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“Blink” Interviews: Bitching and Junkfood

Its been a little too long since we’ve posted an interview. Soz about that. To make up for it we have a fantastic interview with one half of the duo behind the brilliant Brit label, Bitching and Junkfood. I first discovered this brand in Urban Outfitters when searching for the perfect denim shorts. The Bitching ones come with added attitude. Maybe they should be called ‘hottest pants’ rather than just ‘hot pants’? Loved by celebs like Jessie J as well as any cool, festival going, girl about town, we were really excited to find out more about the Bitching girls and what inspires them.

Kath and Marion of Bitching and Junkfood

Established in 2009, online store and blog was launched by Bitchy girls Kath and Marion. The pair met whilst working in product development for a well-known French label. Doing things their way has seen the blog and online store expand to include their in-house label Remade by which is now stocked internationally. The pair rely heavily on what they see on the streets, bars and back alleys surrounding their East London studio blended with a cool vintage feel to drive the brands handwriting.

Here’s what Marion had to say in response to our deeply probing questions…

How did your brand name come about?
We used to party at the weekends and Sundays were all about ‘Bitching and Junkfood’ with your besties – it’s kind of a lifestyle thing.
Who is the Bitching muse?
Our friends. The girls we know have the best style and it’s things they personally put together. It’s looks they’ve created from mixing vintage, charity shop finds, high street and designer. We don’t need to look very far to spark off ideas.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I’m really eclectic. I change my mind constantly. I have a particular look for a while and then I get bored so I change it up. I don’t really follow catwalk trends. At the moment I’m keeping it simple with really good accessories.
Tell us about your current design crush
I’m having a Maison Martin Margiela shoe obsession.
Which comes first for you when you’re creating your collections, personal style or trends?
Personal style. We design things we want but can’t find anywhere else.
Do you think commerciality or creativity is the most important?
It’s important to have both if you want to have a successful label. I’ve worked in fashion buying before and understand how the business works. I’ve seen really creative designers fail where they’ve just not considered how to place a product in a market. Unfortunately “commercial” is a bad word in the creative community but you have to accept it if you want to succeed.
How does the idea of sustainability impact on your collection?
At the moment we are remaking denim and vintage items however we’ve never really marketed our business as an eco-label. It would be wrong to do so – we remake everything here in London, however I can’t say that we don’t import trimmings and fittings from the Far East. If we were to go down this route it would need to be completely water tight and everything would have to be sourced locally. Eco fashion is a very particular thing. This is probably a bit controversial, but it’s extremely difficult to get an eco fashion label off the ground and do it properly. If we were to do it properly it would completely change our aesthetic.
I think it’s up to all business owners to be as ethical as possible in their day to day practices such a recycling and not creating unnecessary waste.
What are you currently working on and how is it shaping up?
I’m planning our studio move. We’re moving to an arch space in Hoxton so this is really exciting. It’s coming along well and we should be moved before summer.
What or who are your longest standing design influences?
I always struggle with this one as there’s not really anyone in particular. I don’t really idolize other people. I love 90’s hip hop style, punk and I’m really interested in traditional costumes, tribal jewellery and adornment.
Has your business developed in the way that you anticipated?
Yes, kind of. I always planned to launch a label but didn’t think it would happen so soon after I launched the website. I expected our e-commerce to grow quicker than the label but it’s happened the other way around.
What is your first fashion memory?
I remember desperately wanting a triangle bikini for maybe my fifth birthday and my auntie bought it for me. It was navy with a red trim. I adored it!
What is currently tempting you into making a purchase?
All the Maison Margiela Margiela shoes and a pair of all black Air Max ones. I focus mainly on shoes because I wear mostly our label or vintage.
What is your ultimate dream for Bitching and Junkfood as a business?
I want to expand the on-line store and turn our label into a global household name. I would eventually like to have stores in all the key fashion cities internationally.
Do you think being a British brand, based in East London, has particularly shaped what you do?
Yeah completely. I think if our brand had built anywhere else our aesthetic would be different. We’re massively inspired by what we see and, like I said, our friends. Depending on where you’re based in London you get different looks. I’m moving to Brixton soon and I’m sure West Indian style will make an appearance somewhere.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The buzz we have in the studio with the girls that work for us. We all work really hard but we have a lot of fun and there’s a lot of laughing. I also get to hang out all day with my best friend and travel round the world with her so it’s pretty sweet.
Any future projects that you’d like to tell us about?
We’ve done an AW’12 collaboration with Underground and the styles are amazing so we’re really excited about that.
Pencil and paper or computer and mouse? Or maybe it should be shears and studs in your case!
Computer, computer, computer. I like having ideas and designing but I’m not interested in the make – that’s where Kath’s expertise lays so she takes care of that.
Tell us about your most fabulous fashion moment
Getting followed out of a restaurant in New York and being asked to be an extra in Sex and The City the movie. I was wearing a vintage Dior fur coat. I felt pretty special.
Who would you love to work with, past or present?
I’d love to do a collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld. If I ever get within an inch of him, I’m asking – don’t ask don’t get right?
I feel most creative when…
There’s not really a specific time. I just get on one and I’m having loads of ideas. It could be on the bus or when I’m lying in bed. Any time really.
Any final word of advice?
You only regret the things you haven’t done so just go for it.

Here’s a sneek peek at the Bitching AW’12 collection, called ‘Fan Fkn Tastic’…

Fantasia catsuit, Bitching and Junkfood, AW'12

Pearl Jacket on the left, Divine tank with Destiny leggings on the right, Bitching and Junkfood, AW'12

Venus cropped top, Bitching and Junkfood, AW'12

Savanna necklace, Coco body and Roxy shorts on left, Peaches tank on right, Bitching and Junkfood, AW'12

Angel shirt and XTC leggings on left, Crystal crop top and Sapphire shorts on right, Bitching and Junkfood, AW'12

Thanks so much Marion, for your time and all of the great images.

If you’d like to read more inspirational interviews, just click here.

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