Having created designs for the likes of Kanye West and Ella Eyre, meet the Birmingham talent carving his way into the fashion industry.
Now a bona fide business owner and garment curator, Birmingham born-and-bred fashion designer, Stephen Arthur, is fast becoming one of the city’s next upcoming fashion creative; already making 2016 his most memorable year yet.
Founded in 2011, Stephen Arthur is a luxury crushed velvet, wine coloured and lace infused fashion brand for the style conscious female market, with a focus on bringing rich shades and feminine silhouettes to the realm of glamourous formal wear.
Art is what makes fashion. When I make a garment, I’m making Art for people to feel good in!
March this year saw the unveiling of the exciting news that Stephen will running his very own concept store in Stockholm, Sweden.
“Its quiet stressful but very exciting at the same time.” The 26-year-old said, “All I’ve wanted was a store, and to get in a totally different country is surreal! It’s amazing what hard work, dedication and perseverance can do!”
Stephen Arthur’s AW16 collection
The talented fashion designer has also very recently brought out his own signature t-shirts, establishing the sleek black and white brand that everyone can stylishly get involved in.
The end of last year marked the launch of his latest collection at his AW16 showcasing debut, in the Birmingham city centre. “The best thing about being a designer in Birmingham is people find out who you are way faster than any city I know.” He adds, “There’s a handful of people that are on the fashion scene in Birmingham who make the city stand out for fashion.”
Stephen describes his designs as strong and sultry, considering his tailoring to be timeless, and full of dynamic structures. With his inspiration stemming from Venetian culture and 1800’s Heritage, explaining them to be “rich eras to work with, no matter how much you change them.”
Considering his articulate utilisation of opulent colours and beautifully crafted statement affluent textures, it comes as no surprise his creations connote all elements of romance and Italian sophistication.
“I love using unusual and rare materials. My productions manager and I scour the world for materials you wouldn’t find in the usual retail stores.” He elaborates, “I think what make me stand out is this and my background and upbringing.
“I wasn’t raised in a fashion inspired environment nor was it my ambition to be a designer. I feel that’s what makes me stand out.”
The 26-year-old first wowed the fashion nation in 2012, taking a chance at pitching one of his eveningwear designs to producers of ITV in hopes of winning This Morning’s ‘The Perfect Party Dress’ competition.
Taking home the title, Stephen’s winning dress was sold in major UK chain store, John Lewis, and has being going from strength to strength since; from setting up his own boutique online to gracing Sweden Fashion Week runways with his feminine collections.
“I definitely strive for classy designs that provide confidence to any woman who wears them.” He adds, “’You are what you wear’ after all and when you wear any of my garments, you should feel empowered. Ready to take on the world!”
From a young age Stephen knew he always wanted to have his own design label and says being a creative person has always been a mannerism of his.
The self-taught designer admits to sketching designs wherever he can, even drawing on pieces of paper at the pub, whereby his passion for stylish creation stemmed from watching his mother sew.
“There’re so many talented designers in Birmingham.” Says the teacher-turned-designer, “But I definitely think it’s important that people know there are raw talents out here that need to be explored.”
Not long after, celebrity acclaim came knocking as MOBO Awards founder, Kanya King MBE, reached out to Stephen asking for a custom piece. Stephen then gained further popular fans; dressing Sean Paul and Azealia Banks to name a few.
Black lace turtle neck skirt and top – £159.00
For those interested in breaking into the fashion industry Stephen’s advice for all aspiring designers out there wanting to break the mould would be to “make sure your collection blocks are fully graded and preserved! Study your Sector inside out, and think about what defines you as a designer.”
Stephen’s designs are now available to purchase via his website online, and very soon via his own store in Stockholm; a milestone in his fashion career he has always wanted to reach.
But what are the next goals this designers wants to achieve in the future? “Get the Stockholm store completed! And then start working on opening another store!”