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Interview, Meet a londoner

Meet a Londoner: Jessica Patterson, CEO JPR Media Group

January 26, 2016

Meet Jessica Patterson

We are kicking off our new series of perspectives of London with an interview with Jessica Patterson of JPR Media Group. Jessica’s PR agency represents some of London’s best restaurants and clubs. In this short interview she shares her perspective of living in London.

jessica patterson JPR

Jessica, tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a Californian American living in London. I run a top London PR agency specializing in luxury lifestyle public relations called JPR Media Group.

Why London?

I didn’t choose London, London chose me. After university, I wanted to live abroad against my father’s wishes so I took the first job I could get which happened to be based in London as the UK PR Director of Escada.

I’ve lived in London for 13 years, most of my time living in Chelsea. Now I live in Pimlico which is a bit quieter, residential and close to everything.

As someone who’s job involves a fair amount of socialising, where do you go to let your hair down?

I relax on the weekends and go for steams and workouts at Akasha Spa, Café Royal Hotel where I am an ambassador and I used to do PR there for the owner.

Where are your favourite places to shop?

I love shopping at Brunello Cucinelli, Rupert Sanderson, and The Shop at Bluebird in Chelsea.

What restaurants can you recommend to our readers?

I recommend all of my restaurant clients obviously – The Worlds End Market for the incredible tuna tartar, skate wings and grilled lamb chops, Beaufort House for healthy smoothies and breakfasts, Muga, Kouzu, 35 New Cavendish, Nozomi which is now franchised abroad.

My personal dining favourites include Caravan Kings Cross for weekend brunch, La Petite Maison, Hedone, Poule au Pot, and Dinings.

Is there anything that annoys you about living in London?

English culture seems very much a “no” society. I noticed being American that Americans are more proactive, don’t take no as an answer, and go out and make their dreams a reality. There is a huge positive attitude in America for entrepreneurs to do well and we promote success.

As a business owner in London, what advice could you give to others look to start their own business in the city?

My advice for any individual who wants to create their own business is to START! You just need to get off your ass and go! No one is there to help you more than yourself.

I had £40,000 worth of debts when I started JPR Media Group alone a year ago with no financial support whatsoever. I now have paid off all my debts, employ 5 people on full time salaries, saved enough in my 1st year of business to put £150,000 back into my company whilst saving enough for a deposit to buy my 1st flat this year.

Starting was the most difficult step for me. Everything else I learned along the way and I am learning everyday.

Can you share any hidden gems in London that nobody else knows about?

I have done yoga at Skygarden which has amazing views over the city. I love Carpo, Poilane and Monmouth for coffees.

Finally, are there any other cities in the world that you’ve visited that you could see yourself living in?

I feel like London is my home but I would consider living in New York City for a few months whilst I set up my JPR Media Group branch there. New York City is a fantastic, buzzy, fast-paced cosmopolitan city like London.

Thanks Jessica for sharing your perspective on life in the city.

Fashion, Interview, London, Meet a londoner

Meet a Londoner: Designer Varun Sharma of the label RUN

May 20, 2015

After taking a few months off for personal reasons – I’m relaunching the blog with a bang! The London Perspective is all about shining the light on emerging talent and to kick it off today on the blog I will be interviewing fashion designer Varun Sharma of the Label Run. Run’s eyecatching and provocative designs are quickly becoming known in the fashion community and it is definitely a label to watch.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a London based clothing designer and design for my own women’s RTW label, RUN. I graduated from Middlesex University where I studied fashion design.

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Talk us through your latest collection?

For the AW/15 season I was inspired by the attire of the Bonda people, a tribe from the state of Odisha in India and African prints. This season has really been a fusion of ideas and an opportunity to create a new narrative for the label. The lead up to this season has been an exciting journey as I have been working on my own print line for this collection. I created my own interpretation of African inspired prints on beautiful silks and wools, including beautiful scarves on very fine wool silk. There are also some gorgeous faux fur pieces in the line up this time as well, which I am really excited about sharing.

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Fashion is a tough industry – what keeps you going?

My love for it. It really is hard work but it is always easier to get up in the mornings to do what you love. Your work eventually becomes you and defines who you are. As a working designer your hands are always involved in multiple jobs simultaneously and you always have work evolving somewhere, so you always have something to look forward to.

Who are the designers that you admire and why?

Alexander Mcqueen is inspiring and it’s not so much the clothes, but his journey. He is defining for what most designers in this industry struggle to achieve. You can’t replicate someone else’s journey but you can hope through your own successes you may be able to leave behind a legacy of your own just as he did.

 

Which celebrity would you love to dress?

I love Rihanna’s ability to make everything look as if it was made for her, I would love to see her wearing my clothes.

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6. What has been the biggest thing you’re proud of in your fashion career so far.

My collections are what make me feel proudest. Each collection is a marker of a certain time in my life and career and they hold memories of very real struggles I faced to get them completed, they are also reminders to me of my own capabilities and potential. As each season passes you look back and reflect on what you have learnt and new ground you covered and realise that as you finish each collection you also inch your way towards your goal.

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7. Where do you hope to take Run to in the next 5 years?

In the coming 5 years I hope to see RUN exhibiting during LFW and stocking internationally, as well as an accessories line including bags and shoes. I have always wanted to design menswear so possibly within that time frame it would be great to play with that also!
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Credits:

Photograper: Brian Doherty
Stylist: Jeanie Annan Lewin
Model: Angela L

Interview, Meet a londoner

Meet a Londoner: Michelin Star Chef – Raphael Francois

August 14, 2012


Continuing the theme of East Vs West today I will be interviewing my friend Chef Raphael Francois about his love of West London. Raphael has spent the last 5 years as Executive Chef at the Connaught during which the restaurant gained two Michelin Stars. He has now left to concentrate on working on Rehoba a social network for professionals in the hospitality industry.

Raphael, what drew you to live in West London?

I would say that West London is a very “French” part of London with its rich areas, its football club like Chelsea, its shops, pubs with good food and where I live in Notting hill there is a nice easy going vibe which I really love.

When a person like me moves to a city that he doesn’t really know, the first thing he will do is choose to live where he heard about the most when being abroad.  I do  have to admit though East London has it’s qualities as well.

Where are your favourite places to go in West London?

I would say: Golborne Road with its nice antique shops and Portuguese coffee shop (they do a formidable double expresso). I also love the Latin, Moroccan and British atmosphere. It’s such a unique mix. Also I love Portobello Road’s cool market and nice soul, It all about the reggae beats!

Westborne Grove has lots of classy and trendy shops and a few nice places where it’s good to relax on a terrace.

Being a chef can you recommend good places to eat in West London?

Yes definitely, there are a few places where you can enjoy a good time with good glass of wine or cocktails and good food.

I would recommend:

  • Hereford Road, great chef, the food is simple but well made.
  • Commander for its oysters and a nice chilled Beaujolais
  • The Electric Cinema, unfortunately it  recently burned down, so be patient and wait until its reopening.
  • E&O funky cocktails and Asian food, it’s always packed!
  • Few pubs like Bonaparte and  The Cow.
  • Bastelica for the good pizza.
  • Porto on Golborne road, my favourite place to enjoy a good coffee.

On a Saturday night where can you be found to be hanging out?

Mostly I tend to head to Mayfair, but If I am not around there I can be find at, The Westbourne, E&O or Lonsdale Bar. But honestly, it just depends on my mood that day. London is full of so many great and different places it  is so easy to change an evening plan at the very last minute.

When you are cooking for friends where do you usually go to buy produce?

Without hesitation I would head to Portobello Market and few shops around there.

However, I must admit that sometimes I do go to East London as there are few very nice markets with amazing stinky French cheeses…it’s how we like it 🙂 When I am feeling creative, I’ve found Borough market is the secret to find unique products and to develop ideas.

Being a fashionable young man, what are your favourite West London shops?

Ha, ha, ha. I like the words “Fashionable Young Man”.

I would say “Dover Street Market” but there are so many!  I do have a “Coup de Coeur” for some brands like Vivienne Westwood, Balenciaga, Le temps des Cerises, Issey Miyake, Comme des Garcons, Maison Martin Margiela, Pierre Hardy, Kenzo, the list could go on and on. Fashion is definitely a part of my lifestyle but I don’t break the piggybank for it ;-).  Its cool sometimes to dress up but during the weekend I take it easy on the fashion.

Previously you lived in Paris, how do the two places compare for you?

For me the two places have their own charm. Paris is good for its coffee terrace and culinary culture. What I miss about Paris is in the morning going to the Café near my flat, reading  my newspaper of the day with a good coffee and croissant and then  going to pick up my daily “Baguette”.

What I love about London is that it is cosmopolitan city. Its melting-pot of cultures makes London one of the few cities where you feel at home very quickly. I am a proof; I have been here for almost five years now and not ready to go.

 Do you see yourself living in West London for the future?

Yes I do. I enjoy living in West London so will probably remain here for a while yet but who knows one I could be tempted to live in the countryside so only the time will tell.

What do you think? Is West London the best place to live?

Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City are going head to head in a battle of East vs West. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, show your allegiance and share your story by signing up to Team East or Team West.

This post is sponsored by Westfield.