Time to say Hello

It is approaching five weeks since Berjoan went live for pre-orders on our Spring Summer 2021 collection, and three weeks since we launched in full. And so, it feels timely to introduce myself as the founder and designer of Berjoan!

Despite incredibly challenging and uncertain times, I am so pleased with the support and feedback we have received so early in the season, and indeed into our journey as a new brand. It has truly been a pleasure to have heard from so many of our customers and subscribers with their feedback about Berjoan and our first collection.

Having trained in knitwear and textile design, I spent over ten years designing and developing premium and luxury womenswear for brands in the UK and in Amsterdam. I am also incredibly passionate about fashion and textiles education, and maintain visiting lectures and teaching across fashion, textiles and knitwear courses with universities and colleges in the UK. More recently having worked as a freelance knitwear & fashion consultant with start-ups and established high-end brands, I made the decision in January 2020 to start working on Berjoan.

Berjoan was inspired by my reflections on the emotional attachments we have to those irreplaceable pieces in our wardrobes. The raincoat that has been with you, your mother and your grandmother through many rainy days. That fabulous yet uncomplicated dress that makes getting dressed in the morning simple yet joyful.

The name Berjoan evolved from my Grandmother's name - Beryl Joan. Some of my fondest childhood memories were of weekends spent with her - painting, cooking and wrapping up for walks. We would spend Saturday mornings at my grandparents kitchen table, painting with her old but beautifully cared for paint brushes and palettes, after breakfasts of stewed fruit and toast, often served in precious yet humble glassware and crockery (a 1970's citrine Denby Ode coffee set that I still have and adore made a frequent appearance). A woman of patience, empathy and unwavering morals, I was fascinated and inspired by her humble yet unrivalled (in my opinion) taste level, her attention to detail but also her quietly confident and honest individualism, something that has both inspired and grounded me throughout my life.

Berjoan embodies my uncompromising love of colour, pattern and tactility, alongside my passion for and belief in supporting truly ethical and symbiotic manufacturing. As a highly textile-led designer, I believe that the fabrics in which garments are made inspire the desire to care for and cherish those pieces. My desire for each Berjoan piece, is that they are inclusive and purposeful, whilst having an aesthetic opinion. Ties, gathers and versatile shapes transcend age and shape, offering longevity and the ability to be shared and handed on.

In that January of 2020 when I made the decision to go 'full steam ahead' with Berjoan, I, like so many others, certainly hadn't anticipated a major global pandemic that would not only disrupt supply-chains and the general infrastructure of the fashion industry, but our social, physical, professional and personal lives on a much greater scale. And so, it is with the greatest pleasure and gratitude, that I thank you for all of your support to date - in these uncertain times it truly means the world, and I am so looking forward to connecting with more of you and seeing where and to who our first collection pieces go to.

I look forward to bringing more insights into the goings on here at Berjoan HQ in North Oxfordshire. For now, from myself, and my PA (two year old Cloud the Whippet) I wish you all a healthy, happy and hopeful start to the Spring.

Charlotte x