Erica Wildflower is nothing if not passionate! Her business; Diamonds Are Forever is going from strength to strength, with her original ready-to-wear designs storming the catwalks at fashion shows all over the North West, most recently Erica showcased her clothes at Manchester Fashion Week and has been nominated for Best Fashion Designer of the Year award, at the North West Fashion & Beauty Awards.
Erica showed off her first collection from Diamonds are Forever back at Liverpool Fashion Week in 2014 and launched her latest collection ‘Modern Day Flappers’ in Manchester this year. Manchester Fashion Week wrote; ‘They are an exciting, new and innovative women’s vintage style, ready-to-wear designer clothing label and all their designs are inspired by the past. What makes Diamonds are Forever unique, is that they design most of their own fabrics and in this exclusive collection, they have printed 1920’s images onto pure silk in a collection of cute, little mini-dresses…Diamonds Are Forever aims to put the fun and excitement back into fashion.’
This collection really stood out, and a lot of that is down to the way that Erica designs and makes her clothes. She is one of the rare fashion designers who focus on embellishing her fabric. As well as being a talented designer, Erica is also a fashion illustrator, and designs and draws art work for her fabric which she embroiders on. She says; ‘My fabric is my unique selling point, I just love illustration.’
Erica studied Fashion and Textiles at the University of Central Lancashire before working as a fashion designer at Jo Y Jo in Manchester. After this she began to sell vintage clothing, and from there she says; ‘The business just built itself up.’ Erica is a business woman who is incredibly clear on the vision of her business. She says Diamonds Are Forever is all about portraying the idea that there isn’t just one type of beauty, and you don’t have to look or dress or act in the way that society might want you to. ‘I’m offering more individuality and more choice; you pick the look that suits you.’ From 1920’s flapper dresses, to 1950’s floaty skirts, Erica offers variety from every decade.
With every single design being innovative and original, it is clear to see that Erica has a lot of creativity to go around, and running her own creative business is perfect for her. She says; ‘I’m lucky because I get the chance and the opportunity to do this, which a lot of people don’t get. When you’re creative and you can’t express it – it’s horrible! I get to express my creativity, that’s the main reason I love what I do.’
As a new business, Erica got in touch with The Women’s Organisation at the beginning of this year, and has been working with Senior Business Advisor; John Jones to grow Diamonds Are Forever. She says; ‘I don’t know what I would have done without The Women’s Organisation, they are a genuine help that you can trust. I’ve worked with John to get my business plan done and I’ve got guidance and support.’
The future looks bright (and sparkly!) for Erica as she continues to show her exclusive collections at fashion and trade shows, with her designs about to go into production, here in the UK: for retailers across the country, as well as in New York.
If you would like to find out more about Erica’s Diamonds Are Forever collections, visit her website and shop until you drop! Or check out her Facebook and Twitter!
If you are a woman living in Merseyside who is interested in starting her own business, get in touch with The Women's Organisation and see what we can do for you! Ring us on 0151 706 8111 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography by Kate Williams