailored to fit ‘real woman’. She uses luxurious fabrics for the creation of her garments which are perfectly cut and have an attention to craftsmanship which creates a look which is in her words ‘calculatedly understated but alluring’.
The Amanda Wakeley aesthetic has attracted many a celebrity fan including Scarlett Johansson, Demi Moore, Kate Bekinsale, Dita von Teese, Charlize Theron, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mischa Barton, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet, Angeline Jolie and Emily Rossum. She has also been invited to design clothing for Diana, the late princess of Wales, Queen Rania of Jordan and most recently Kate Middleton, has been spotted wearing Amanda Wakeley’s designs.
Kate Beckinsale and Angelina Jolie in Amanda Wakeley Gowns.
Amanda Wakeley Bridal
Amanda Wakeley introduced the Sposa boutique in 2000 offering wedding dresses with contemporary glamour, a luxurious use of fabrics and perfect cut. She receives high demand for her advice on wedding fashion to create that perfect dress. She has also developed the ‘wedding planner’ application on her website to allow users to plan everything for the wedding day from ordering flowers and caterers to the design of the dress. This allows some of Amanda’s insight to be provided for that special day. A related iPhone app also replicates the wedding planner platform allowing all the information and documentation that the bride has gathered to be accessed ‘on the go’ and is perfect for appointments and fittings.
Amanda Wakeley Bridalwear.
Future of the Amanda Wakeley Brand
Amanda Wakeley has recently introduced a successful shoe line to her collection as well as a fine jewellery line, exclusively created for jewellers Earnest Jones. The product line is soon to expand once again with the addition of a handbag line in the near future. In the future of the Amanda Wakeley brand expect to see further expansion in the product range and global presence as well as continued prolific celebrity patronage.
Visit the official Amanda Wakeley website here.