Hamnett, Katharine

(1948- )
   Born to a British military family, Hamnett attended Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. She and a friend opened a store in 1969, but she went bankrupt after a nasty divorce settlement. After years of freelance designing, she started her own company in 1979; in 1986, she received backing from Danish fashion entrepreneur, Peder Bertlesen, to open her flagship store on Brompton Road. Known for her strong political views and controversial slogans on T-shirts, Hamnett was also one of the first designers to support the Green Movement in fashion. In 1989, Hamnett signed one deal with Italian manufacturer Zamasport for her men's and women's collection and another with CGA for Hamnett II, her secondary line. Hamnett, who began showing her collections in London, became critical of the British fashion industry and moved her show to Paris and her manufacturing facility to Italy. After the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Hamnett stopped showing her collection and was forced into liquidation. She has since restructured and downsized her business and still actively campaigns for environmentally friendly cotton production and other ecological causes.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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