The Small Brand Edit PHILIPPA LONDON




When I polled subscribers on what they most loved about the DDE, new brand discoveries was top of the list. This will become a regular feature, putting the spotlight on small British brands creating beautiful dresses and more!
A big welcome to Pip Chawner, founder of Philippa London on being the first business to be highlighted. With her keen attention to detail and impeccable taste, Pip creates pieces that will become firm forever favourites in your wardrobe. I loved her very candid answers to my questions which involve the necessity of white wine, learning from mistakes and channelling Charlotte Rampling.

What made you start your brand?

I really missed working in the clothing industry after years of working in buying, sourcing and production. After my 3rd child I started a personal styling business and that was when I thought about creating a brand myself as I saw so many gaps for women to find those perfect pieces.

I started working with an agency developing some silk blouses. It was all going very well when suddenly the day of shipment I received a phone call to say they would not ship unless I ordered double the quantity! I learnt a very important lesson; start small, stay local and work with traditional craftmanship.

Where are your pieces made?

Everything is made in London and I have become a big advocate of traditional British craft. Making in the UK is a very important part of the brand and I very much hope this continues to develop. My pattern cutter, machinist and whole team have been working together for years and are exceptionally talented.


Who are your dream customers and why?

I’ve always loved 70’s style icons like Charlotte Rampling and Jane Birkin and use references from that era while I’m designing my pieces. I’m inspired by that whole big hat, midi skirts and knee high boots look.

How did your previous career in fashion help you set up your own brand?

It helped me in understanding how to make great quality garments and also helped me understand the importance of fostering relationships with all partners involved to make these beautiful pieces. It really is a labour of love.


What advice would you give to anyone starting their own small brand?
I would start with developing one perfect product, then go from there.

What is the highlight so far with your brand?
My silver skirt was worn by Alex Jones on The One Show a couple of weeks ago and generated lots of new followers. But for me, just seeing my garments being worn and enjoyed gives me such a buzz.

How do you manage the juggle of running your own business?

Get up early, brilliant friends and family, and white wine!