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For many fans, Katharine Hamnett defines 80s style. 21 years after her slogan T-shirts became front-page news (in 1984, she famously met Mrs Thatcher and wore one that read: ‘58% Don’t Want Pershing’), Hamnett can still make the fashion world sit up and pay attention to her ideas. Born in 1948, she graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1969 and freelanced for ten years before setting up her own label, Katharine Hamnett London. Her ad campaigns went on to launch the careers of photographers including Juergen Teller, Terry Richardson and Ellen von Unwerth. A political conscience has always been key to Hamnett’s ethos. The woman behind stonewashed denim and the ‘CHOOSE LIFE’ trend, Katharine wanted to be a trapeze artist, an archaeologist and a marine biologist before she decided to be a designer. She hates sweatshops, nuclear weapons and school uniform and when she’s not printing political campaigns on to her oversized clothes she likes to cook and watch Hitchcock films with her puppy.


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