The Croydon student who founded her own fashion label

By - Monday 28th July, 2014

Paul Dennis talks to Croydon College student Jeanne-Marie Fraser about fashion, music and world domination

Fashion design student Jeanne Marie Fraser (left) with some samples of her work.
Photo by Croydon College, used with permission.

I don’t doubt for one moment that Richard Branson was scoffed at when, as a student, he voiced his ambitions.

He was young – what did he know? Well, he knew where he was going, and the same can be said of Jeanne-Marie Fraser, who has just completed a B-TEC level 3 course in Fashion and Clothing at Croydon School of Art.

Alongside her studies Jeanne-Marie has produced her own fashion label, Limitless London, which is creating more than a ripple of interest.

“I started the label two years ago when I was 16 and it’s really going well. There’s a strong street wear element for men and women, but I’m keen to produce more formal wear and a children’s range too. Sales have been very good in the UK, Europe and America,” confirmed Jeanne-Marie, who is heading for Edinburgh University in the autumn.

‘Auld Reekie’ holds no terrors for Jeanne-Marie as she is a regular visitor and has struck up a productive relationship with Edinburgh indie band Indigo Velvet.

 You really have to be ahead of the curve in both music and fashion

“They were formally known as ‘The Kicks’ and I made shirts for them, and continued that under their new name. It has given my label a boost through their website and Facebook presence with people asking where they can buy the clothing,” she explained.

And the networking doesn’t end there. Jeanne-Marie has hooked up with top model Eunice Olumide which she says has enabled her to get a foot in the door of haute couture.

Alongside making clothes and studying hard, Jeanne-Marie is an inveterate blogger on fashion and design – she also teaches guitar.

“Music and fashion – what can I say? They are always linked,” she smiles, adding: “You really have to be ahead of the curve in both, thinking at least two years ahead. That enables you to set trends rather than reacting to them.”

You have to remember that Coco Chanel started by breaking all of the rules and setting her own agenda

All of this begs the question: how is it possible for one person to be so overwhelmingly busy, yet so effective?

It is of course all down to modern technology, the rapid growth of social media and the ever burgeoning app culture, with special reference to the Depop app, the ‘store in your pocket’, which has proved to be a great shop front for Jeanne-Marie who can be followed on @limitlesslondon3.

But, in the real world, what is the ambition that drives this sparky, engaging 18-year-old? Where does she see herself?

“I’d like to be as big as Chanel in six years’ time,” she reveals with disarming candour.

“I absolutely love Chanel, it’s all about elegance and understatement, but you have to remember that Coco Chanel started by breaking all of the rules and setting her own agenda. It was only later that she became what you might term establishment,” she adds.

Tartan prints teamed with brogues and baggy knitwear are the coming thing

Connection, networking, profile visibility, call it what you will – it’s probably more important in fashion than any other industry, and it’s clear to me that Jeanne-Marie, 18 going on 38, has more than just street smarts and enthusiasm, she has a plan and she is executing it.

In the short term, before taking up her degree course, and continuing to build her business, you can expect to see her blogging on fashion matters from Edinburgh, Paris and New York, and follow her tweets on xxmariejadorexx.

Finally, I had to ask Jeanne-Marie the all important question – the one that all you fashionistas want answered.

What is her big tip for the next trend in fashion?

“I think tartan prints teamed with brogues and baggy knitwear are the coming thing,” revealed Jeanne-Marie.

You heard it here first.

Paul Dennis

Paul Dennis

Paul Dennis is the editor of Total Sea Fishing magazine, and moved to Croydon in 2011. An award-winning journalist, he has worked on angling titles for much of his career, including 16 years as deputy editor of Angler's Mail. A regular freelance contributor for a wide array of non-angling-related titles, author of two books on angling and a widely-followed authority on the subject, he's enjoying life as an adoptive Croydonian.

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  • Stephen Giles

    Well done, your clothes look wonderful!