hannah weiland

Designer Hannah Weiland on how she built her cult brand Shrimps

"I loved the surrealist idea of naming a really soft, fluffy coat after a crustacean"

Designer Hannah Weiland doesn't only like shrimps, but also shells, berries, florals, foliage, nautical stripes, chequerboard prints and blue - plenty of blue...

 "For the past three collections, I’ve been really into it. They all have a really strong blue theme," Hannah tells us, from her west London studio, when we speak on the phone. "And I think keeping the colour palettes very concise is nice to see, because thecollections drop so close together. Picasso had a blue period, and I’m like, 'This is my blue period'."

Hannah launched cult clothing label Shrimps in 2013, and it all began with a faux-fur coat with a Breton stripe – in electric blue. She was studying textile design at the London College of Fashion when at a trade fair she came across a particularly special faux-fur fabric. It was different to anything she’d ever seen – or felt.

Shrimps SS22

A red knitted twin-set from Shrimps' SS22 collection

"I couldn't believe what great quality it was – you could dye it any colour and it held it so well. It was such a versatile fabric and also felt amazing. I thought, I have to make a coat from it, because, really, no-one had seen colourful faux fur, it just wasn’t around at that time. I was only 23, and when you’re that young you’re quite good at doing things in the moment."

Producing her first prototype, she settled on calling the brand Shrimps, after her childhood nickname, because she was small and pink. "I didn't want to use just Hannah. I've always found my name quite boring, even though it's a palindrome, which is quite exciting," she laughs. Because she had previously studied history of art at Bristol University, before attending the LCF, she says she wanted to combine art and fashion. "I loved the surrealist idea of naming a really soft, fluffy coat after a crustacean."

hannah weiland shrimps

Designer Hannah Weiland arrives at The Fashion Awards in 2018

Again employing her art background, she sat in her bedroom with various watercolours and inks, designing the brand’s logo. "It was based on lots of doodles.

"I've always done illustrative drawings and doodling was a huge part of my identity growing up. Even now, my history of art background is a huge part of Shrimps. Referencing artists in most of my collections, whether it’s just colour palette inspiration or the story behind it."

The full interview with Hannah Weiland was available in the March 2022 issue of Hello! Fashion

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