Edward Cuming photographed by @ac.luque for FY!

Australian by birth and Madrilenian by adoption, Edward Cuming, a graduate of the prestigious London fashion school Central Saint Martins, gives an interview to F.Y!, months after presenting his Autumn/Winter 2023 collection, in which he talks about it, his eponymous brand, his facet as a designer, the future of the fashion industry, and much more.

Ready to discover what the designer told us from his studio?

Edward, there will be people who don’t know you yet. Imagine you arrive at a dinner party and you have to introduce yourself to a group who don’t know you and want to know about you and what you do. What would you say? 

What a curious question! I would say that I am a person who runs a clothing brand and everything that goes with that. From designing, managing, being an accountant, answering emails, and more. 

Your origins are Australian but you are currently based in Madrid (Spain). What made you move to the Spanish capital? 

That’s right, I’m Australian by birth. I left my country when I was 20 years old, and that was about 11 or 12 years ago. I studied in Barcelona for three years and from there I moved to London to go to Central Saint Martins to do a master’s degree. I stayed there for two years and finally ended up in Madrid for love, as my partner is Spanish. 

Edward Cuming SS23

The word “origins” is to some extent related to beginnings. How do you remember your first steps in the world of fashion? Did you always know you wanted to be a designer? 

I remember them very positively, to be honest. It was all very organic. That is to say, I didn’t just wake up one day and say: come on, I’m going to do this, but little by little opportunities came along, especially after I graduated with my master’s degree. One of the first things that happened to me was that a store in the United States wanted to buy my Master’s collection. It was gratifying, as I was not working at the time or employed anywhere. Everything I produced was from my room and I created without expecting anything. I started with a small production and little by little it worked. From that point on, you enter into the dynamic of continuing to make seasons. Anyone who has worked as hard as I have knows how difficult it is. 

Edward Cuming SS23

Do you remember any difficult moments? 

For me, without a doubt, it was the search for workshops that could take minimums, as that is something complicated, especially as a very young brand. Finding the perfect space is not an easy task and sometimes you can feel overwhelmed. 

What would you say is the best part of being a young designer and what is the worst?

I think the best part of being a young designer is seeing all the growth of your project. Experiencing how everything develops and how big breakthroughs are made. Those moments are very rewarding and the energy you get is pure. 

On the other side, I would say how challenging the industry can be and how everything works. And I don’t say this as a complaint, but it is a reality that is within the reach of anyone who works in the industry. Anyone who sells will know what I mean. Growing a brand is very difficult, you have to make sure you take good care of your workers, and above all keep pushing the conversation with your clothes. There are some figures that you have to reach, and it’s a moment when you realise that you have to have two heads to know how to manage all this well.

Edward Cuming SS23

Let’s talk about the Autumn/Winter 23 collection that you recently presented. What inspired you to create it?

The Autumn/Winter 23 collection is related to the move we made to the new studio and to feeling comfortable in a specific space. The latter is quite important to me. I love the whole process of creating the space, taking care of it, making it your way, and consequently feeling like you are at home.

I also feel this line is a celebration of the place I’m talking about, of the freedom it gives off, and of experimenting and starting new stages. For example, this season I wanted to try different fabrics and textures in the silhouettes I usually make, and so I did. Here you can find everything from jacquards and quilts with textures we’ve never used before, to rich knits.

In this proposal, you have played with volumes. How is the manufacturing process of the pieces? 

All the garments are made in the workshop, except for the knitwear and jeans, which we develop here but then they go to a factory. We work on models or mannequins and we usually have a standard reference or idea about an unusual feeling or volume. We try different possibilities and see what happens. For example, there is a skirt that we add a very asymmetrical volume and suddenly we apply the same to a top and trousers. It’s all a matter of trying, and basically, we try to put possibilities in various parts to make a pattern development and get to the end. 

Edward Cuming SS23

What is the garment that has been the most difficult for you to produce? 

I would say that the pieces I just mentioned are the most difficult to produce, although then there are the garments that at first glance may seem very basic/minimal and that by the simple fact of having a detail, they become much more complicated. The most important thing, without a doubt, is to have a good pattern and a workshop that knows how to sew well. If you have that, the rest comes naturally. 

How would you define the line with one word? 


Edward Cuming AW23

This collection shows, even more, the progress you’ve made and the complexity of some of the garments. How do you see this line compared to the previous ones?

Yes, as you say, it is much more complex and complete. The garments are of exquisite quality thanks to the years we have spent looking for people who can succeed in this task. Everything is very handmade and especially some of the garments we make. For example, some productions are more intense, and having to send out 150 shirts, handmade, and cut out all the time, can become tiring. Nowadays it is very difficult to find a factory that wants to do this. 

Besides, the fact that we have been in the market for several years selling and discovering what the customer wants is something that makes it easier when it comes to creating. We are getting to have a clear idea of our clients and know what they are looking for from us, but of course, we have to find the middle ground between what the client wants and what we feel like doing. 

Now that you mention your clients, how do you imagine them? And what do they have in common? 

I can’t simplify it to one type. Being in 36 points of sale, I think each person is different, and, honestly, each one tells me one thing. We have people who work in art who have a more luxury or subtle sensibility, and who look at details and finishes, to professional men & women. 

The common point between all of them would be sensitivity and an appreciation for detail. 

Edward Cuming AW23

Why do you think they bet on you and not on another designer or brand? 

I think it is a question related to the issue of detail and not finding it. We don’t have a collection of 100 or 200 garments, nor a commercial offer where you can find basic garments, but we do offer something special. We have shirts and jeans, yes, but they all have a personal touch that makes the difference and therefore attracts customers. 

Also, they may come because of the image we have, or simply because they feel identified with how we present the brand and want to feel part of our community.

Collaborations are very topical nowadays. With this line, you have presented two, the third with Adam Signature and the first with Dentro Studio. How has the experience been? 

Adam is not only a wonderful shoemaker but also a contemporary dancer with an exquisite sensibility. Together we have worked very well, and we always understand each other wonderfully. He understands my vision and I understand his. When it comes to working, I offer him certain parameters and he interprets them. I am very happy with the result. I think they are useful shoes but at the same time special and different, partly because the stitching is on the outside. 

As for Dentro Studio, this is the first time we’ve worked together. It’s the brand of a friend of mine from Paris. It’s the same with her as with Adam, I trust her completely. Isa Kauffman, the founder of the brand, is a bag consultant and also has a unique sense of sensibility. Working together we make a great team. We looked for inspiration and had similar ideas for the textile we wanted to use. I love how they turned out! 

How do you see the future of fashion? 

Honestly, I’m trying to get to June (laughs). About the future of fashion, based on my own experience and what I read in the headlines, I see it as a bit blurry. There is more and more consumerism, and people are buying differently, which I don’t judge, but if I am true to my beliefs and thoughts, I would like there to be a higher percentage of people who appreciate details, quality of clothes, and patterns.

Also, the future is always by nature very uncertain, especially for a young brand. To this we have to add that currently in Spain there is not as much support for fashion and designers as in other countries, as there is not as big a market or demand.

Edward Cuming AW23

Can you tell us some of the goals you would like to achieve? And if you have already achieved one, feel free to talk about it.

When I started I was very clear about things, and from the beginning I said, I’m not going to invest money that there isn’t any and I’m not going to get into debt with anyone. If the brand grows, it’s because it had to happen, and it did. It took a little longer, but each season I worked with what I got from the sales. And that was the method I followed. And I am very happy and proud. 

Something that has made me especially excited, for example, is selling in Departamento in Los Angeles, which was among the first to support me. Being present in such emblematic boutiques helps you a lot in terms of brand positioning. 

And without a doubt, my quintessential goal is to have my studio. It was a dream because before moving to the new space, I shared a studio with a bridal brand, where I was very happy and loved my colleagues, but to be able to see how the light passes through the windows, that’s something very nice. Seeing my colleagues working here makes me especially happy, especially when I know that I can pay them religiously. 

And finally, any advice or thoughts you would like to share with F.Y! readers and with young people who want to work in fashion?

Don’t think about it, do it, but stay ignorant. Don’t want to know everything. The important thing is to know yourself well and to know what you want to achieve, and where you want to direct your project. I think this because when you already have some years of experience in the sector and you know too much about it, you realize how crazy it is and maybe you don’t do it. 

Edward Cuming photographed by @ac.luque for FY!