Anya Taylor-Joy Just Wore The Secret High Street Brand Which Keeps Selling Out In Record Time

Independent and female-led, Damson Madder is showing how to do things differently – and it's paying off.

anya taylor-joy wearing damson madder

by Hannah Banks-Walker |
Updated on

It's hard to find anything positive to take from the death of the high street. With shopping increasingly carried out online and rising costs of rent, many brands have had to close their doors for good. This has meant, however, that there's a gap to be filled and, thanks to the (largely) free marketing tool that is social media, independent labels have been able to emerge. Damson Madder is one such brand and, in many ways, it's defied the odds to become a roaring success.

If you're not already familiar with the brand, it's full of pieces in playful prints and high-quality fabrics, all of which are produced responsibly and in small batches. The latest fan to wear DM? Anya Taylor-Joy, who paired the Lola Bow Print blouse with a denim mini skirt in Cannes.

Anya Taylor-Joy wearing Damson Madder in Cannes
Anya Taylor-Joy wearing Damson Madder in Cannes

Damson Madder's founder is Emma Hill, who worked at many fashion brands for years before growing increasingly disillusioned with the bad practices she saw. As a result, she decided to launch her own responsible label, producing clothes which people would really want to wear without the same devastating environmental impact. She's succeeded, despite launching during a pandemic.


Now, from leopard print jeans to joyful midi dresses and reversible spring jackets, Damson Madder's fans clamour to get their hands on new collections, which has translated into great business for Hill and her female team, who all operate out of the brand's studio in North London. 'As a relatively new brand, we have had a community who have been with us from the very beginning, but it’s also been so exciting in the last 12 months to see so many new customers engaging and buying into the brand,' Hill says. 'I think [our customer] is fashion forward but also conscious in their buying habits, wanting to invest in quality garments that will stand the test of time.  We aren’t hyper trend-oriented and focus more on fit and detailing.'

damson madder

You might think that this would lead to extortionate prices. Part of the label's appeal, however, lies in its accessible prices, which is partly why it's been such an attractive prospect for stockists like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Harvey Nichols. Coupled with the fact that pieces tend to sell out fairly quickly, it's no surprise Damson Madder feels like a safe bet.

damson madder

Having opened the brand's first pop-up shop in London's Soho this year, Hill has also recently implemented extended sizing – something she has been working on for some time. '[It's] something that has always been part of our plan for Damson, but wasn’t something we felt we could rush,' she says. 'Quality is of paramount importance to us as a brand, and so we needed time to make sure we nailed the fit of all our garments for different body types. We conducted extensive fit sessions with a variety of fit models to ensure everything was considered and that the offering was credible.  We now feel confident to offer up to a size 20 but our size offering is a constant work in progress; we know how important representation and inclusion is to our community and we value and listen to all feedback on this subject.'

damson madder leopard jeans

One of the most popular pieces, Hill says, has been the Leopard Cargo Jeans. '[They] have had the most outstanding reaction.  We launched them for the first time as part of our Pre-Fall 23 collection in late August last year, and they were an instant bestseller.  Since then, they have gained such incredible momentum across social media - I think driven in part by the fact they have been picked up by so many influencers and styled in so many different and inspiring ways.  We have since repeated the style several times, but cannot seem to keep up with demand!  I think part of the appeal is the cut of the jean - such an easy, relaxed fit for all body types.'

damson madder jeans

The ease of these pieces is certainly very appealing. Whether it's a shirred midi dress with puff sleeves, a denim midi skirt, oversized blouse with floral embroidery or polka dot jeans, these are the sorts of clothes that are comfortable, feel low-maintenance and yet are expressive and fun.

Despite the relatively low prices, the quality of each piece is built to last – a sentiment so important to the brand that it has partnered with SOJO, an alterations and repair platform, to offer bespoke tailoring and alterations for UK customers.

damson madder dress

As for the future, Hill says she feels galvanised by the success of the London pop-up. 'This has given us the confidence and appetite to explore plans for a permanent store or stores which is really exciting. We also see huge opportunity to expand our US presence.  We’ve recently launched with some key new wholesale partners like Revolve, and have a cult, engaged following over there.'

Shop: The Best Pieces from Damson Madder

Just seen on Anya Taylor-Joy in Cannes, this blouse is bound to be the latest piece to sell out. Take the actor's lead and wear with denim mini skirts and block heels.

The perfect spring jacket, this has been so popular that it's already sold out. You can, however, pre-order it now and then reap the benefits of having two jackets for the price of one.

The famous jeans are finally back in stock. They tend to sell out fairly quickly, though, so you may want to add to your basket now. Sizing tip: they come up a little small so go for a size bigger than usual.

The ultimate holiday shirt, wear this over swimwear on the beach and with wide leg linen trousers for a chic take on summer nights.

This dress sold out in its original brown and white gingham form but, happily, is back in this red iteration with pretty pink bows for summer. I wear the brown version a lot – sometimes I even wear it with the bows at the back and it feels like a totally different dress.

This has already sold out multiple times but, thankfully, is back in stock in time for wedding guest season. Wear with a cropped jacket for the perfect outfit.

Upgrade your tote game with this charming crochet bag. Use for work or just for shopping at weekends – either way, it'll jazz up any outfit instantly.

If you're stuck for what coat to wear as we move into spring and the weather warms up, you'll find that this is a great layering tool that will make it easier to transition to a new season.

Wear this with tucked-in shirts for a stylish twist on workwear or try with oversized tops and trainers for the weekend. If your size isn't available, sign up for notifications as it will be re-stocked soon.

The sort of dress you can throw on and go anywhere, knowing you still look as though you've made an effort.

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