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Aura que

Laura Queening

Laura QueeningFounder of Aura Que

Aura Que's founder Laura Queening has taken some time out from her busy schedule to give onfriday a little taster of her life as an ethical fashion designer. Currently in Nepal bringing to life her Autumn/Winter 2011 collection, Laura is fast becoming a 'one-to-watch' designer and has just had one of her Jogi bags featured in Grazia magazine too!

13_laura queening, founder of aura que

How did you get started as a designer?

I always wanted to do something creative that I was passionate about. I went to London College of Fashion to study Accessory Design at the Cordwainer’s college, graduating in 2007. From then, I knew I wanted to produce my own collections and work ‘hands on’ with manufacturers.


So, as a designer, what do you get involved in? 

I develop the designs and patterns for all AURA QUE products, as well as collaborating with the sample makers on some designs. I have to source all the materials and liaise with all my Nepalese suppliers and manufacturers to ensure the best quality for my products. Then there’s the sales and marketing – working with all the boutiques that stock AURA QUE, as well as individual customer enquiries.  At the moment, I work on most areas so it takes up most of my time!

What are you planning or working towards at the moment?

My A/W 2011 production is going on at the moment - it is coming together really nicely! I am trying to blog about our progress as it goes on over the summer. I am also getting together my Spring/Summer 2012 samples, mixing leather with heavy cottons for a summery collection.


What do you love most about what you do?

It has to be the variety - everyday is different! It is a real challenge working in Nepal but I love the adventure!


Who has inspired you the most during your career to date?

I have been inspired by SO many people, over the last few years especially – no one can get where they are without the help and inspiration of others. I suppose my list includes friends and family, great business mentors, ex-colleagues from my university who are working in some fantastic fashion houses, some of the Nepalese producers who work with me in the factory. I also find fashion forward brands such as MIISTA and Ada Zanditon really inspiring for their ethics and style.


What advice would you give young designers struggling to get their first foot on the ladder? 

Of course, be determined and work hard, though networking and seeking advice is the best way to move forward.


What do you think the future looks like for ‘ethical fashion’? 

I think its positive and will eventually become the standard practise – I am really hopeful for this.

What would be your perfect weekend? 

Probably a bit of yoga, a motorbike trip out of the city and some beers in the sun with friends!


If you could choose anyone, what 3 people would you invite over for a dinner party?

Off the top of my head……Vivienne Westwood, Dalai Lama, and my sister Elspeth – she would provide the light entertainment!


If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things would you take with you?

Bikini, iPod and a sketchbook – I would make the most of the time off – and be eternally optimistic someone would find me!!


What’s the last book you read? 

Before I went on my road trip to Delhi for meetings with fittings suppliers, I was given ‘The Alchemist’ to read by Rita, the previous marketing manager at Sana Hastakala where the Jogi Bag Range is made. I have never read it before and it was a perfect read for my 40 hour bus ride!


What’s the last film you watched at the cinema? 

There isn’t much choice in Nepal for western films, though plenty of Bollywood films, but I did indulge by going to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean in 3D last week – a new thing in Nepal!!


What’s the last music download/CD you bought? 

I rely on friends and family for new music really – my brother made me a great dance/electro iPod mix that gets me going in the mornings on the way to the factory. Otherwise, my friend Shirley recently introduced me to Tina Dickow, a Danish artist.


How would you describe yourself?

I try not to take myself too seriously!


Do you have a favourite quotation or a saying that has inspired you?

I still remember getting a card when I was a teenager that said “Shoot for the moon because even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars”.

 

Big thanks Laura - we can't wait for your Autumn/Winter collection to arrive - watch this space folks!


Click here to view Naomi Cornelius-Reid, Founder of NV London Calcutta in the spotlight.