Our interview with Emma from Allta fashion
We recently took some time out from our very busy schedule to interview Emma from Allta. Emma was really excited at the time as she was just about to launch the brand.
We hope you enjoy the read and I’m sure Emma would love it if you took some time to explore the store!
What inspired you to start Allta clothing?
I have been thinking about starting my own clothing label since I was a teenager when the only choices for tall women were Long Tall Sally or men’s clothing.
The situation has improved since then with many high street names now doing a tall range and other small brands popping up, but I think there is room for more choice. I still want to find more things that I love so I finally decided to give it a go and provide some clothing myself.
What is going to make Allta stand out from other tall clothing women’s brands?
Allta is more classic in its styling than other tall clothing brands, which are perhaps aimed at a younger market.
We are using the strapline ‘Contemporary tailoring for tall women’ as that’s what we intend to be: timelessly classic with some interesting design features, such as the contrasting piping you will see on the blazers in our first collection.
We want to reflect trends but not try to be cutting edge. We are producing high quality garments that will stand the test of time using mostly natural fabrics. I prefer to wear cotton, wool, linen or silk to polyester or acrylic. Fabrics which wear well and do the job of keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer and I currently don’t see too much of that around.
Have you got any previous experience working in the fashion industry?
Not in the fashion industry. I have always worked in the creative industries: radio, TV production and journalism but my only experience of fashion up until now has been wearing it!
How long have you had the idea? What has your journey been like so far?
The idea has been in my head for around 30 years, but I always assumed that other brands would come along and make it easier for me to find the things I want to wear.
I only really started thinking of it as a realistic plan about 4 years ago, but then I had my wedding to organise and some health issues got in the way. I gave up my last job in March 2017 and have been working full time on the project since then.
It’s been really fun and interesting – although I do quite miss having a regular income! I’ve loved sourcing the fabric and trims. Finding a manufacturer to work with has been harder, especially as we’re keen to produce our garments in the UK if we can, but we have found a couple of manufacturers we can work with and are now looking forward to starting to sell.
What has been the hardest part of starting the brand?
It’s all been challenging! From the basics of sourcing the right fabrics, buttons, zips and trims to the ongoing task of getting the word out and increasing our presence on social media, there is a huge amount of work to do to start a brand from scratch.
Whilst I come from a marketing background, it’s very different when you are talking about your own company – it’s your baby! I’ve had some great support from various entrepreneurs and tall networks and other start-ups, which has really made a difference.
Will it just be an online store, or do you plan to open a retail outlet?
We will mostly be an online store, but we are launching with a pop-up shop at the Henley Regatta and, if that proves successful, are keen to do other pop-ups across the country.
Tall ranges are generally only available online and, whilst most people are comfortable shopping online for clothes, it’s still good to be able to go into a shop to try things on and inspect the fabric and quality before buying. This is something that us tall women are rarely able to do, so, ideally, I’d like to team up with other tall clothing brands to do a ‘tall pop-up roadshow’ to visit different areas across the UK.
Where do you see the brand in 5 years time?
A very difficult question! We are starting small so as not to incur too big a stock risk and generally keep our overheads under control. This means limiting the range to just a couple of jacket styles; albeit in a few different colours.
I have some shirt samples made, too, but need to be able to find a workable production cost for them. And I have ideas for dresses, trousers and other tops.
I would like to be able to offer a full range so, in 5 years’ time, if all goes well, we’ll be an established brand with a wide range of clothing.
What do you love about being tall?
Tall women always look elegant. Our height makes us memorable and, of course, you can always see over crowds and reach top shelves!
What do you dislike about being tall?
Aside from the difficulty in finding decent clothes to wear, it’s probably that when I go out with a group of – generally shorter – friends, I always find it difficult to keep across the conversation as it’s happening at least 6 inches below me!
We loved chatting with Emma and I’m sure everyone reading this want to wish her all the best in the new venture.
You can follow how she gets on and view her clothing range at the following web site: https://www.allta.co.uk/
As always have a great tall day!