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LOCAL TALENT: Deborah Henning

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Where did you grow up?
Manchester, UK. I love my hometown; it’s been a massive influence in developing my brand. The music, the streets, the attitude, it’s all built into the DNA of my brand and it’s an integral part. I grew up on British indie music, the sounds of The Stone Roses, Oasis and The Smiths – those influences have built a rock and roll undertone to my label. In the future, I’d love to work directly with bands/musicians and do exclusive pieces.

Before you started your own label, what were you doing?
I started training in design aged 16 and have been doing it ever since. I’ve worked at brands like Alexander McQueen, Sass & Bide and Ghost before setting up my own brand. I’ve showcased at London Fashion Week in the past and also worked as a fashion lecturer. I’m very fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity and determination to stick with this industry; it can be gruelling at times but also very rewarding.

How would you describe your personal style?
Minimalist, monochrome and androgynous. I love mixing menswear and womenswear, oversized white shirts, skinny jeans and heels is my uniform.

What’s one item in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without?
My draped back tee – in white. This is also the bestseller from the range, its comfortable, stylish and easy to wear. It can be worn with jeans, shorts, skirts, anything! Very versatile, and it’s a statement piece, I love it.

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Where did you take inspiration for your latest collection?
The brand philosophy is based on an attitude. It’s the character of the wearer – a carefree, stylish girl who likes to look good, without compromising comfort. Someone who wants to go from day to night with the change of a shoe and application of a bold red lip. With this woman in mind, I design each season to suit her. I’m massively inspired by icons like Charlotte Gainsbourg and Patti Smith too, so I work with ongoing inspirations that suit this rock and roll, monochrome, easy going vibe.

How would you describe street style in the UAE?
I think the day style is generally quite casual. I do see some really interesting looks occasionally which is great. I think the city is building rapidly and the style is following. Soon there will be lots more influencers pushing the boundaries of fashion, which Dubai will take to quite well. It’s a great time to be in this region.

Which celebrity would you love to see wearing your clothes?
Alexa Chung is interesting and I think she would style the pieces really well. She would look great in the oversized shirts and draped sweaters.

What’s always in your handbag?
A notebook. I’m a huge fan of handwritten sketches, ideas and notes from meetings. I love looking back trough them at a later date and seeing my ideas and thoughts progressing through the books.

Collections are available at IF boutique – Umm Suqueim Road and B21 Gallery in Al Quoz. deborahhenning.com, @deborahhenning

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