Ich Bin Kentishtowner: Florence Bridge, fashion designer

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‘Who do I hate? Rich people who buy houses on particular streets to get their kids into the good schools around here’


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Shooting her graduate collection at Parliament Hill Lido
Shooting her graduate collection at Parliament Hill Lido

Florence Bridge graduated in 2012 from Nottingham Trent University with a year at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. After interning at Matthew Williamson and Erdem, she set up her own label, Florence Bridge, which launched in December. Florence has lived in Kentish Town all her life.

When were you happiest?
When I’m swimming in the sea.

Where would you like to live?
In dream world I would convert the flats in Monmouth House on Raglan Street into a two floor penthouse, over looking Kentish Town, and I would invite my sister to live with me.

What is your favourite sound or smell?
My worst is the wee smell in the lifts in flats.

What is your greatest life achievement?
Setting up my business on my own. When I left uni I knew I wanted to do it so I interned at Matthew Williamson and Erdem for a year to get experience and tried to understand how it all worked.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
The best things in life are free. Like a sweet smile – one of those can get you a long way.

What is your earliest memory?
Learning to swim at Kentish Town swimming pool, buying trainers at Ace Sports and birthday parties at Mcdonalds. And I remember admiring the red and white polka dot dress in Blustons – can’t believe it’s still there now.

What makes you unhappy?
People leaving rubbish on Hampstead Heath.

What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
The Overground and tube running 24 hours.

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Florence Bridge: ‘If you want a job done properly, do it yourself’
What is your most unappealing habit?
I get very irritable and aggressive when I’m hungry.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Watching cage fighting at The Forum.

Where do you hang out?
Hampstead Heath every day with my Dalmation dog; “keyring” Tuesdays at Pizza East, plus The Grafton, Abbey, Assembly House – and I cure my hangover in Pedro’s café with a fry up.

Who or what do you hate and why?
Rich people who buy the houses on particular streets to get their kids into the good schools around here. It’s not fair on the locals.

What’s your best experience in the area? Worst?
Shooting my graduate collection at the lido. Some really fit guys were doing their training and they got involved in the photoshoot. That was a seriously fun day.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Lots. But I saw a thought for the day written on the white board on the Tube: you should be grateful for what you have, not what you don’t have. So I like to focus on the good things.

What’s the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
No, I have seen you before. You were the one dancing on the table.

Tell us a secret.
I am a massive Eastenders fan and Pat, Peggy and Bianca are my style icons.

Autumn/Winter 13 Collection
Autumn/Winter 13 Collection
What has your career taught you?
The only person I can really rely on is me and if you want a job done properly, do it yourself.

What is your favourite dish and why?
My mum’s chicken pie. It reminds me of when I was little and I would play on the street with all my neighbours and then we’d all excitedly pile into my house and fight and eat pie.

What did you do today?
Got up at 8am, went for a run with my dog then went to Soho for a meeting with a fashion editor who wants to use my metallic dresses for a shoot. Then I adjusted arm-hole sizes on my mannequin and played around with different bead textures. This afternoon I’m going to the dry-cleaners on Chetwynd Road to get all my garments tested for the label cleaning instructions.

Describe yourself as an animal.
I strive to be a python or a shark. Why? Because I think they’re really cool.

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