Inspired by John Rocha: how an ambitious Croydon fashion student is aiming for the top

By - Monday 22nd September, 2014

Stylist and fashion-writer Michelle Pierre-Carr looks at some home-grown talent and the inspiration that launched it

Jeanne Marie Fraser’s white leather jacket, admired by John and Odetta Rocha on a visit to Croydon College.
Photo author’s own.

The decision to start a new business is always a daunting prospect for many, but as the Croydon Citizen reported recently, it didn’t stop eighteen year old Jeanne Marie Fraser from taking the plunge and setting up her own t-shirt business from home. Working on concepts and ideas to grow the business, it wasn’t until she attended Croydon School of Art in 2011 to study a BTEC in Fashion and Clothing that she got the confidence and skills she needed to move her business forward.

“Croydon School of Art really helped me come out of my shy personality and design clothes to the best of my ability”, Jeanne says, and her cousin’s request for help to change the style of his image and his band, Indigo Velvet, presented her with a great opportunity to start her first streetwear collection inspired by model Benjamin Jarvis. She set up her label, Limitless London, in 2013.

Scroll on to 2014 and Limitless London is going from strength to strength. Jeanne now has two menswear collections firmly under her belt and a womenswear line for petite women. She’s also continuing to style her cousin, Darren Barclay, and his band – they, along with her online shop, are her main outlets to show off her designs.

I was lucky enough to be one of three Croydon students chosen to meet John Rocha

With strong hopes for her business, Jeanne also has business partners who help with marketing and design. She’s working hard to find a manufacturer in China to help with production.

John and Odetta Rocha chat with Jeanne Marie Fraser and other Croydon students.
Photo author’s own.

When I spoke to Jeanne about what fuels her ambition, she refers back to a visit by international designer John Rocha who attended Croydon College back in 1974 and helped to relaunch Croydon School of Art in 2013 by attending a private viewing of the newly refurbished Parfitt Gallery and a tour of the newly configured accommodation and facilities along with his wife Odetta.

“I was a lucky enough to be one of only three students who was chosen to meet him and show off the garment I had made for the fashion show he saw. I was really chuffed that his wife Odetta loved the outfit I made”.

Jeanne has just started her BA degree in menswear in Edinburgh and has already started collaborating with her flat mate Jessica Wearing from Manchester on a new A/W 15 collection that should be out next year. With this set to be her third collection, Croydon’s Jeanne Marie Fraser is really one to watch.

To view Jeanne’s collection, click here.

Michelle Pierre-Carr

Michelle Pierre-Carr

Michelle Pierre-Carr is a stylist, blogger and broadcaster. She runs the creative arm of Pierre Carr, a boutique styling and events service based in Croydon which carries out editorial photo shoots to inspire for brands and magazines.

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