Interviewing Varun Sharma, the designer of RUN

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Happy London Fashion Week everyone!

I have a treat for all your lovely readers – an interview with Varun Sharma the designer of RUN, a label I have fallen in love with. I was introduced to them by friend who knows me very well. The bold colours, clean lines, and stunning designs have all catapulted RUN into a label I will forever follow. When Varun agreed to be interviewed by me, I was over the moon. There is no doubt in my mind that Run is going from strength to strength and I can’t wait to see their journey.

I hope you all enjoy!

I love the RUN aesthetic – the clean lines, fine fabrics, and bold colours all help to create beautiful and chic collections. Where do you draw inspiration from?

Inspiration can come from anywhere but I suppose it depends on what you are looking for. I love searching through photos, especially old ones from the late 19th and early 20th centuries – I find them extraordinary to study. They are a great way to peer into someone else’s world, and such a wealth of information allowing you to immerse yourself in to another reality.  So much of what creative people do is based around creating a genesis for a story and then running wildly with it. It’s fascinating to see how others live or have spent their lives, how and why they dressed the way they did and how it applies to us today.

I also love studying the detailing on clothing and when you spend so much of your time designing and making garments, you tend to get excited about the really simple things. So even a certain kind of detail – be it a pleat, a special pocket or even a cuff, can become the inspiration for an entire collection.

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The well-tailored simplicity of your collections speaks of the confidence you have in your designs. However, has there even been a pressure to conform with many designers and add frivolous embellishments to your garments?

Never. Those designers who move forward with their careers are following their own voice, so it only makes sense to follow my own as well. It’s a journey and every collection takes months in its realisation. They are reflections of who I was at a certain point in my life and like me they change and grow. I’ve always believed that people don’t have to agree with what I do, they just have to appreciate the hard work I am doing.

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Your Autumn/Winter 2014 collection is one of my favourites. What was your inspiration behind this collection?

My AW/14 collection was a means to explore romance, femininity and strength. So much of what Winter is, is dull and I wanted to free that romance, that hope that exists in all of us. For me that is what this collection represented, the hope of looking forward, our romance with that hope of something better to come and the strength that we derive from it and how we wear it as our armour fighting through each day.

Do you sketch your designs on paper or on a tablet?

Always paper, I haven’t really ever worked on a tablet for designing. The old way is still the best way for me!

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As a growing business in London, what have been your main challenges? What piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking of following in your footsteps?

London is an amazing place to be, to grow as a business. It’s a fashion capital so anything that you need, you can find here but it is a small city so the competition is immense. I try to view this as a positive though and not take for granted that I have lived all my life in one of a few perfect places on this planet to do exactly what I am. There are those who have to go through a journey just to reach London first, if they can. The hardest challenge is really starting with an impact and leaving a mark. It is so easy to underestimate how much work goes into running a label and in a city where the fashion world is thriving you need to be on top of everything you do and aim for.

Having the right contacts is key, knowing how you will get your work done and where, and deadlines. When so much competition surrounds you making the wrong choices can be plug pullers for your business. It is easy to forget at times that designers can go through two to four collections in a year and with a hectic schedule like that there isn’t really room for error. You are only as respected as the work you put out. It can be hard not to get lost in all of the noise.

To anyone thinking of following this path – educate yourself as much as you can, learn from those around you and most importantly don’t forget about yourself in the process. When you are at your best, your work is too.

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Your current collection for Summer/Spring 2015 has a wonderfully youthful and crisp feel to it and like every other one of your collections, it stands out because of its well-tailored and well-designed simplicity. How did you go about creating this collection?

Wearability was key for the SS/15 collection, I wanted to create pieces that were fun to wear, simple and fresh. A lot of designs that go through my mind can get complicated but the process for designing this time was very cathartic, it involved really editing to keep the designs clean cut. Oddly sometimes as the designs become more simple they become harder to get right, as there is nowhere to hide any imperfections, so a lot of work went into the pattern work to get everything as it is.

As always it was labour intensive but I had a lot of fun with it and the fabrics. It was a great chance to play around with some bright colours and see how they would turn out. You only have the images in your mind and some sketches to work from and only you know what you want to transition from paper to reality, so when you see your pieces on a model or at a shoot they come to life and you have no idea what they will truly be till that moment. It was the same with the SS/15 season and seeing all the elements come together definitely served as inspiration for coming collections.

RUN is going from strength to strength and your beautiful collections are garnering a reputation for their chic beauty. Where would you like to see RUN go in 2015?

2015 will hopefully be a great year and I would like to move forward simply creating a larger awareness for who we are and what we are doing. I can’t say too much for now about what we have in the works but I can tell you that I am really excited about this coming year, the collections we have been working on and I can’t wait to share what’s been going on behind the scenes!

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Isn’t the collection absolutely stunning? That white dress, well, frankly it has my name written all over it! From what Varun has hinted at, 2015 is going to be a brilliant year for RUN and all my best wishes are with them.

Thank you again Varun!

All images are copyright Varun Sharma

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