Never Fully Dressed: The Brand Made For EveryBODY, Including Beyonce…
Lucy Aylen’s label, Never Fully Dressed, came from humble beginnings that bore a bright future…
Never Fully Dressed is a contemporary womenswear label that is bright, bold, inclusive, and has an air of power-dressing but not in the way you might be thinking. Having launched her label from her parent’s attic, founder Aylen, has grown her brand exponentially and conveys her gratitude to the powers of social media that helped. She started the label by customising pieces and selling them at a market stall in 2009, and now, in 2022, heads up a team of all female employees, has brick and mortar stores, as well as an online shop, has been seen worn by a multitude of celebrities – including Beyonce, and has plans to take Never Fully Dressed to new heights.
The brand grew rapidly and became an Instagram favourite, predominantly for its bold signature prints, wrap dresses in bright colours, multi-wear styles and affordable price points–not to mention all the engaging demonstrations conveying how to wear the pieces in a multitude of styles. But, what really gives this label an element of power dressing is its inclusivity factor: A driving force for sales, the sizes range from a UK6 – 26; the brand maintains a plus size, and new-mum friendly stance, among other female driven design elements and AboutHer.com caught up with Lucy Aylen about why inclusivity is so integral to Never Fully Dressed and more…
For those that haven't yet come across Never Fully Dressed, tell us a little about where it started for you?
My parents were market traders from the East End of London which I naturally inherited. I loved the physical elements of the markets, talking to people and showing them how our styles work. It was a few years after selling custom-made pieces at London markets that I thought I could make a business out of the items we sold. We naturally grew with Instagram and started to become a stylist, celebrity, and influencer favourite through our multi-wear styling.
From customizing garments in your parent's attic, to selling at market stalls - and now selling clothes and accessories on global platforms, what was the turning point?
The first turning point was opening our shop in Essex in 2014. Social media has been integrated into our business model on how we showcase our designs and how to wear our styles. Covid for us, created a cultural shift cementing our community, making it even stronger, delivering our brand voice, and showing our positivity through wearing clothes that make you happy, embracing and empowering everybody.
What elements make the label suitable for every woman? Why is inclusivity integral to your brand?
The tangibility and flexibility of our products, showing how they can be worn in multiple ways through styling made for everyBODY.
Inclusivity should be engrained in everything; For me, its in my life, it’s in how I parent, and in turn my business and my brand. Every woman on the planet should feel included and joyous, being able to express themselves how they want.
You work with a team of predominantly women - was being a female strong business always a goal and why?
This was never an intentional goal for me and of course, I embrace all women in business. I am super proud of our team and how we work together, I am extremely open when it comes to recruitment and expanding our team further. As a mother, I embrace women and especially mothers that work, and love to nurture that aspect within our business. For me, I love a team that’s open to learning and can be agile whilst also supportive of each other.
Who is the NFD woman?
Empowering other women, fun, colourful, gorgeous in themselves, from every country and culture, every age and style, coming together to support each other.
What is it that inspires your collections?
Women and our customers inspire us every day. Travelling for me is key – I am super interested in different colours and prints from different cultures.
Why do you think NFD works in the Middle Eastern marketplace?
Our multi-wear styles allow our customers to dress how suits them, their style, and of course their culture. We are developing more breathable, organic fabrics which work in different climates. Our styles feel luxe and elevated.
What are your personal go-to NFD pieces?
I would have to say our satin wrap dresses, I love the versatility of this piece. As I am tall, I usually wear them over trousers or jeans - which adds an understated element. I also live in our NFD lingerie, the lines are super clean, the fit is perfect, and the colours complement all outfits.
What 3 pieces are NFD signatures that we should add to our capsule wardrobes?
Our classic Jaspre leopard wrap skirt is a must-have wardrobe staple. It can be worn throughout the seasons, layered in the winter, and worn over swimwear in the summer (https://www.neverfullydressed.co.uk/products/brown-leopard-jaspre-skirt), our NFD wrap dresses, showcasing multi-wear styling across different prints and colourways. They can be worn over and over with individual styling added to make a different look each time (https://www.neverfullydressed.co.uk/products/coco-wrap-dress-1) and our NFD lingerie, delivering perfect fits in stylish prints for everyday wear (https://www.neverfullydressed.co.uk/products/geo-body).
NFD has been worn by a number of celebrities - which celebrity look is your most memorable? And, where in the Middle East can women shop NFD?
It would have to be Beyonce for me, this was early in our journey yet what she wore could be worn now. The fact that she bought it was so amazing too.
We ship Internationally, and the prices you see online are inclusive of duties and taxes. Our returns are also very reasonable, organised, and hassle-free. We also stock with Namshi and Ounass and via Wear That Now.