fashion dame joan burstein divulges her secret to success

Joan Burstein, affectionately known as Mrs.B, is one of the fiercest purporters of fashion, experimentation and bravery. They say the choices we make define who we are, yet Mrs.B's choices defined a whole lotta more.

by Bojana Kozarevic
17 February 2014, 4:15pm

Joan Burstein

From buying the whole John Galliano graduate collection in 1984, to bringing Comme des Garcons to London, Mrs.B's choices were instinctive and bold in comparison to the more staid choices of her counterparts.

Browns (and Browns Focus) is London's main fashion utopia, with a range of designers constantly refreshing expectations. From its windows to its clients, Browns is Mrs.B's stadium of fashion power and risk and pushing us to have FUN. We ask Mrs.B about what it takes to be a buyer, a discerning judge and a London Fashion heroine.

What was the first show you ever attended? 
The first show I ever attended was in Florence in the early 70s by Walter Albini. He was an amazing, talented designer who was behind Italian fashion.

What is the show that most moved you?
I have seen SO many shows, but the show that most moved me was a private invitation from Alexander McQueeen to see his dresses  before he died that were never shown. That to me was the most moving…to think such talent had gone.

What do you look at when you look at a collection on the runway?
I look for originality, something that is not seen on every catwalk.

What is the most important thing to look out for at a show? 
When attending each show, I think of my customers and use my instinct to imagine what they could wear.

What designers always excite you? 
Dior, Celine, Lanvin and Giambattista Vali .

What excites you most about fresh talent? Is it easier/harder to succeed as a young starter showing today?
I think it's harder, it's much more competitive. However the originality of the young designers gets better and better every year.  

What collection is your favourite that you have sold in your store?
Donna Karan and Comme Des Garcons.

And finally, what's the best thing about London fashion?
London has now become a destination not to be missed on the fashion circuit because of the young talent. London was never considered a fashion destination it was just theatres, restaurants and shops. The BFC have done a FANTASTIC job enticing top buyers to come over to London.


Text Bojana Kozarevic

Brown's Focus
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