Amanda Wakeley

Vanessa Semmens

Designer Biography

DOI: 10.5040/9781474260428-FPA348

Amanda Wakeley, spring/summer 1994. Niall McInerney, Photographer © Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Amanda Wakeley is a self-taught designer who is based in London, UK After graduating from Cheltenham Ladies’ College she worked for Go Silk in New York, before launching her signature label in 1990. The collection, which mostly consisted of suede, cashmere, and chiffon, was first released in Chelsea. Wakeley used her personal savings to fund it and first sold to the Browns fashion store in South Molton Street, London.

The brand—Amanda Wakeley—is best known for its womenswear; however, it now also produces a range of accessories that includes shoes and jewelry. Wakeley’s Chelsea roots remain intrinsic to the brand’s image, with the flagship store located on Fulham Road in London, and the range being stocked in the neighborhood at both Harvey Nichols and Harrods.

Amanda Wakeley has had a variety of royal connections: she dressed Diana, Princess of Wales, and in the early twenty-first century the Duchess of Cambridge often wears her pieces. Wakeley has ventured into costume design, making costumes for the Bond movie Skyfall (2012). These achievements have aided Wakeley’s commercial success and brought the brand public recognition; to date she has won three British Fashion Council awards for glamour and in 2010 she was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by the Queen.

The brand has had a variety of owners: it was owned by Wakeley and her partner at its inception, but eight years later Wakeley owned only 20 percent of the company. In 2005 the business was sold to Walid Juffali and then on to Jason Granite’s company, Arvoco. At this point Wakeley departed from her namesake brand, stating, “I have been advised that I am no longer required.” In 2009, Amanda Wakeley bought back the business with her partner, which gave her full control of the brand for the first time in ten years, and following these events she remarked that she now had “a sense of ownership rather than being an employee.” Three years after regaining control of the brand, Amanda Wakeley returned to London Fashion Week in September 2012.

References and Further Reading

Find in Library Butler Sarah. ““Sunday Interview: Amanda Wakeley.”” The Telegraph , 22 December 2012 .

Find in Library Gallagher Victoria. ““Amanda Wakeley to Open London Flagship.”” Drapers , 19 August 2013 .

Find in Library Grainger Lisa. ““Amanda Wakeley’s Travelling Life.”” The Telegraph , 5 November 2012 .

Find in Library Lacey Hester. ““The Inventory: Amanda Wakeley.”” FT Magazine , 24 May 2013 .

Find in Library Santi Ana. ““Amanda Wakeley.”” Drapers , 17 June 2011 .