British designer fashion by the Jasper Conran fashion label
View Jasper Conran Fashion collections on London Fashion Review Blog
History of Jasper Conran Fashion
Jasper Conran was born in 1959, in London, the son of the founder of Habitat Sir Terence Conran, who has influenced British and European home furnishing design since the 60’s. Educated at Bryanston and Parson School of Art & Design in New York, his first collection was designed for Henri Bendel New York, before launching his first womenswear collection under his own name in 1978 aged just 19. The brand expanded to incorporate menswear, bridal, accessories and furniture – all available exclusively at the London Mayfair flagship store. A diffusion line, J by Jasper Conran was launched with a womenswear collection in 1996, exclusively for UK department store, Debenhams. Additionally, through several successful licensing agreements, Jasper Conran also produces home furnishings, fragrance, luggage and an eyewear/opticals collection.
Described as the ‘Calvin Klein of London’, the brand signature aesthetic mixes classic British elegance with a cheeky irreverent attitude that has been universally applied across the designs of all Jasper Conran collections. The Jasper Conran designs are said to be inspired by the early garments of Coco Chanel updated to create modern sophistication as opposed to retro style.
- 1977: Jasper Conran graduated from New York’s prestigious Parsons School of Art and Design. In the same year, he designed his first collection for Henri Bendel before returning to the UK to work briefly for the British company, Wallis, as a design consultant, producing its Special Label.
- 1978: The first Jasper Conran womenswear collection is launched showing black cashmere trousers, and coats and jackets lined with cream satin.
- 1985: The Jasper Conran menswear line is launched, which now represents 60% of his clothing sales.
- 1986: Jasper Conran is awarded British Fashion Designer of the Year from the British Style Council.
- 1989: A retail collaboration in Japan with Seibu is launched.
- 1990: Conran signed a ten-year licensing agreement with the Marchpole Group Plc, the UK subsidiary of Bidermanns S.A., to produce and market his men’s clothing lines.
- 1991: Jasper Conran collects the British Fashion Council ‘British Collections’ Award.
- 1996: The diffusion, J by Jasper Conran is launched as a womenswear collection for Debenhams.
- 2003: The Jasper Conran signature fragrances, Man and Women are launched followed by an award-winning home fragrance.
- 2005: The Jasper Conran flagship store opens in a four-story Georgian home in London’s Mayfair. The store features all the Jasper Conran high-end collections and an exclusive made-to-order furniture line
- 2008: Jasper Conran is appointed as an Officer of the British Empire (OBE).
- 2010: Jasper Conran puts his hand to writing and his first book, titled Country, is released. In his book, Country, Conran documents his experiences working and living in the English countryside.
The J Brand: Jasper Conran Diffusion Brand
Jasper Conran was one of the first UK designers to embark on a large scale high street collaboration. The J brand, his diffusion line, is available exclusively at the department store Debenhams in the UK, and incorporates womenswear and menswear clothing and accessories, lingerie, jewellery, childrenswear and homeware. J by Jasper Conran was launched in 1996 with a line of womenswear, to be followed by J Jeans womenswear collection. Over the next few years, the J Brand expanded, adding a home furnishing collection in 1998, a childrenswear collection in 1999,a menswear collection in 2003 and a bridal collection in 2007. As of 2011, 15 years since its launch, J by Jasper Conran, remains at the core of ‘Designers at Debenhams’ concept, which also featured collections from, among others, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson and John Rocha. The Designers at Debenhams concept is heavily attributed to its 20% rise in profits for the 2010 financial year, despite the tough economic conditions experienced by many other retailers across this period.
On Stage: Jasper Conran and the Performing Arts
Throughout his career, Jasper Conran has pursued his passion for the performing art, designing costumes and sets for various ballet, opera and theatre productions. Amongst his works are the theatre production of ‘My Fair Lady’, Donizetti’s opera ‘Maria Stuarda’ and David Bintley’s ballet ‘Tombeaux’. In 1991, Conran received the Lawrence Olivier Award for Costume Design for Jean Anouilh’s ‘The Rehearsal’ at the Almeida Theatre in London
Jasper Conran: Brand Licensing
Jasper Conran works under licence with a select group of manufacturers and retailers creating a wide range of products.
- Opticals: Launched in 2008, a range of men’s ad women’s frames exclusively for Specsavers.
- Home Wear: Collaboration with the Waterford Wedgwood group and Jasper Conran began in 1999 with a range of crystal stem and giftware for Waterford Crystal. In 2001, Jasper Conran White, a range of fine bone china for Wedgwood was launched. As of 2011, there were 12 ranges of China within the Wedgwood collection. Further home collections followed with fire places for Chesney’s in 2003 and, interior furnishing fabrics and wallpapers for the Designers Guild in 2004.
- Fragrance: In 2003, the first men’s and women’s fragrances were launched. These have become the ‘signature’ scents for the collection. Since the initial launch, 4 further lines have been added.
- Luggage: Jasper Conran launched a range of Luggage for Tripp in 2005 – making ‘desirable, glamorous and fun’ luggage rather than luggage that is purely functional. Seasonal collections continue to be designed by Jasper Conran.
Future of Jasper Conran
In the future for the Jasper Conran labels, expect a continuing partnership for the J brand diffusion line with Debenhams, with possible expansion into other products. We also expect Jasper will continue to show his womenswear collections at London Fashion week.
Visit the official Jasper Conran website, here.