In Conversation with Thea Bregazzi
It’s testament to the staying power of the British fashion label Preen that, 20 years after the label launched (from a store in Portobello Green), it is still dressing the world’s most stylish women. The Duchess of Cambridge wore the sell-out Finella dress on her recent Canadian royal tour, while Samantha Cameron also turned to Preen when she left Number 10. We meet the effortlessly stylish designer Thea Bregazzi to discuss the importance of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and not taking yourself too seriously.
Founded in 1996, Preen was born of a love of all things Victoriana, a passion for recycling and an aesthetic that fuses a masculine/feminine edge, but in many ways defies definition. By a twist of fate, Thea Bregazzi grew up 20 miles away from her husband and design partner, Justin Thornton, on the Isle of Man. Few designers manage to work an idiosyncratic take on British heritage, ruffles and floral motifs with so much edge. Each season Thea likes to challenge herself by transforming something the duo loathe. “One season we decided to use purple because we both hate that colour, which means finding a shade we can both like and work with. We push ourselves and that definitely pays off.”