Miss Crofton is the Lolita of the lingerie world.
The label, founded in 2008 by designer Georgia Campbell, is soft and romantic with a subtle sensuality.
All designs are handmade in her east London Studio, which is filled to the brim with candyfloss coloured elastic, delicate lace and floral fabrics.
Read on for an exclusive insight in the the world of Miss Crofton..
How did it all start, there must be a story behind the name?
Everyone thinks it's my surname! It's actually the name of a street, 'Crofton Road' that I lived on when the business was born. My roommate Katie and I would stay up late into the night sewing panties for our stall the next day.
What was your first stall like?
Out first stall was at Greenwhich. It was the first market we contacted and they were happy to have us. Our plan was to do it part-time in-between other jobs as a creative outlet and a bit of fun. Back then most of the panties were made from recycled fabrics so they had a very different look to them. We also sold various other things like vintage scarfs and dresses.
It must be great having a stall and being able to meet your customers face to face?
Yeah, I do think I’m lucky to have that. It’s great seeing the people who purchase our designs and hearing their feedback. A lot of our customers love how our designs are girly (and maybe even a little innocent looking) whilst still being sexy. I work hard to perfect the shape of my sets. so even when the fabric is really pastel and girly, the cut is still flattering and seductive.
"Miss Crofton came about organically. It was never pre-planned. My obsession grew into a business"
Do you have a typical type of customer?
Not at all. I thought my main customer base would be young women (like 18-30 year olds) due to the nature of my brand but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the variety of people who visit our stall. Of course, most of the time it’s women. Though we do get the odd boyfriend getting a gift for this girlfriend, but that’s rare - I understand buying lingerie from an open stall can be a little off putting for most men.
Our size range is generous so we have women of all ages, shapes and sizes buy from us. On the stall we do Small (UK 8-10), Medium (10-12) and Large (12-14) but online we do a wider size range.
Who is your ideal celebrity customer?
That’s easy. I would pick Chloe Sevigny. She has a natural, interesting beauty. And she’s sexy. Women with style and beauty inspire me. Beauty to me isn’t just about appearance but also the person’s persona and the way they present themselves.
What Inspires each collection?
I don’t tend to work in seasonal collections. I produce pieces as and when I like. Thankfully lingerie isn’t restricted by seasons or trends - There’s no reason a sheer pink bra purchased in the summer months can’t still work in the winter. Also, as all my lingerie is handmade and I don’t have to rely on factory cycles. I can buy the fabric one week, sell the finished item wholesale the next and have it in a shop by the third week. I like the fast turnaround. I’m constantly putting up new sets on the website - it keeps things new and fresh.
What would you say inspires each piece?
Many different components can inspire each creation but often it starts with the fabric. There are so many great fabric shops in London that I’m spoilt for choice. I love sheer fabrics, soft tulle and chiffon. I’m infatuated with peach and pastel tones, so a delicate lace in the right shade can really inspire me! Sometimes I develop new sets with a specific customer in mind. I get inspired by people - their tastes, their style, their persona or their work. I have previously designed a few items for an artist I love called Arvida Bystrom. She didn’t commission me, I was just so inspired by her look, her art and what she does that I developed a set that I imagined she would wear... I guess you could say she was a muse.
Do you have any favourite fashion designers?
Yes, Valentino is my favourite designer. I love romantic, flowing and sheer garments and I feel Valentino’s designs are just so beautiful. Another designer I love is Simone Rocha. I particularly love her SS15 collection with the 3D floral appliqués on sheer fabric. This is definitely something I’m experimenting with, I love the movement of the petals and I certainly think it is something that would translate well into lingerie.
What has been your biggest career moment so far?
I don’t feel there’s been just one BIG moment. There are lots of seemingly big challenges and achievements when running your own business - they’re just all so different. It’s hard to name just one, I pretty much have a moment every week.
Having said that, getting my stuff into Urban Outfitters was pretty rewarding. It was a massive order and incredibly hard work but once it was all packed up and shipped we were so relieved.
Also last week some of my stuff was featured in Vogue, which was pretty amazing. The editorial was styled by Jane How and they used quite a few sets, which we are so happy about.
What is next for the label?
Lots of things, it’s an exciting time. I feel that the brand is still developing so there are lots of new things I’d like to pursue. At the moment I’m having a look into outsourcing manufacturing. I want to be able to produce lots more beautiful sets but I also want to keep Miss Crofton as a Made In The UK brand. That’s really important to me.
Another plan is to develop underwire bras, I think it would take Miss Crofton to the next level and I’d love to be able to offer my customers a bra that is both supportive and beautiful. Lastly I would like to work on more collaborations. Possibly with a print designer, to produce a limited range of swimwear. We have a lot of requests for swimwear so it’s certainly something I’m looking at.
Do you have any words of advice to aspiring lingerie designers?
Keep going. That’s the main thing. Starting a new brand is so difficult and it takes a lot of time. For the first 3 -4 years my devotion was constantly tested but you’ve just got to keep to your vision and stick with it.
To find out more about Miss Crofton take a look at our Pinterest board. You can also visit the website or stop by their established stall on Broadway Market, East London. They are there every Saturday from 9-5.