Charlotte Dutton doesn’t look like your typical fashion model. She’s slim, but not emaciated; cute, but not stunning – and there’s a glint in her charcoaled eyes that reveals more than a pretty face. But then you’d have to have your head screwed on to run your own clothing label; and you can’t be a scrawny princess if you’re a pro snowboarder. And Charlotte does both.
The freckle-faced, blonde-bobbed Ealing native is a proficient multi-tasker: equally at home on the slopes of Whistler as she is on London’s catwalks. A specialist half-pipe master she was the first Brit ever to win prize money at the US Open, and now she’s launched her own clothing label: Misticon.
She arrives at a Soho coffee shop lugging samples of her garments, and flicks through a catalogue of her latest collection while sprawling fabrics across the table. Her clothes embody a quirky London street style, and it’s not surprising really: she was discovered by a model scout on the streets of Camden when she was 14. Since then she’s been the face of Diesel and Samsung and has worked with fashion houses Prada and Dolce and Gabbana.
So how did you get into fashion design?
‘It all started out because I did the Topshop Unique fashion campaign with Rankin…in Portugal. Then they found out I was a snowboarder and they asked me if I’d do the technical design for the snowboard ranges. In the end, like, we just spoke about it a bit more when I was back in London and I ended up having my own range in Topshop for three years, designing all of the clothes for snowboard wear – you know Moto? Well ‘Moto Charlotte Dutton’, that’s my range. Yeah, and I modelled it, designed it and put my name to it. So I guess that’s how I fell into designing – kind of thrown in at the deep end!’
How would you describe Misticon’s spring/summer 2009 collection?
‘It’s basically for girls who are trendy and love clothes but at the same time they don’t want their clothes getting in the way of fun. Just comfy, easy clothes and great stuff that you can take away on holiday with you as well, but not so holiday inspired that you can’t wear them in the city. I really enjoy designing it. I was a fit model for a long time as well and I’m really into that. The fits are really good. I’m proud of my fits! They’re just a good shape so that you don’t need to have them pinned; a good dress you shouldn’t have to, they should fit.’
What’s your idea of a fun London night out?
‘I would go out with my friends, boyfriend and my dog (a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Meatball), and we’d go to the pub – any pub that allows dogs; a good old British pub. Otherwise I go shopping in the daytime. I go to Portobello sometimes, and Camden; rummage through the vintage market.’
What do you miss most about London when you’re not here?
‘The people. I just love it. I like the hustle and bustle. Especially in Canada where I live, well I have a house in Whistler, and as soon as it’s not ski season there’s not that many people around and you’re like…‘where is everyone?’ I miss all the people. It’s so funny because obviously I’ve got friends from all over the world and when they come to London they’re like ‘it’s so busy’ and I’m like…to me it’s completely normal because this is what I’ve always grown up in.’
If you had to choose one occupation which would it be: modelling, snowboarding or designing?
‘Um, I can’t choose. Don’t make me choose. None of them!’
OK. Which are you most in the mind frame of right now?
‘Designing. Definitely. It’s something that I can do…obviously snowboarding and modelling, they’re something that you kinda do for a certain amount of time. Whereas with designing you can be 40 and still…in a way I’ve got more to look forward to. I love being a pro-snowboarder and I love being a fashion model and I love designing. I’m more focused on designing at the moment because it’s going quite well with my range.’
Any other hidden talents up your sleeve we should know about?
‘I’m really good at eating Ferrero Rochet. Like extremely good. Quantity wise, and in one sitting. It shocks me even. I can just eat the whole lot every time, like it’s really bad. People will come around and buy me Ferrero Rochet because they know I really like them and I’ll just crack them open and eat the whole lot.’
Misticon’s spring/summer 2009 collection is now available to buy from: www.misticon.com