The founder and Creative Director of Fleur of England is Fleur Turner. Here she talks about her life, her family, and the business that means so much to her.
How do people react when they discover that you are the woman behind Fleur of England?
When I introduce myself at fashion events, the reaction I get is often one of surprise. Some people are amazed – and also delighted – to discover there is a real person behind the Fleur of England brand.
Can you tell us about your role at Fleur of England?
I’m passionate about creating lingerie that looks beautiful, and which also fits beautifully too. I still personally design the collections and source the fabrics. I am present at every fit meeting and have final fit approval on all collections.
I’ve made it my mission to ensure that every experience my customers have with Fleur of England is exquisite. From fabrics, design and luxury packaging to customer service, I expect nothing but the best.
Do you believe that your commitment to quality has created loyalty among Fleur of England customers?
It’s a matter of pride to me that so many Fleur of England customers come back to place orders season after season. Our customers number celebrities including Liv Tyler, Sarah-Jessica Parker, Emma Watson and Katy Perry who continue to buy from us and so I like to think that they appreciate the quality of our products and service. We receive incredible feedback from our loyal customers that continually inspires my team and I. My favourite piece of customer feedback, which typifies us, was "When my wife and I think of Fleur of England, we think of contemporary yet timeless lingerie. Sexy, elegant and comfortable. Amazing quality from stitching to packaging".
Did you always want to run your own lingerie business?
For me, Fleur of England is the culmination of a dream that began when I was a little girl, growing up in the quintessentially English town of Guildford. I had an older brother, and four cousins who were also boys, and I had to wear a lot of boys’ hand-me downs. Maybe as a result of that, I craved anything feminine and delicate, and became fascinated by fabrics and fashion.
How did you go about doing something about your interest in all things feminine and fashionable?
I decided to study Fashion Marketing at college, and was awarded a First Class Honours degree in 1998. After that, I spent a couple of years gaining valuable experience in technical lingerie in the UK and Asia, but I yearned to create beautiful, feminine and sensual garments that could inspire romance, elegance and sophistication.
So at the age of 25, with just a small bank loan and some big aspirations, I founded the exclusive lingerie label Fleur T in 2000, and brought into being the exquisite world filled with silk and lace that is now known as Fleur of England.
Do you now look back and think that it was a bold move for you to launch your own business at such a young age?
I suppose it was quite a brave thing to do. But I was sure I was doing the right thing, and that was proven when Fleur T was an instant success, and I was commissioned to design limited edition collections for Liberty of London. My portfolio of exclusive stockists has since grown to include 65 elite boutiques worldwide, including the New York department store Barneys, which has stocked Fleur of England lingerie for twenty-four consecutive seasons.
I was honoured to have my influential role in British lingerie design given a royal seal of approval in 2003, when Princess Anne presented me with the ‘Fashion Export Newcomer’ award. Since then I’ve been recognised by both international trade forums and fashion press as a leader within the luxury lingerie market for my exquisite designs and imagery.
Has your career success made it challenging for you to have a home life as well?
Not at all - I’m pleased to say that as my business has grown, so has my family! I met James, who is now my husband when I was working between Somerset and London. We were parted when I moved to Hong Kong for work, but I missed James so much that I returned to England to be with him.
James and I now have two young sons - George and Ernest - and I take huge delight in juggling my two worlds of ‘yummy mummy’ and ‘creative businesswoman’.
But I consider my company to be my first baby, a daughter and it is through Fleur of England that my creativity and naturally feminine style are fulfilled.
Tell us why Fleur of England is based in Bristol.
James was living in Bristol, and as well as falling for him I also fell for Bristol. It has been described as “the city of extended youth”, and is renowned for its culture of creativity. I think it is the perfect setting for the Fleur of England team, and our studio is based in a bohemian area of the city. It is from here that we perfect all the design, pattern and fitting work that has enabled us to build our international reputation for leading edge design, attention to detail and supreme fit.
How would you describe the style of Fleur of England lingerie?
Finally, how do you see the future for Fleur of England?
The future will undoubtedly see more exciting developments at Fleur of England, and I’m committed to ensuring that creating lingerie that looks beautiful and also fits beautifully will always be at the heart of everything that we do.