After lying low for a couple of seasons, the design duo of Sadie Frost and Jemima French are back in a big way, with their first shop (at least one more is planned for next year), a new Web site (www.frostfrench.com), their biggest-ever collection for fall, and a renewed buzz around London that even a recent robbery (their three-week-old Islington boutique was hit by moped-riding thieves last month) hasn’t dampened. In fact, when you consider that the other designers targeted were the always cool Marc Jacobs and Luella Bartley, the theft was actually a sort of backhanded compliment. Best mates for 20-plus years, the two even answered our e-mailed questions together.
How has your look evolved during your hiatus?
We haven’t really been on a break; we’ve been refocusing the business. We’ve been designing constantly. Our autumn/winter collection is probably the most mature to date, although it still has the fun and cheeky elements people associate with FrostFrench.
Do you feel the focus on your personal lives, particularly Sadie’s, has been a help or hindrance for the brand?
As with all these things, there are positives and negatives. Obviously the brand gets more attention due to Sadie’s involvement, but this isn’t always a good thing. We’re happiest when people judge our label on the designs and the collections alone.
How collaborative are you really when drafting an upcoming collection?
We work really closely together and we both have to be 100 percent happy with a design before it goes into production. Obviously, we are both inspired by different things, so Sadie will come back from holiday with an idea for a new print whilst Jemima falls in love with a new tailoring technique on a work jaunt. We’ve been best friends for more than 20 years, so we know each other really well—that’s why we work well together.
How much do you influence each other’s personal style?
We’ve both got our own distinct sense of style, but we spend so much time together, we obviously have some influence on each other. More often, we’ll see items that we know the other will like.