Some of you may have met Jacynth Bassett at one of our collaborative events in Brighton or London. Some of you reading this will know her far better than I do!
But you may not know how we actually met in the first place. We have Twitter to thank for that – for all its faults it is still a great place to meet articulate and interesting people with something important to say.
Jacynth had for a long time felt passionately that most fashion labels were not paying enough attention to the needs of women like her mother – who wanted to find stylish clothing and didn’t see why she should find this harder as she got older.
She started blogging about issues around age discrimination in fashion – listening closely to her mother and her group of friends and reflecting their frustration at being ignored or under-represented in fashion imagery and advertising.
I came across Jacynth’s writing on Twitter and it really struck a chord with me. Good hats are a very grown up accessory, but almost always modelled by very young women. I had been promoting my own small rebellion against this by working only with models over 40 (my own latest photoshoot at the time had featured the amazing Sara Cutting – a woman of great strength, energy and beauty. You can read we met here)
A while after I had started following and retweeting Jacynth’s blog, I had a lovely message from her thanking me for my support and suggesting we meet. So over lunch in Covent Garden we found out a bit more about each other and she told me about her plans for an online boutique where “Ageism is never in style”. And so the the-Bias-Cut.com was launched. The site was a carefully curated collection of stylish, well-crafted clothing, from interesting new designers (the shirts from Gibson and Birkbeck are a favourite of mine) to more well known “go to” labels such as Baum und Pferdgarten. And (shock horror!) the clothes were shown being worn by women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Since then the shop has gone from strength to strength online; Jacynth has lost none of her campaigning zeal and has been featured in many press articles, including one in the Guardian (see link below).
Although the-Bias-Cut.com is, in the main, an online boutique, we both love getting to know our clients face to face. So we have really enjoyed collaborating on a number of client shopping events since. One thing I do know – Jacynth’s customers love a good Panama!
I asked Jacynth to give me a quote to put in this blog post – I must say I wasn’t expecting the blush-inducing comments that follow, but as much as anything Jacynth’s words should be an encouragement to us all to reach out to others and share and support where we can:
“It means a huge amount to me how much you and I have become such cheerleaders for each other. When we met for lunch I had barely launched the boutique, and now nearly two years later the business has 26 labels, an international customer base and is growing on average 100% season on season. And there is no way you haven’t had a hand in that: from doing my first proper ‘pop-up party’ together that got me off the ground, to continuing to do events together, and writing pieces, it has all made a difference. Plus the emotional support has really lifted me up when times have been tough. When we first met on twitter it made my day when you tweeted me supporting what was then just the blog – just knowing someone was reading and enjoying it. Can’t believe we’re here now two and a half years later (especially given I was rather the twitter sceptic!!) “
Maybe Twitter isn’t such a dark and dangerous place all the time!
Here are a couple of my favourite styles from the collection – and a link to that Guardian article here