Rose Fulbright-Vickers comes from a long line of enterprising, creative women. Her maternal grandmother, Susan Williams-Ellis, was the prominent British artist and designer who founded Portmeirion, a pottery company based in Stoke-on-Trent in the UK. Fulbright-Vickers remembers her as a larger-than-life personality with “hilarious, multi-colored 80s shell suits and big earrings” who delighted in sharing simple things like her love of British fauna and flora with her grandchildren. Fulbright-Vickers’ mother, Anwyl Cooper-Willis, holds a doctorate in marine biology and worked as a scientist before starting to design for Portmeirion in the 1980s. She nurtured her three daughters’ creativity by teaching them how to sew, taking them to charity shops, and enrolling them in life drawing classes – though Fulbright-Vickers was the only one who stuck with them.
“At the age of 11, I knew that I wanted to have my own brand and be a fashion designer. It must’ve been just before that my mum and I started reading Vogue together. She really taught me to think critically about design,” she says.
Fulbright-Vickers went on to study design and fashion in Paris and London, gravitating to lingerie and loungewear for their dramatic shapes and sensuous materials. She moved to Beijing last August with her husband, having established her eponymous brand Rose Fulbright just six months earlier.
Her latest loungewear collection, the Tropical Collection, features a pattern based on her grandmother’s colorful oil paintings of fish from numerous scuba diving and snorkeling trips to the Pacific, Caribbean, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans. The shapes and sleeve details in some the pieces also recall traditional wide-sleeved Chinese robes – an influence that Fulbright-Vickers is eager to expand on in her next collection.
“The colors you get here are very different to the colors you see together in the West as a palette, particularly in the temples,” she says. “You see a lot of blues and turquoises with whites, as well as terra cotta reds and mustardy yellows – very bold colors.”
A fundamental part of Rose Fulbright’s identity is the brand’s ethical and ecological approach to design. All garments are produced in the UK to ensure superior quality and fair working conditions. All elastics, packaging, and labels are sourced from the UK to minimize carbon footprint, while most materials are sourced from Europe. Many of the silks come from Suzhou, where Fulbright-Vickers also employs a printer with ecologically-certified inks. The website includes detailed care instructions for silks and links to GreenEarth Cleaning, a US-based eco-friendly dry cleaning business with affiliates all over the world (but unfortunately none in Beijing for the moment).
“I believe we should buy things that are made to last and we should care for them properly, ensuring you don’t get huge numbers of clothing items going to waste and landfills,” says Fulbright-Vickers.
To honor her grandmother’s lifelong passion for marine life, five percent of all proceeds from sales of the Tropical Collection will be donated to Oceana, an ocean conservation group based in the US.
In Shunyi, Rose Fulbright designs are available at Clicia’s Boutique in Dragon Bay Villa. In the city, Fulbright-Vickers welcomes private appointments at her home studio in the CBD. Contact her at 159 1087 5373, firstname.lastname@example.org, or RoseVickers on WeChat.
This article originally appeared on page 22-23 of the beijingkids June 2015 issue. Click here to read the issue for free on Issuu.com. To find out how you can get your own copy, email email@example.com.