Launched in the summer of 2005, luxury lingerie label Ayten Gasson has become recognised in the UK not only for its beautiful collections, but also for its firm commitment to supporting the UK fashion industry. Every piece from each collection is proudly designed and made in the UK.
Growing up with a family full of designers and makers, creative director Ayten Roberts knew the importance of well-made pieces – and never comprising by using inferior fabrics. Upon graduating from Central Saint Martin’s in 2004, Ayten was disheartened to find the closure of many of the UK based manufactures and design houses. All design jobs had moved to Europe while the London factories she knew as a child had all closed as designers now searched for a cheaper alternative overseas.
With the help of the Prince’s Trust, Ayten launched the lingerie label with a firm commitment to supporting other UK businesses and highlighting the traditional skills which the UK was once celebrated for. To this day Ayten Gasson continues to utilise and support the UK fashion industry by producing every item, from garters to teddies, in either small production units in Nottingham and Wales, or in her own Brighton based studio.
Vintage lace trims from the old lace mills in Nottingham have been sourced to highlight the incredible skills which the area was once famous for. And new English lace is sourced from companies based in the UK to support the few people still manufacturing. Lace is also sourced from UK lace mills that are still able to produce their designs in the UK, such as Cluny lace, who designed and made the lace used in Kate Middleton's wedding dress in 2011.
Ayten Gasson introduced a limited edition range of eco lingerie made using organic silk, and cruelty free peace silk pieces in time for autumn 2011. Unlike the traditional method of silk production where the cocoon is boiled alive, peace silk allows the silkworm to emerge from their cocoon and live out their full life. The new line of ethical lingerie is not the first time the designer has worked with organic fibres. Ayten collaborated with ethical lingerie brand Enamore in 2009 to produce six collections of ethical underwear sets made using recycled vintage fabrics, organic silk and hemp.
Recently Ayten teamed up with fellow Brighton designer Susannah Dowse to create a unique three piece bridal collection. Susannah not only runs her own jewellery design company but has also opened her own shop – Dowse Design – showcasing the best in modern design with a commitment to sustainable and ethical fashion that made for a natural collaboration with Ayten Gasson Lingerie.