Trustee, Adrien Yakimov Roberts, explored the importance of accessories with: YKK fashion director, Kei Kegami, conceptual fashion designer, Jo Cope, footwear designer, Chau Har Lee and artist, Eeiko Moorer. They discussed the world of accessories and the need for more accessory designers in the fashion industry.

“Every time someone can't afford a whole look, they can easily buy the handbag or the shoes” said Footwear designer Chau Har Lee.

Accessories are popular, but the design and manufacturing process isn’t. However, Adrien does believe that we are “slowly getting there”.

Adrien highlighted the importance of accessories, “clothes come and go but it's the accessories we want to communicate”. Artist, Eeiko said that “there is more freedom in accessories, more identity”. The lack of accessory designers is more prevalent with Jo Cope, who questioned, “how you can ignore the head, the feet and the hands?”.

Kei shared his concerns about “why students just want to design clothes?”. Jo shared that “we need to take it more seriously...fashion students need to stop being afraid of accessories”.

Chau Har Lee gave us an idea of the potential of the accessories market, saying that “designing shoes can be more creative, I enjoy it so much more”.

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According to Jo, there is psychology behind accessory design. “In psychology, accessories relate to self esteem. We don’t have to add accessories like we have to wear clothes. Accessories are a choice and they add worth”.

Despite the need for accessories, it is difficult for students to enter the industry, post university. Chau shared that “it is really difficult. It’s not just about the factory, it’s building the relationship and financial support. You will need stamina, willpower and passion” said Chau.

Written by Chloe Ford

Photography by Evan Peck