Fashion alumna, Heidi May, styled celebrities such as Katy Perry before launching her sustainable fashion brand. 

 

Heidi set up Aesthetic Laundry in 2014, a slow fashion brand which focuses on designing beautiful, wearable pieces that last in your wardrobe for much longer than one season. Celebrities such as Stacey Soloman, Nadiya Hussain and Kacey Musgraves have worn her brand.

 

Heidi studied Fashion Design with Manufacturing, Marketing and Promotion at the University from 2005-2009, graduating with first class honours. Heidi set up Aesthetic Laundry after interning for three months during her placement year. Whilst interning she sewed, managed the shop and rebranded the company, sometimes not finishing until 2.00am. After learning so much in the three months she was inspired to set up her own brand. During her final year, every piece of clothing and every project she worked on was driven towards building Aesthetic Laundry.

 

After graduating, Heidi entered a competition to 'Design a dress for Rihanna,' three interviews later and Rihanna met the final 24 candidates (including Heidi.) Rihanna was co-producer for Sky's Styled to Rock TV show where the aim was to find fresh new design talent. Rihanna handpicked the final 12, who moved into Victoria Beckham's old studio for 10 weeks of the Styled to Rock competiton. The 12 candidates had to make outfits for A-list musicians such as Katy Perry, Little Mix, Cheryl Cole and Scissor Sisters. It was a knockout competition and each week the candidates had to design an outfit for a celebrity/musician in just two days. Heidi was the runner up in the show and said at the time; "I feel absolutely gutted about leaving the show but so, so proud to have come second."

 

When the show aired in 2012, Heidi moved to London and secured her first major fashion role with fellow graduate, Frances Philips, at a menswear supplier. The company had no experience of how the big high street companies ran and within two years Heidi had travelled to New York and Sweden to present designs on behalf of the company. Heidi then moved into menswear shirt design, but after two years she couldn't stop thinking about Aesthetic Laundry. "The most exciting part of my job was sewing my clothes that I would wear for the meetings."

I see inspiration from everything. At Uni I was always inspired by things like cracks in the pavement which I used as seam inspiration. For my final project I was inspired by tarpaulin hanging off buildings; the more ripped the better. I was inspired by a room full of popped balloons and use so many colours in my collection.  Now I get inspired by paint chipped doors I walk past in London, especially the textures and graffiti walls that are ever changing!

Heidi May

"A few celebrities have worn my garments; Stacey Solomon's stylists for Loose Women found me on Instagram and messaged saying Stacey would LOVE your stuff, I sent it in and that day she wore it on Loose Women! Stacey also wore our purple swimsuit with multicoloured shoulder tassels.

 

"I watched a documentary by British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, about anxiety, and as a sufferer myself, I related to everything she was saying and thought she was so inspiring. I reached out to her agent and sent a jumper to her. Nadiya has since had another jumper which she wore during Katie Piper's podcast recording.

 

"In 2017, I was asked to have a stall at the anti-diet riot fair in Hoxton, London. It was a celebration of body positive women with stalls and workshops designed to empower and celebrate curvaceous women. It was here that I met Khrystyna (America's Next Top Model) and after chatting with her she invited me to take part in her street catwalk show celebrating anyone who has, or has had, body issues, which is underrepresented in today's fashion industry. It was incredible."


 

Stacey Solomon on Loose Women wearing a jumper from Aesthetic Laundry

In the Spring of 2019, Heidi took the plunge and the team of one became a small passionate team of four, to help her with designs, marketing and operations. The team realised the importance of having the company values in writing, in essence everything Aesthetic Laundry does falls under three values: "we CARE, we DARE and we are FAIR. We Care about our footprint, we are Fair in our business and we Dare to be different." 

 

As part of the brands values, Aesthetic Laundry initiated 'The Zero Waste Fabric Project' which allows them to continue making clothes, whilst ensuring they are being as resourceful as possible. "Our first Zero Waste Fabric Project is solving the problem of waste from our own production line. We produce everything in our studio in East London and although we use an effective layplan, inevitably you get offcuts due to the fact our bodies are not squares. Not wanting to throw them away (we are very aware of textile recycling facilities), we decided to put it out as a poll on Instagram and Facebook - whether we should make make-up bags out of them or kids jumpers. It was an unbelievable 90%+ to make kids' jumpers - so that's what we did."

 

To shop Aesthetic Laundry's collection including the Zero Waste Kids Jumpers click here. 

Heidi's team at Aesthetic Laundry; Joss Scott, Anna West, Heidi May, Liv Macaulay Heidi's team at Aesthetic Laundry; Joss Scott, Anna West, Heidi May, Liv Macaulay