Caroline Charles entered the world of fashion at art school, followed by a couture apprenticeship and went on to work for Mary Quant. Inspired by couturiers, and the youth quake of the early 60s in London, Caroline started her first design company in 1963 at the height of the Swinging Sixties.
Caroline Charles was one of the original designers to join, what was later to become, London Fashion Week. Her clothes were snapped up by celebrities from Lulu, Marianne Faithful and Cilla Black, as well as special suits she made for Mick Jagger and Ringo Starr. Diana Princess of Wales became a regular client as well as Emma Thompson, who wore a Caroline Charles design to receive her Oscar for “Howard’s End”.
Caroline Charles has been invited over the years to be a design consultant to major brands such as Burberry, Marks and Spencer and collaborations with major accessories and textile companies.
In the 90’s Caroline Charles designed the official scarf to mark the 40th anniversary of the accession of the Queen. She was later awarded an OBE for services to the British Fashion Industry. Celebrations followed at the Victoria & Albert Museum with another award from the British Fashion Council.
For the 50th anniversary a commemorative book was launched, including glossy images, sketches and diary extracts. Caroline Charles hosted a launch party at the flagship store as well as attending various book signings across the UK.
- L.F.W opening shows in Somerset House
- Show in Beijing invited by Chinese Embassy in London
- BBC “Private Passions”, Woman’s Hour, The Today programme
- Published “Caroline Charles 50 years in Fashion”
- R.G.S Book launch, V&A presentation, Cheltenham Literary Festival
- Show Studio commentary live streaming of Couture shows
- OBE for services to the British fashion industry. V&A celebration and award from British Fashion Council
- Opened shops in Harrogate, Richmond, Wilmslow, Guildford, Tunbridge Wells, Cheltenham and Exeter
- Expanded concessions in Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges
- The Studio Collection was launched inspired by antique textiles
- Caroline Charles show SS09 collection in Delhi and Dubai to headline India Fashion Week
- Caroline Charles introduces Cruise Collection in 2009
- Store in Japan and wholesale concessions. The British embassy in Tokyo hosted Caroline Charles fashion show. Tony Blair visited the main store for a photo call
- Concessions in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols & Liberty
- Designed the official scarf to mark the 40th anniversary of the accession of HM The Queen
- The only British designer to dress a Best Actress Academy Award Winner: Emma Thompson 1993
- Seven story London house became a new store in Bond Street
- Expanded with a working woman collection
- Worked with major Japanese clothing, accessories and textiles companies
- Began a licensing programme, working with Charnos and Aristoc.
- Special project with Burberry, Marks and Spencer and major textile companies.
- Dianna Princess of Wales, Jerry Hall and Liza Minelli became clients
- Launched a range of men’s ties, now collectors’ items, which the V&A added to their archives
- Moved into 56/57 Beauchamp place, the current flagship store and corporate headquarters
- Designed collection for BBC “Weekend Wardrobe” TV series and accompanying book
- Marketed the collection in the Middle east, Europe and the USA
- First Caroline Charles retail outlet opened in Beauchamp place London
- Joined the British Colour and Textiles Group, representing the UK at international colour trend meetings
- Designed workwear for Boots the chemist, Habitat, Estée Lauder and Jaguar
- Opened a store in Beverly hills, Los Angeles
- Travelled extensively as a consultant to tannery and textiles companies in Italy and India
- Took on design consultancy for Marks and Spencer
- Dressed Lulu, Marianne Faithfull, Barbra Streisand, Dionne Warwick, Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr, Rudolf Nureyev, Madame Pompidou & Queen Muna of Jordan
- Weekly slot reporting fashion on The BBC radio show “Teen Scene”
- Guest on Juke Box Jury and many other TV shows in the UK and the USA
- Designed a new young range for Miss Selfridge
- Collection sold in Britain, Paris, USA, Europe and Australia
- Toured USA putting on fashion and pop shows in 36 cities
- Awarded for achievements as a young designer and travelled promoting her collection
- Collaborated on the Yardley London campaign dressing Jean Shrimpton