The woman who has helped launch some of British fashion’s brightest stars – from Jonathan Saunders to Simone Rocha via Roksanda Ilincic, Gareth Pugh and JW Anderson – isn’t always so forthcoming about promoting herself. “I do bits and bobs,” says a modest Lulu Kennedy. Those ‘bits and bobs’ include heading up the not-for-profit talent showcase Fashion East, running her own collaborative fashion line, Lulu & Co, being editor-at-large of Love magazine and mother to her one-year-old daughter Rainbow. In 2012, the super-stylish 40-something was awarded an MBE for services to fashion, while earlier this year she appeared on Vogue’s Power List of behind-the-scenes movers and shakers. We caught up with her to talk about the inspiration behind her exclusive new capsule collection for Indigo, dubbed ‘summer’s hottest collaboration’ in the fashion press. It’s a holiday-friendly, free-spirited mix of boho peasant blouses, faded jeans and tiered cotton skirts.
“Everything in my life feels like it’s been a lucky accident,” says Lulu. “I was working at an art gallery on [London’s] Brick Lane, and the owner of The Old Truman Brewery [a former brewery that today houses a ‘village’ of creative studios] came in and offered me a job on the spot. I started by hosting fashion shows for young emerging designers, and Fashion East came from that. That was 19 years ago, and I’m now very much a fixture here.
“Over the years, so many designers have come through Fashion East: Richard Nicoll,
Henry Holland, Marios Schwab… it’s an incredible feeling to have been part of their story. People often ask, ‘How do you find these people?’ Whenever I’ve encountered an amazing designer, you just feel it straight away. It’s about raw talent; you either have it or you don’t.
“Because I do so much dashing around, my daily uniform is generally jeans and flats. I’m often told that I’m a bit of a tomboy, but I also love dressing up – high heels, jewellery, the lot. I’ve got a lot of dresses, print, colour and embellishment. I can usually rely on my friends to take things off my hands, never to be seen again. That’s how I keep my wardrobe down, by lending things that never come back!
“My style advice is don’t get too stuck in a rut. If you think, ‘I can’t wear this or that,’ just take some time in the fitting room, take loads of stuff in and experiment. Take a good friend with you, too. There are so many great things to wear, to have fun with.
“I absolutely love being a mum – it feels like the biggest privilege. Rainbow is already very interested in clothes. She is only one, so it’s slightly worrying!
“It was amazing being part of M&S’s  Leading Ladies campaign shot by Annie Leibovitz, and as a result of doing that, I was invited to design a capsule collection for Indigo. It’s inspired by my travels to Tulum in Mexico, so it feels very summery, very light – lots of print and colour. I think there’s a bohemian side to me: I guess I’m just a Seventies girl at heart.”
WORK “I love the way my life is different every day. Me and the team meet up, have coffee, talk about what we’re going to do – but then inevitably things just happen and you have to react. It’s exciting”
STYLE “I’m a very spontaneous dresser. I just wake up in the morning and think, ‘What do I fancy wearing?’”
FASHION “I’m always a little bit nervous before a Fashion East show, on behalf of the designers. I still get butterflies and worry for them, and I’m ecstatic afterwards if it’s been well received”
FAMILY “My daughter Rainbow is such a fun character. She’s obsessed with animals, particularly cats: the other night she woke up at 3am and meowed for 10 minutes”
WEEKEND “It’s really inspiring to be around the East End – the night scene, the lovely parks. I live for the weekends, seeing my friends, hanging out with Rainbow and having a great time. I’m a big fan of going round markets and finding amazing one-off pieces”
“The capsule collection is summery and light. It’s easy to wear mixed in with your own wardrobe”
This cool tie-dye dress will look chic on the beach