Amanda Wakeley wishes she’d kept a cheque from Britain’s Prince Charles to “hang in the loo”.
The British fashion designer began her label in 1990, even though she didn’t have formal training. She soon won fans in the shape of stars such as the late Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge, with the royal family providing her with one of her only regrets.
“I’m not one for regrets,” she told British newspaper The Telegraph. “The only one I do have is that in the early days I got a Coutts cheque signed by Prince Charles and I banked it straight away – I needed the cash so badly. Now I wish I hadn’t. It would have been such a fun thing to hang in the loo.”
Amanda has been through some highs and lows in her career. While her pieces have been worn by the showbiz elite, putting her fledgling business in the name of her now ex-husband meant she had no rights to it after they split.
“You’re reeling with shock,” she explained. “But I’m a survivor. You can sit in a heap and be a victim, or you suck it up.”
The designer turned things around and has been lauded by critics, winning a clutch of fashion awards in the process. She recently opened a store in London, which she’s given a homely vibe in the hope it will be welcoming for all kinds of women.
This is part of Amanda’s attempt to reinvent her label in some ways. While she enjoys being known for well-fitted evening gowns, she also knows she has a lot more to offer.
“The premise is to be much more luxury lifestyle,” she explained. “We’ve added a beach category. We’re doing a cruise collection. I have a huge heritage and I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water, but there’s a lot more to us than red-carpet dresses.”
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