Two of a Kind: the business of fashion with Jane Shepherdson and Agi & Sam

Photograph: Joseph Fox for YCN

As part of YCN's Two of a Kind series, our very own CEO Jane Shepherdson joined British menswear design duo Agi & Sam to discuss the business of fashion.

An intimate crowd packed into YCN’s Rivington Street hub in London's East End, for an evening of fashion discussions. The audience ranged from set stylists and recent graduates to furniture and textile designers - huddled together for an in-depth exploration into two sides of the fashion industry.

The talented Agi & Sam kicked off the presentation, offering a glimpse into their unique world. Explaining their creative process, the duo discussed the references that have influenced their collections, from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air to public transport upholstery and Agi’s grandmother’s Tanzanian roots. They discussed the inspiration behind their ideas explaining, “organic ideas which can stem from a simple conversation in the pub,” to developing a brand identity, managing a team and working on collaborations, “every collaboration evolves your collection.”

Jane’s talk took the audience through her vocational journey, from early beginnings as a buyer at Topshop, through to transforming the high street brand - noting that you should always, “work with the best models, stylists and photographers that you can find.’

After leaving Topshop, Jane spent her time working with Oxfam where she "once had a meeting with a man who got straight off his camel to present a USB of his powerpoint presentation." She talked through her subsiquent travels in South America and finally, how she tackled the rebranding of Whistles back in 2008 - here's a hint, it all comes down to product, “get the product right first, then shout about it afterwards”.

A huge thanks to YCN, Agi & Sam and everyone who came down.

You can read more about events at the YCN as well as what happened on the night here