Bitching and Junkfood
Founded in 2009, friends Marion Bergin and Kath Blunden decided to pursue their own label after craving a vest top with the armholes cut out – thus creating the summer girls coveted side-boob look. After successful collaborations with Urban Outfitters and Underground Creepers, the Bitchy Girls are now creating sweet looks together with US based shoe galore label Solestruck. I caught up with the awesome twosome to dig deeper into the Bitchy world.
Hello lovelies! Firstly, how did Bitching And Junkfood come about? How did you think up the name?
We’d always wanted to be our own bosses. It’s really hard to continuously mould your creativity into someone else’s aesthetic. We had big ideas and we were really ambitious. We both always wanted to have our own fashion labels and we crave adventure so we gave up our comfortable lives and moved to a freezing warehouse, started a little online store selling vintage and garments and accessories we were making and then just pushed and persevered. We were approached by a big retailer in Hong Kong to do a salvaged denim project and it’s just snowballed since then. I guess we’re really dynamic, we can bring skills to lots of different areas and now we get involved in all sorts: art directing, writing, shooting videos etc. Re the name, it’s what girls do, isn’t it.
Who or what is your biggest design influence?
We bring a lot of art and artefact references into what we do. This may be subtly e.g in a digital print or quite obvious such as on our embellishment or headdresses. We always look back to move forward. If you look at the small details such as a pin-tuck or a button on a vintage garment it can breath life into something very modern. We’re fascinated by contemporary youth culture and identity. Even when we’re 60 I’d like to think we’ll still have our fingers on the pulse because we’re not so much interested in what’s trending as in the sociology behind how trends come to be and why youth culture identifies with them. We’re not influenced by other labels or anyone in particular. We’re influenced by everything.
Is it summer all year round in Bitchy world or do you have seasonal collections?
Yes we have seasonal collections so we do AW and SS. We don’t remake anything anymore, our collection is now fully manufactured so we have to get in line with the standard industry seasons. I hate summer, I feel so much more comfortable swathed in furs and winter fabrics but Kath is Australian so she loves laid back summer dressing, it works out as we both bring different aesthetics to the table.
How did you first get together with Solestruck?
Their brand manager was visiting London for a few days and he decided he wanted to do a very ‘London’ shoot. He was put in touch with us by local footwear label, Mistaa. I’d known about the website before and loved their ranges so we were pretty happy to collaborate with them on one of the first hot weekends of the year. We were in Tokyo when he first got in touch so we arranged the whole thing from there, arrived back in London on the Thursday eveniing and shot on the Saturday.
So the ‘Born on the 24th July’ collaboration came about from sharing the same birthday?
Yes, Kath and myself are birthday twins, same day, same year, different sides of the world. We’re also constantly confused for one another as we look similar and regularly change our hair. On the last night we discovered that Ty, the brand manager for Soletruck, also shared the same birthday and we’d been trying to think of a name for the shoot so we just came up with ‘Born on the 24th of July’. We really hit if off with Ty. Sometimes you work with people that you really click with and this was one of those occasions so it seemed fitting to start a friendship that we know will last with a shoot named in our honour.
What are your favourite pieces from the collection?
We all love the chain print. It’s our first ever digital print and it was inspired by vintage Schiaparelli jewellery. We’ve done a chain print catsuit that’s pretty full on so I think if we had to choose just one piece that’s it.
What’s the best birthday present you’ve ever been given?
Marion: My Fendi Cuff (I lost it).
Kath: My Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pepper.
Who is the ultimate Bitchy girl?
We can’t put a name on her. We can’t pin everything we believe on just one person. She has to inspire us as much as we inspire her. Bitchy girls are strong, fearless, confident girls just doing their own thing and doing it well. They are the girls that populate our world and they’re all very special in their own unique way.
How would you describe London style?
It’s all about area codes really. It’s so, so eclectic and that’s what makes it such an inspirational place to be. We both grew up in areas without much ethnic diversity so coming to London and learning about different cultures has had a huge influence on what we design. It’s really hard to define the look as a city. You need to break it down into areas.
Sideboob or underboob?
Underboob in photos; sideboob for life.
What’s next for Bitching And Junkfood?
We’re moving to our own arch space in Hoxton, which will be designed bespoke. That’s pretty big for us as we’ve always ended up moving into spaces knowing that we’ve outgrown them already as we’re moving in. This will give us room to grow, expand our team, and step things up. We’re also expanding our collection for AW13. We start designing that in September. Our schedule is pretty relentless but luckily we’re restless types so we can keep up with the pace we’ve created. We’ll be putting a lot more effort into our website and taking on more brands. We’ve big plans and we’re steadily chipping away at them.