High street-meets-high end collaborations are ten a penny nowadays; each one provides a refreshing new angle to look at designer clothing and demystify the experience of runway ready-to-wear for an entirely new audience. So far, so good...

When Next announced its intention to enter the fray (for want of a better phrase) last season, it sought to do battle somewhat differently. With Gemma Metheringham at the helm as Creative Director, Label/Mix takes the blueprint of the 'traditional' capsule collection and makes a whole new statement – seeking to unite established and emerging talents of the British fashion industry and combining them in the same way that we mix and match our wardrobes on a daily basis.

If it all sounds like something to be excited about, it's because... it is! In fact, we could probably wax lyrical about it until we (and you) are blue in the face. So, rather than compromising your complexion, we're letting the brains behind it all do the talking...

Gemma Metheringham – Creative Director of Label/Mix
Label/Mix started with us wanting to create a sense of discovery in shopping – to be creatively agile. Couple that with the fact that there are lots of amazing designers out there who would benefit from exposure to a wider audience, and you’ve got somewhere that you can find something totally different. We are building a complete wardrobe offer that’s unique and beautifully crafted; these are pieces to keep and treasure.

We choose the brands that we love and that we believe our customers will also love, authentically translating their DNA to ensure they’re proud of the quality of the final collection. We then mix them together in the same way that women would style themselves – great tailoring from one brand, print from another. Interestingly, the cohesion has happened very naturally! Each collaboration is different in the way we work together, but with all the collaborations the designers are involved every step of the way.

This is only our second collection, so it’s all really exciting – there is so much to do and learn! The SS18 collection is more colourful and playful than last season, then AW18 is going to be richer and more textural.

Jacket and Leggings by Mix/Caitlin Price; Parka by Mix/Caitlin Price

Caitlin Price of Caitlin Price
Gemma asked me to design an athleisure line for Label/Mix – and, since my work is partly sportswear inspired, I was excited to work on this, knowing that we could fabricate everything correctly and with real polish. I was also keen to push what I do into a more commercial sphere – re-working my signature aesthetic with a broader market in mind. I was thinking about the customer constantly. Would she wear this? How would she feel wearing it? Why would she buy it? And so on… I had to focus carefully on each piece, rather than creating a comprehensive ‘look’ as I do more for my solo collections. It was a natural process.

Jumpsuit by Mix/Kitri

Haeni Kim of Kitri
I liked the concept of Label/Mix from the beginning; it’s exactly how I believe women are shopping now, and the act of mixing up brands is precisely how we imagine our pieces to be worn by our customers. We started by working on key silhouettes, colours and patterns, then collaborated with the team to hone in on what’s really important to the Label/Mix woman, alongside how we can best represent the KITRI philosophy – in short, creative workwear that can take you from day to night. I love the balance of creativity and commerce; I get to work with passionate, inspiring people on a daily basis.

Jacket and Trousers by Mix/Teatum Jones; Dress by Mix/Teatum Jones (Coming Soon)

Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones of Teatum Jones
It's been a really amazing learning curve working with Label/Mix, and we've taken on board an element of commerciality and brought it back into our world. ​You learn that the operations side of every business is different and you need to adjust your pace accordingly!​ Since this is our second time working on Label/Mix, our design process with the collaboration has evolved in the sense that we are just getting better at knowing who the customer is and what she wants from us; she's looking for signature Teatum Jones fabrics and textures, particularly when it comes to our statement coats.​

Click here to discover and shop the full Label/Mix collection.