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Bella Freud pops up at Bicester

By Tamsin Crimmens

Bella Freud, the designer behind those cult black and white slogan jumpers all the cool girls are wearing – Alexa Chung and Kate Moss to name but two - is opening her first stand-alone shop. It’s a pop-up affair in that retail nirvana, Bicester Village, where you'll be able to get your hands on the best of her designs for less as well as her brand new range.

ELLE caught up with the lady herself to find out a little bit more.‘It all started when some of my stock went on sale at the British designer’s pop up earlier in the year at Bicester’ Bella explained. ‘Not only were the sales fantastic but I had an amazing response to the publicity from that and gained a whole load of new customers’

The impact was much greater than the designer had anticipated. ‘People as far afield as Russia, China and India had been emailing me wanting to buy [Bella Freud] so it changed my business completely’It’s even encouraged Bella to branch out from her signature item; ‘I’ve been away and developed new products. Brand new scented candles in with my slogans, tea towels illustrated with my sketches and some stripey socks with my logo on. And of course, there are still a lot of jumpers’

Ah yes, the famous jumpers. We asked Ms Freud to talk us through some of the most memorable designs. ‘Ginsberg is God came about because we wanted something that a poetry groupie would wear. Like a female poetry fan who is obsessed with Allen Ginsberg for example. It seems to have stuck’

‘The Je t’aime Jane jumper came from having feedback from Jane Birkin who said; ‘I love the Gainsbourg [her French husband and the father of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Serge] is God jumper - but of course it wasn’t about that. So I made her a Je t’aime Jane one after her famous song’

‘The 1970 jumper came from blowing up a tiny logo in an old knitwear catalogue on a photocopier. Of course, once Kate Moss has been photographed in something, it rather takes on a life of its own’.

And how could we interview Bella without asking at least one question about her most famous fan? It was none other than Bella’s husband, author and journalist James Fox who interviewed Kate in the famous piece where she admitted having a nervous breakdown and breaking her heart over Johnny Depp;

‘Well we’ve both known Kate for years and years, because we know Keith [Richards, of the Rolling Stones].

Kate only wanted to talk to someone who she can trust, so it all worked out really well. He’s had such a positive response to the piece, so he’s really happy and I am so proud of him too.’

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