From the City to the catwalk: Not such a road less travelled

 
Gabriella Griffith
LOVE isn’t the only thing in the air today, there’s also a heavy whiff of chic – London is about to be taken over by spindly legged, spectacularly-heeled, coconut water-drinking fashionistas as London Fashion Week kicks off. Over the next few days Somerset House will play host to the likes of Mulberry, Burberry and Vivienne Westwood. It may feel like the world of Dior and that of derivatives are a million miles apart, but the road from the City to the catwalk isn’t as unlikely as you might think. Here are three examples of ex-City workers working wonders in the fashion world.

1 Maria Grachvogel has a 20-year career as a fashion designer dressing the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Angelina Jolie, but it all began in the City at securities firm James Capel. Working in the City and taking her Stock Exchange exams has definitely helped her business. “It was a very different industry but the City taught me how to run a business and gave me lots of contacts when I started out,” she told The Capitalist.

2 Alice Hastings-Bass was working as an analyst at Goldman Sachs when she noticed the domination of Net-A-Porter bags among the deliveries to her colleagues. She decided there was room in the market for a members only, online fashion boutique. She started LUX FIX with school friend Rebecca Glenapp in 2011.

3 Having established an impressive City career (12 years at Deutsche Bank in London and partner at Eternia Capital Advisors in Geneva) Mareva Grabowski set up Greek luxury brand Zeus + Dione with PR Dimitra Kolotourain in 2012. It’s launching at matchesfashion.com for SS14 this week.