GFW Alumni and Head of Superdry Womenswear Design, Siri MacDonald joined Hilary Alexander OBE to discuss all things Superdry and career pathways in the GFW Live! talk space.
Graduating in 2005 from Northumbria University with the GFW River Island Print Prize under her belt, Siri MacDonald’s career “was made”. Going on to work at the likes of River Island and Next she gained an understanding of the drastic difference between university and industry work.
Having her career pathway set from the age of 5 she shared her understanding of the importance of failing whilst working in fashion and her long admiration of the fashion designer, Vivienne Westwood. Siri and Hilary discussed Vivienne Westwood’s ethics and her meaningful messages that are constantly present within her pieces.
On the topic of Vivienne Westwood, Siri introduced Superdry’s aim to make all of their cotton organic. Despite popular thinking, Superdry is an English brand that started off as a tiny market stall. Siri’s work is inspired by Tokyo street art though. She explains her job role as a chance to get dirty, inspire a design team and do a lot of travelling. Every day they develop ideas to make their signature, simplistic logo look new. The team release two collections a year and each collection is made up of 3,000-3,500 pieces. They’ve 8 weeks to turn around prototypes and 3 weeks to finalise their products.
Siri shared a couple of exciting announcements in the GFW Live! talk. Superdry are the sponsors of the Invictus Games where they will be making all of the sportswear and ensuring that it makes the athletes feel comfortable and secure. Superdry are also presenting the first outerwear award at GFW this year. The winner will receive £1,000 and they are looking for graduates who have “pushed boundaries”.
Words by Rosie Smith
Photography by Zoe Griffin