With an eye for the edgy and unique, Ravensbourne University Graphic Design student and natural redhead Charlotte Knight, began creating customised snapbacks, turning it into a business. The Essex homegrown brand has been supported by countless celebrities including Misha B, Diversity, Stooshe, Angel, Jamal Edawrds, Fazer, Krept and Konan, Daley, Etta Bond and Vince Kidd.
We caught up with Charlotte to find out about the little known brand that everyone is suddenly talking about!
So who are you and who are Ginge London?
Ok, so I’m Charlotte, I’m 22. Ginge London is me. I started designing hats for myself last year. I like wearing snapbacks, and obviously they were in fashion last year; but, i felt the snapbacks available were a bit boyish. So i started making them myself, and then wearing them to festivals. People kept coming up to me and saying “Where did you get that from?” I was like ahh I design ‘em myself. So, I spoke to my Dad and he said lets take this further and yeh, now they’re being manufactured.
So is your dad a bit of a business man?
Yeh my dad’s a business man, he helps me out. I'm really lucky to have him for an input.
We've seen you've got alot of famous followers of Ginge. Is there one in celeb in particular you'd love to see rocking Ginge London?
Jessie J. Definitely. I’ve tried contacting her management; but I think half the time the stuff I send doesn’t get given to the artists – because they get sent stuff all the time.
Now she hasn’t got her hair you could try again (Jessie J admirably shaved her head for Comic Relief) – Send her some hats to keep her warm in this nippy weather?
Haha! That’s just it. I want to meet with the celebs to give them my accessories - i find that's the best way to pass them over. Then they can see the hats and try them on, and see them on me. It works better that way. I'd love to meet Jessie and give her a hat. She'd look amazing in them.
What are your aims for Ginge as a brand, in the future?
I haven’t been able to think about that yet. This has happened so quick. Started last October so it’s only been 6 months, and I’m still at uni. So, I finish uni in June, so it’s a lot of work at the minute. But definitely, when I finish uni I’m going to take it further, and do whatever I can with it. My hats are already in Urban Outfitters and in another shop called Violated Lifestyle, in Islington. I think I would like to get a shop one day.
Are you inspired by anyone or anything in particular?
Well I do graphic design at uni, so that has helped me do this. I’ve created my own logo. I love fashion, but it’s never been something I wanted to study; it’s just kind of been like, I made a hat with studs on, and people loved them, and I started making more! I’ve always been a designer type person though. I guess in a way, my own style has inspired me – I wanted to make something I wanted to wear. The name is obviously unique too – it’s Ginge London because I’m a natural red head!
We've seen a photo of Max Branning from Eastenders wearing one of your snapbacks... incredible.
Yeh haha! And Bianca! (Patsy Palmer)
You should try and get every single redhead in the public eye to rock one of your 'Ginge' items!
Yeh that's an aim! I'm trying Keith Lemon at the moment! I sent him a hat last week, but we haven’t heard back yet.
Do you have a favourite design in your current collection?
Ooo I don’t know that’s a hard question. I kind of love them all. That’s a really hard question.
My favourite is the bobble beanie!
Oh really? I'm so glad! They have been the hardest to sell at the moment. (Just saying Charlotte, i'll advertise it for you anytime! Send one my way!)
Ok, we can't really talk Essex without mentionning T.O.W.I.E these days. Fake boobs, fake tan, amazing bouffant hair! How much of this is the real Essex?
None of it! We’ve been given this ‘fake’ stereotype because of the programme. Essex is really not a town where everything is fake. The programme has made Essex look like that, but i have to admit that show is addictive, and the girls always look perfect; but, I’m not perfect. I don’t wear makeup half the time because I can’t be bothered to put it on! I’m normal!
Who are your target audience for Ginge London. You mention it's for the "Now" generation. Who are the now?
Well, it's hard really, i suppose everyone is in the now generation, if they like the brand, and the style. For example, Diversity have been wearing my hats. They’ve been really good to me, and a lot of their fans who are quite young, maybe 13-17 years old, have been wearing the hats as a result of that. But then, I’ve got a lot of older people who love them. A lot of men buying the bobble beanies to go fishing! I like to think I appeal to a lot of ages, my stuff is for whoever wants to wear it! Marcus Collins proper loves our brand, he’s been really up for wearing it in his shoots, which is great. We like to have a diverse audience. 'Now' is diversity, and not just the dance group!
We noticed that your line is nice and affordable, was that a conscious decision?
Yeh that’s what I wanted to get across, because I wanted people to buy my line; I wanted people to enjoy the designs. It’s not fair when kids can’t afford to follow a trend because the hats or clothes are too much! I like that my hats are affordable, and allow people to buy what they like.
Are you into music? Who do you like to listen to? Are there some people you’re getting excited about for 2013?
Yeh I love music. My friend Beverley Ely is amazing, if you came to see her live – she’s insane. She’s one to watch. I go to a lot of gigs with her during the week in London. We went to see Etta Bond the other day, she’s sick. Her music, I don’t even know how to describe it but it’s crazy. She was doing the Emergency Room EP with Raf Riley, it was so good. She’s worn one of my hats too. It looked amazing on her.