The Spotlight | Maria Francesca Pepe

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MFP logo, courtesy of Maria Francesca Pepe

LONDON, United Kingdom Fashion East, the London-based fashion incubator program, has become known by savvy fashion buyers and editors for serving up a cool crop of hot young design talent in London each season. And, beginning this year, The Business of Fashion is providing mentoring and support to these promising talents as they enter the fashion business for the first time.

Amongst the crop of designers that we met in our first Fashion East mentoring session was alumna Maria Francesca Pepe, whose jewellery and shapely designs have been garnering the attention of fashion-forward celebrities on both sides of the Atlantic, including Lady Gaga, Roisin Murphy, Agyness Deyn and Beth Ditto.

Pepe got her start in fashion at Milan’s Istituto Marangoni, before heading off to work for Kookai and Luciano Soprani. Then, she headed straight to the top of the fashion academe, studying under Louise Wilson in Central St Martins’ MA fashion programme. Soon after, she was discovered and championed as one of London’s new fashion stars by Fashion East’s founder, Lulu Kennedy.

And, in no time at all, it seems, Maria has established a business infrastructure to help build her eponymous label, while also developing jewellery for brands such as Emilio de la Morena, Amanda Wakeley and Roksanda Illincic. In her own designs, Pepe incorporates jewellery into the garments themselves, creating a strong accents from pieces like the windmill from Autumn/Winter 2010 featured in this month’s BoF Spotlight.

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As she gears up to show her S/S 2010 collection at London Fashion Week in September, we wish Maria the best of luck in her bid to take the fashion industry by storm.

The Spotlight is BoF’s showcase for emerging talent employing creativity and business acumen to make their mark in the fashion business.