London born and bred, the Shrimps designer talks art as inspiration and fashion with a sense of humour
Meet Hannah Weiland, the London-based designer behind cult label Shrimps. Giving faux fur an image overhaul with her technicolour cruelty-free coats, she unwittingly drove the fashion industry to follow suit, as some of the runway’s most prominent fur advocates vowed to pass on the pelts. Now, outerwear forms just part of her sought-after creative catalogue, sitting among print-splashed ready-to-wear and accessories with a predilection for texture play. As the Spring/Summer 2018 collection joins our womenswear edit, we visited her West London studio to talk art world inspirations and finding fun in the process.
How did Shrimps come into fruition?
I had always wanted to make a Breton style faux fur coat and stumbled across a factory making faux fur in a quality that hadn’t previously been seen before. I had a small number of coats made and sold them to my friends. Laura Bailey wore one at London Fashion Week and we suddenly had so much interest and it all snowballed from there.
How would you describe the aesthetic of your brand?
Shrimps plays with colour and texture, and has a very British sense of humour!
Does this sit back with your own?
Shrimps is all made up of items I have designed as I want to wear them myself
In your mind, is there a Shrimps girl? If so, who is she?
The Shrimps girl can span a range of ages but is a creative, fashion forward customer.
You started up your business straight out of London College of Fashion? How did you make it work?
It has been a huge learning curve but I’ve been so lucky for the amazing support that Shrimps has received along the way.
What’s been the biggest learn so far?
To trust my gut instinct.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Working in my studio with my Shrimps Team. Lots of design, colour and fabric decisions. And lots of meetings and emails.
When did you move into your current studio?
We moved into our studio building last summer and recently moved into a bigger studio in the same building.
How much time do you spend here?
A lot of time!
How does life change in the run up to a show?
I love the prep before the show, it’s so fun working with my team from the stylist to the set designer and bringing the vision for the collection together. It is definitely a very hectic time but I really enjoy it.
What’s the starting point when designing a new collection?
I love to go to art galleries and look through art books to start getting ideas and inspiration for the next collection. SS18 was inspired by a trip to Venice where I became engaged, so sometimes my real life can impact the inspiration, especially travel.
What’s your favourite part of the process?
I love researching a new collection, it’s a fresh start with endless opportunities and ideas.
Where do you source your materials?
We source them from all over the world and we do bi-annual trips to the big fabric fair in Paris.
Can you tell us about the latest collection?
For SS18 I was inspired by artists Faye Wei Wei and Mary Fedden, as well as a romantic trip to Venice where I became engaged - Venetian pink and reds, bright swirls and Murano Glass prints.
What are your main sources of inspiration?
I usually find inspiration from modern art and art history.
Where are your go-to spots in London?
Liberty for the best shopping, the Tate Modern for inspiration, Golborne Road for Vintage furniture and clothes shopping and Rochelle Canteen for delicious food
Can you share a Liberty memory?
I remember going to Liberty a lot as a child. My dad’s office was right next door, so on school holidays I would go into work with him and then shopping at Liberty. It was always so fun and will always remind me of my dad, it’s definitely his favourite shop too.
Do you have a muse?
Who are your own fashion icons?
I really admire Chloe Sevigny, her style seems clever and effortless
And favourite designers?
I love Miuccia Prada, she’s probably my all-time favourite designer.
Aside from design, do you have any other creative outlets?
Yes, I love illustration and painting.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Being stocked at Liberty
What’s next for Shrimps?
For AW18 we designed our first own Shrimps collection of shoes which was an exciting process. We have some other exciting things in the pipeline that I’m excited to unveil when we can!