LONDON--Twenty8Twelve's head designer, Elsa Elphick, is probably absolutely sick of people asking her about Savannah and Sienna Miller leaving the brand. They held a presentation over the weekend to showcase the new collection and a fashion film called "Faceless Featured Future." Faceless future, indeed--at least a famous faceless future. So let's get that part out of the way first.
I asked Elphick what has changed since the Miller sisters left, and she told me, "For us it hasn't massively changed." Hmm. So how much involvement did they actually have? Elphick assured me that she worked very closely with Savannah, but that now she would be making design decisions rather than have them made for her. When I asked if the Millers leaving would hurt the image of the brand, a member of Twenty8Twelve's team jumped in.
"I think we've been quite lucky because the brand's been around long enough to establish what its personality is, and also to establish an appetite from consumers and buyers, and that's probably the most important thing," he said. "I think we can maintain that equilibrium as we move through this path." He went on to say, "We're excited because it frees us up to do more things from a business perspective, be it opening more stores, ad campaigns, digital marketing strategies. There are things we are doing now that will be different, and more bold in their statements."
The question that no one was directly answering was why the Miller sisters left. We sensed that there's a story there but no one's talking yet. So let's talk about the story we know, which is that Twenty8Twelve wants to expand. There are currently 3 freestanding stores, and they want to open one in Paris, then expand into North America.
Based on the collection and how it was designed, it's obvious expansion is on the brain--there's definitely enough to fill up a shop with this current collection. There were lots of different wardrobe stories: 60s London references, Capote's Black and White Ball, statement coats, a work-friendly line. Twenty8Twelve is also trying to grow its "Made in England" initiative, too, in which a certain percentage of the line is produced in the UK using traditional English tailoring techniques.
Will Twenty8Twelve make it without the Miller sisters? They're just fine, thank you very much.