Samantha Cameron launches her first fashion label

Samantha Cameron Image copyright Getty Images

Samantha Cameron is launching a new fashion label named Cefinn.

The wife of former prime minister David Cameron has designed a 40-piece collection which will be sold from early next year.

Mrs Cameron said she was inspired to start the label as there were not many British brands that fit the "designer contemporary" bracket.

The brand name is derived from her children's names - Elwen, Florence, Ivan and Nancy.

Image copyright Emma Hardy
Image caption The first photos of Samantha Cameron's fashion line will appear in Vogue

Items from the fashion range will be priced between £100 and £300.

The first pictures of the collection will feature in the January issue of British Vogue ahead of its launch for spring/summer 2017. Her sister Emily Sheffield is deputy editor of the magazine.

In an interview with the publication, Mrs Cameron said: "I felt that there was a lot of American and French brands out there that fit that bracket of designer contemporary with the right price point and the right styling, but there aren't that many British brands which fill that space."

She said she resisted the urge to completely design the collection with herself in mind as "that would be pointless", adding: "I've spent a lot of time trying stuff on my friends."

Mrs Cameron became known for her fashion style during her time at Number 10 and previously worked as creative director of luxury brand Smythson, where she still holds a consultancy role.

She also currently serves as an ambassador for the British Fashion Council and is often seen wearing UK brands including Roksanda, Christopher Kane and Erdem.

She said she was launching her own fashion range to "create an urban uniform for busy women" saying she felt there was a gap in the market for a British brand that offered a wardrobe that could take women from day to evening.

Five memorable Sam Cam fashion moments

Image copyright Getty Images
  • She refused to follow the crowd and wear a hat for the 2011 Royal Wedding, instead teaming her bright turquoise Burberry dress with a jewelled hair accessory
  • She wore a pussy-bow blouse to Baroness Thatcher's funeral, channelling the late former prime minister's own distinctive style
  • Six months pregnant with daughter Florence, she entered Number 10 for the first time wearing a stylish blue Emilia Wickstead dress
  • She shunned high-end designers in favour of high street brand Hobbs when she chose a pastel blue dress for the 2014 Conservative party conference
  • Glamorous to the last, she stuck to one of her favourite brands, Roksanda Ilincic, for her patterned dress on her husband's last day as prime minister

Fashion expert Oonagh O'Hagan said Mrs Cameron's style influenced a generation of successful women who were interested in wearing fashionable designs.

"She promoted the idea that you could be taken seriously and still be fashionable," she said.

"You could look cool and sophisticated and you didn't always have to wear black. She had a big impact on the brands she wore. She wasn't a leader but she was a savvy adopter and her doing this label shows that.

Image caption Samantha Cameron is an ambassador for the British Design Council

"She has seen there is a bit of a gap for women. If you're a successful businesswoman you want to feel like you have an identity, you're individual with a knowledge of fashion but not obsessed.

"I think it's a savvy and clever move."

Mrs Cameron joins a long list of famous names who have launched their own fashion lines which also includes former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and rapper Kanye West.

Ms O'Hagan, fashion and textile curriculum leader at Central Saint Martins, said a celebrity name does not always guarantee success and launching a fashion label can be an uphill struggle.

Image copyright Vogue
Image caption Mrs Cameron has been interviewed by Vogue ahead of her fashion line launch

She added: "There are so many celebrities that have bombed out. It can be a dangerous ground. That is why Samantha Cameron is interesting because not many people who are famous through politics have done this. It's usually singers and actresses.

"It's really difficult to set up a fashion line. Initially you can start very small but once it becomes popular you have a horrible jump where you have to take on factories across the world to get your production up. That responsibility is stressful.

"That's why many designers have backers and need people to put money into them. You'll probably lose money in the first few years and that's famous people as well. It's not particularly easy."

Life after Downing Street

  • Sarah Brown continued to run the education charity Theirworld, when she and former PM Gordon Brown left Downing Street in 2010. She also published a memoir of her experience at Number 10 entitled Behind the Black Door
  • Cherie Blair continued working as a human rights barrister after Tony Blair left office in 2007. She also launched a health business in 2011 which ceased trading last year
  • Dame Norma Major published her second book Chequers: The Prime Minister's Country House and its History in 1997 and two years later was ennobled along with husband John, as a wife of a knight of the Garter
  • Sir Denis Thatcher was already retired when his wife was named prime minister, having worked as a director of an oil company. He became Mrs Thatcher's principal adviser and was later awarded a baronetcy in 1991

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites