STYLE

Secret Emporium Founder Tessa Acheson Talks Festival Fashion

15/08/2014 13:15 | Updated 20 May 2015

Secret Emporium is an online platform and pop-up destination for festival fashion designed by emerging British talents.

I met with founder Tessa Acheson at this year's Wilderness festival to talk standout style, inspiration, workshops and her scholarship program.

The Secret Emporium tent is a regular at key summer festivals (Wilderness, Secret Garden Party, Somersault and Festival No 6), and showcases an eclectic mix of designers all hand picked by Tessa. The vibe inside is fun, in your face and styled to within an inch.

Bringing fashion, beauty and accessories to the festival forefront Secret Emporium builds the bridge between customer and designer so that statement one-off-pieces are sold by those who put their heart and soul into making them.

"I was an art teacher for four years, so I have a huge respect for the maker " Tessa says.

She's always been creative but Tessa's love of costume comes from "summers spent rolling around at festivals with friends.

"We'd source and make things to wear ourselves and no-one was really doing that. That's when I realised there was a real thirst for wearing something fabulous and unique."

For Tessa, festival style is about wearing something insane that you feel completely comfortable in. The online platform is about supporting independent designers and promoting them together in one place.

"I want Secret Emporium to be a Net-a-Porter for independent fashion."

Not only has she lifted the hippy-dippy festival stereotype to all new levels of cool by recognising that shopping for a situation works, but she mentors the designers she collaborates with.

"The atelier events curated by Secret Emporium aim to help our designers with the business aspect of things - speakers teach them about growth, press, social media and online content."

Then there's the scholarship program which involves giving away two free places to designers at every event they do - there's no cost to the designer and it's the perfect opportunity to promote their brand.

"My dream would be to provide the designers who need it with the funding to create their own professional lookbooks. And, to have a Secret Emporium factory so that everything is made here in the UK."

The whole concept is brilliant and is exactly the kind of support that budding designers need to kickstart their careers.

As for that all-important festival ensemble? "It's the ultimate self expression and the chance to be the best version of yourself."

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