A leading figure of British fashion, Lou Dalton is one of few females to crack the male dominated menswear scene not to mention being one of the most in demand designers in the industry.
9th June 2016
Her love of menswear started at the age of 16 when she began an apprenticeship with a local bespoke tailors in her native Shropshire. After three years developing her craft in men’s tailoring she went on to study menswear at the Royal College of Art in London. Her early career saw her working as a design consultant for international brands such as Stone Island and United Arrows, later working with Tommy Hilfiger. Lou launched her own brand in 2005 after experimenting with ideas she’d had for knitwear designs and has since seen it go from strength to strength.
Lou’s inspiration often comes from the past, her AW16 collection came to life after a trip to The Shetland Isles where she fell in love with the landscape and a historic tale of local fishermen bringing Norwegian refugees to the isle’s safe shores during the Second World War. On a more personal level she is continually inspired by her husband, father and her childhood. With a passion for creating wearable fashion with the occasional twist her influences have ranged from her home county of Shropshire to Scorcese’s “Taxi Driver”.
Whatever her inspiration it’s clear that it’s her passion for the craft that was developed long before her first tastes of the fashion world that still stands true in her work today. She’s an ardent supporter of creating fashion that is not a fleeting fad, instead concentrating on pieces that will stand the test of time yet retain their stylish appeal.
It’s perhaps this passion for craft that has driven many brands to collaborate with Lou. Such partnerships include Grenson, a British shoe maker steeped in history that continues to hand finish their products using the same techniques they established back in 1866. Lou has also collaborated with Lanificio Cerruti, renowned Italian tailors established in 1881. More recently her love of knitwear has brought her to work closely with our own design team here at our historic Derbyshire mill, establishing “Lou Dalton x John Smedley”.
This collaboration was aided by her already existing love of our brand, recently stating John Smedley stores as being one of her favourite places to shop. Of course our enthusiasm to work with such a highly sought after designer goes without saying!
Following the success of our AW16 collaboration with Lou a further twelve designs have been created for her SS17 collection. Lou will be presenting her SS17 range at London Collections: Men on 11th June to include a limited edition Lou Dalton x John Smedley sweater. The Lou Dalton x John Smedley Map sweater will be available online and in our Jermyn Street, London store directly after the show, stay tuned for more details on this exclusive sweater.