Julien Macdonald

Julien Macdonald

Julien Macdonald was warned collaborating with Debenhams would be "degrading" to his brand.

The Welsh designer launched his Star by Julien Macdonald affordable range for the department store in 2003 and admits it wasn't a popular move back then, though so many designers are now keen to follow suit and tap into the lucrative market.

He said: "When I started working with Debenhams it was very much seen as degrading your own brand.

"Now, a lot of people think, 'Let's do one of those commercial lines on the high street, they'll pay us a lot of money, we can sit back and enjoy ourselves'. "

However, Julien doesn't think such collaborations have been so successful for other designers.

He said: "But for a lot of brands it's a flash in the pan. You might have a name that's a trend in fashion circles, but when you have to sell it all over Britain, especially overseas, you're just a name on a hanger that nobody recognises."

The 42-year-old designer loves meeting the "normal" people who wear his affordable garments.

He told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "When you deal with high end fashion you rarely get to meet the customers who buy your clothes. But I've never been a designer who lived in an ivory tower. The satisfaction of normal people saying, 'Got your dress! Going out tonight! What shoes d'ya think I should wear?' - it's really rewarding."

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