We are so delighted to introduce you today to another of our fabulous W&W women. Meredith Hepner-Chapman is a force to contend with, she has her fingers in many pies including consultancy and brand relations, audio marketing, she's an ambassador for clothing label Anorak AND shes currently raising funds for a wall mural in a Tring underpass for the town to call their own. The artwork will be chosen by the children & local community, you can donate HERE.
She's the host of her own podcast which airs every fortnight, exploring the world of music, arts & current affairs. Her first episode even features her cousin, the very fabulous Jack Savoretti, its a wonderful listen (you get to hear all about Jacks mum Ingrid and her famous friends in the 60's!). Anyway, over to Meredith....
Tell us what you do?I started my business over 10 years ago, initially to help people with social media. Whilst I still do this for some wonderful long-standing clients, we have moved more into audio marketing/podcast/broadcasting, and of course I’m currently usually found in underpasses, trying to get council money to get artwork into the community. I’d say I’d like to be known as the presenter of Diary of a Name Dropper podcast which is my passion project, and actually has been really well received.
Describe your personal style?
My old headmistress once told me that my handwriting looked like a drunk blue bottle had fallen in ink, and then been violently sick on my paper - I like to think my fashion is a bit like that. My mum gave up trying to tell me what to wear from the age of about 18 months and I’ve pretty much taken it from there. I’d say I’m mostly known for wearing a slogan sweatshirt, a bit of fake fur and invariably a sequin somewhere. Big glasses and red lipstick are my armour too..
Who is your biggest Inspiration?
I have ADHD so its very hard to pick favourites and favourites often change - there is an abundance of musicians I admire as music is my passion. I would probably say Stevie Wonder however, having just read Miriam Margolyes' autobiography I can safely say to be that honest and open is admirable and inspirational. It would be an amazing world if everyone spoke their truth.
Image: The Guardian
How often do you shop?
I really don’t anymore, the state of the planet and the cost of living has meant I’m having to be really good despite being a massive shopaholic in the past..l have the best intentions and regularly sort piles to sell on eBay which never happen or I drive around with bags of stuff for charity shops in my boot for years ..I love shopping for vintage and we have a website 4 Calling Birds Store with T-shirts and Sweatshirts, which supports and funds our podcast. But I’m an absolute stickler over the fact they have to be organic/recycled/plastic free and made only with renewable energy, we also offer a recycling service.
My fave Levi's 721 with my own Hepner sweatshirt and an 80s Suede jacket from Afflecks in Manchester
What has been your biggest fashion faux pas?
I don’t like to call them mistakes. I like to call them experiences but friends would probably say differently! Probably my first wedding dress compared to how I felt on my second wedding day (Oh my God, I sound like Joan Collins...) Let’s just say, I’m glad I had the chance to rectify it the second time around... for many reasons...
What's the one piece you always buy every single season?
My addiction is 80s sportswear from America, so I can often be found scouring eBay..
What's the one item of clothing you are guarenteed to wear at least once a week?Without a doubt, it is currently my amazing tweed coat that my cousin, who is a musician, very kindly gifted me as he is the ambassador for KWay. I live in it, it’s timeless and indulges the narcissist in me because I constantly get compliments when wearing it.
Jumper or Jacket?
Both - because I’m like my German grandmother and always cold!
What are your favourite go to Brands?
I’ll have to say if you’re buying new, Anorak without fail. They are just amazing. Brilliant London-based family run brand, they use sustainable recycled fabrics and they have been such a champion and support of mine. For some reason, they saw something in me and love me wearing their clothes, and I’m absolutely delighted for that relationship to long continue because they are just adorable people.
With regards to buying new, I’ll say something now which often gets me in trouble on Instagram, but it’s always worth checking the background of some of these brands. If you don’t like the government for example, don’t wear Next clothing or Boden as they have both in the past, funded the Conservative party. Probably doesn’t matter to the majority, but it does matter to me.
Integrity is the most important thing you can wear.
What's your weekend style?
I hate to say this, but probably a pair of Anorak pyjamas and one of my amazing Hot Haveli robes, of which I now have two, they are the most incredible robes on the planet which have now got me the nickname Hugh Hepner…
Robe by Hot Haveli
For me, it’s all about leisurewear chic. I can occasionally look like a Florida retired housewife, but I do love snazzy - go to/easy leisurewear and that is what inspired my Hepner range.
How has your style changed over the years?I’m not sure it has (!) but in the 90s, I did like to dress like Lenny Kravitz - platforms, tight fitting 70s denim flares, sleeveless leather long line gilet with my hair messed up and loads of necklaces and chokers.
I know my platform shoes from Shelly's in Oxford Street could definitely go down as a fashion faux pas and I nearly broke my ankle in them on countless occasions.
What's your most treasured item?
I think I can safely say I’m known for wearing Tom Ford Black Orchid, but if I had more money it would be Serge Lutens Feminite du Bois, which was the inspiration behind my Hepner candle.
I’m looking forward to January because Hepner - The Candle and Clothing Range (chic leisurewear) has been re-imagined, and we are moving into a lifestyle experience. Still the same unique fragrance but we’ve had a bit of a glow up and brought SexyBack…
Hepner Signature Candle - Available soon
Song on repeat?
This really is like Sophie’s choice, because music is my first love. I grew up with family in the music industry and have so many tales. I also used to present a Jazz show on local radio, which was like a drug to me and something I really looked forward to.
I refuse to say a song because it’s like picking a favourite child, so I’m going to say Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life - an album everyone should have on repeat.
Must read book?
Because of my ADHD, I either read obsessively or don’t read at all, but one book everybody should read is Skint Estate by Cash Caraway, she’s even agreed to an interview on my podcast!
What's on your bedside table?
Whose wardrobe do you covet?So so many! If I’d have to find someone on Instagram, I’d say Dolly Broke Dirty Blonde, (she doesn’t give a shit and I love her for it) but I also love FRAN at The Fashion Lift, with her classic, casual style (plus we’ve been chums for years).
However, I’m going to say Princess Diana because that’s where my sweatshirt obsession probably started (the Virgin Atlantic one at Chelsea Harbour … I mean WOW!) and after meeting Lauren from Inkhara, who has a vault of Diana inspired dresses, (British designer couture from the 80s) I’ve been known to repulse my husband wearing cycling shorts. I actually wore a Kanga dress to a wedding this summer.
Image: Harper's Bazaar