The Fashion Society and VocSoc recently had the honour of hosting Melanie Davis. Melanie has had a long career in fashion, graduating from the Ravensbourne College of Art and later launching fashion labels Pamplemousse and Body Frock. Eton students joined Melanie in Election Hall to hear about the challenges and opportunities of a career in fashion

Melanie’s first label Pamplemousse, so named because of her love of grapefruit, was launched in the late 1980’s and achieved enormous success, forming several high-profile partnerships. Melanie later switched from casual “chill outwear” to launching a range of red-carpet dresses at Body Frock, the brand that boasts “the dress with the inner secret.” It was fascinating to hear from a designer who has such insight into the fashion industry, who explained the multifaceted nature of the industry, which includes career opportunities for many skillsets, such as photography, visual merchandising, sustainability, and online retailing.  

As the founder of many successful businesses, Melanie also gave us expert advice on running a successful brand. She concluded that the crucial for a start-up is to locate the target audience,  asking yourself what kind of life they have, where they live, work, and what they like to wear. Once you know who your brand is targeting, it is much easier to develop products around that model consumer.