“Not Just a Pretty Picture” (NJAPP) is the brainchild of entrepreneur Adele Robertson of G2E Events and award-winning international photographer Laura McKinnon. NJAPP will provide a platform for Scotland’s “booming bright” fashion community and promises to discover the next big thing in the Scottish fashion industry. The NJAPP team will provide a countless range of opportunities to showcase talent, including documenting the project progress through a film, an editorial photo shoot, a catwalk and key networking event. The project will kick off with model casting sessions on the 16 th and 17 th of November at Hummingbird on 186 Bath Street in Glasgow, shortly followed by Edinburgh casting sessions being held in GHQ, 4-6 Picardy Place, EH1 3JT.
Adele and Laura kindly agreed to halt the whirlwind of that is their existence and answer a couple of questions for my lovely blog followers.
G2E are involved in a few exciting projects past and present can you share a few?
Adele: We kicked off with Inspire the Attire last June which was a huge success, showcasing Scottish designers, models, makeup artists, hair stylists, musicians, photographers, filmographers and stylists. We were also asked by the extremely talented David Black to hold an exhibition in honour of his collection, due to him moving away we were thrilled to give himself and his work a fabulous send off he deserved. I think everyone can agree being in the exhibition room was indeed tense and really set the feel for his collection. Also, who can forget NJAPP? Our biggest project yet..
NJAPP is such a great idea can you tell us how it was conceived?
Adele: NJAPP was an issue that was already there, the lack of support for our creatives is embarrassing – as well as ourselves, all other persons in the fashion industry within Scotland are continually working hard every day with no support, no guidance and definitely nothing to look forward to in terms of becoming successful in their hometown. I met Laura last year through a fashion event she was covering and I have admired her work ever since. We are two peas in a pod; young, entrepreneurial and we never sleep! It’s not unlikely to receive/send a text around 4am to each other about our latest idea!
Laura: NJAPP was conceived through identifying a worrying number of fundamental issues affecting our creatives within the Scottish Fashion industry – ourselves included. We realized that there is a consistent theme of a lack of pay or indeed respect for our creatives and seemingly the idea that everybody is willing to work for free. In turn this produces a lack of cashflow and damages our own economy to the point where it really is a huge struggle to stay afloat and maintain a sustainable business. This, teamed with a lack of support geared specifically towards fashion start up companies and entrepreneurship leaves the Scottish fashion creatives essentially as an endangered species!
What is the next big thing in Scottish fashion and design?
Laura: Not Just a Pretty Picture! Our project aims to provide a platform for emerging designers and creatives – everybody from photographers to event managers to step onto and get the exposure, marketing and business knowledge they need. We’re specifically looking at target marketing and getting our creatives seen by the right people – this involves mountains of research, but if we succeed, then it will reform the face of the industry and we will thrive and in turn, Scotland will produce more and more talent.
Adele: Completely, we are hoping to open a gateway for all creatives in Scotland. Every single creative in Scotland is the ‘next big thing’ as each individual that we have came across and worked closely with has the passion, dedication and drive to make it.
Do we need a fashion week north of the border?
Adele: I don’t think we necessarily need a fashion week in a particular part of Scotland, I just feel the country as whole need awareness. I mean, have you seen the talent in Glasgow alone? It is crazy, every second person you meet is a creative!
Laura: We need more exposure first before that can happen! We need recognition, but eventually, I see no reason for an independant showcase, filled with celebrities, buyers and all sorts of influential figures (including the legendary Anna Winatour). We’re Scottish – we don’t take anything sitting down – it seems strange that for a country that shouts, we’re not even near a landmark in fashion.
Advice for anyone trying to make their mark in Scotland?
Laura: Get in touch. Tell us your story. If you have no story, then make something to shout about. Expose. Stay up all night working your rear end off. Do your market research. Look at your target market. Brand. You’re bold and entrepreneurial enough to make something, shout about it – and above all, no matter what anybody says – believe in yourself.
Adele: Do you know what? Just keep on trying, do not let anyone tell you that there is nothing in Scotland, that you need to move down London for any chance of a career. Do yourself and us a favour, keep working towards your dream and we will try our absolute best to raise awareness on the lack of support; both financially and personally. Believe us, Scotland is next!