London-born Bella Freud studied fashion in Rome and quickly paved her way as one of Britain’s leading designers. Her playful style expounds immaculate tailoring with a coquettish edge, ensuring her a cult following both in Britain and abroad. Bella’s much-loved knitwear pieces are much sought after and are continually met with a surge of press excitement.
After training for three years, she launched her eponymous women’s wear label in 1990 comprising sexy knitted dresses and mini knit suits, high heeled shoes and bags. Her AW 1991 collection won Most Innovative Designer at London Fashion Week for which Bella produced a short Super 8 film directed by James Lebon showing a group of models wearing the collection at Newbury race track.
Seasonal catwalk shows followed and then from 1994 Bella looked at alternative methods of showcasing her collections. In 1999 she collaborated with John Malkovich on the first of three short fashion films called Strap-hanging. This was followed with Lady Behave in 2000, then Hideous Man in 2002.
In 2001 Bella also collaborated with rock icon Anita Pallenberg on a limited edition magazine ‘Memo’ which was inspired by the film Performance and with its limited edition CD, represented a meeting of fashion, music and free thought.
In March 2000 British fashion house Jaeger approached Bella to rejuvenate the brand. Bella created a high end line with a hip, young attitude, successfully repositioning the Jaeger label and opening it up to a new clientele.
Between 2004 and 2006 Bella consulted for Miss Selfridge, designing two capsule collections, most notably for the 40th anniversary.
Bella was appointed head designer at Biba in 2006, creating the clothes for the much heralded relaunch of the legendary British label. The Biba line achieved sales of £1.5 million after only two seasons.
2010 saw Bella joining forces with long time friend and muse Susie Bick and producing a 12 piece collection of jumpers, mini dresses and knitted accessories inspired by Susie’s ingenious way of dressing. ‘English Boy’ in S/S 2011 was influenced by David Bowie’s and 1970′s English boys and the girls who loved them.
Bella has been guest editor of Another Magazine and regularly contributes writing to Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and PonyStep. Bella also produced a weekly beauty column for the Sunday Telegraph’s Stella Magazine.
Bella’s ‘Fetish’ collection for A/W 2011 featured drawings of shoes made especially by friend Christian Louboutin. Bella collaborated with Bafta film director Martina Amati on the mini film ‘Submission’ to feature the collection which was set in the world of JiuJitsu, where one learns to use your opponent’s strength to vanquish them.
At the beginning of 2012, Bella started her collaboration with Barbour. Each season’s styles depict classic countryside animals, scenes and plant motifs. Timelessly feminine pieces all with playful appeal and quirky charm, they encapsulate a sense of country fun.
2012 saw the opening of Bella Freud’s first pop up shop within Bicester Village and also the launch of the Bella Freud candle collection, Bella’s first foray into the world of beauty.
Bella continues to create her own label collections, and with classic knits such as Ginsberg is God, Je t’aime Jane, 1970 fast becoming collectors items. Fans of Bella’s knitwear include Alexa Chung, Laura Bailey, Kate Moss and Alison Mosshart.
Bella’s enduring success is a testament to her talent for creating timelessly feminine pieces with a characteristically playful appeal. Her strong fashion sense and charming idiosyncratic attitude to life are mirrored in every one of her designs.