Alia Qadir

Every summer wardrobe needs a top from The English Tee Shop

Posted: 20.06.12

Congratulations on your new label The English Tee Shop that launched earlier this month, tell us more!

The English Tee Shop fuses fashion with the English language through a range of luxurious printed tees. The prints are thought provoking and fun and serve as a cheeky reminder of things that are sometimes overlooked in our use of English. The first collection features 10 styles hand printed with idioms, adjectives or definitions and is designed with simplicity in mind. Each tee is made from super soft fabric and manufactured in England using supplies only from Britain.


How did you become a professional t-shirt designer?

I studied Product Development for the Fashion Industries at The London College of Fashion; a course that focused on the design, development and realisation of fashion clothing. It gave me a great understanding of all aspects of fashion; from concept to carrier bag.


Why is it so important to support the British manufacturing industry?

This is something very close to my heart. Britain has so much to offer in terms of quality and craftsmanship and was once the manufacturing envy of the world. Competition from overseas means that there are very few manufacturers left here now, as a British designer I would like to do my utmost to support them and help put the ‘Made in England’ label back out there.

T-shirts…aren’t they’re already enough around?

Mine are designed for cool women! Also, if you have an appreciation of quality, want something fun and easy to wear then these are definitely the tees for you! And as for the cold weather we face here – my motto is that it’s never too cold for t shirts. We’re also branching into a few more lines soon like cotton tote bags and we’re also open to our customers telling us what they want to see more of.


Can a t-shirt really be considered as a luxury item?

I think it’s hard to assign t shirts to a specific category; when and how you wear them is a personal choice. Our tees serve a multipurpose; you can wear them during the day, in the evening or all the time! They are made from a light and airy material called micro modal. It feels so beautiful against the skin that you may not want to take them off; that for us defines luxury.

Tell us about the slogans that feature on the tees?

All the prints are about the English language. They are there to stop people in their tracks, scratch their heads a little and think oh yeah! Sometimes I don’t think we fully appreciate our knowledge of English!


Have you received any flack for the fact they aren’t Asian enough?

No, but I could give them an Asian twist! I could do a similar range for Punjabi or Urdu, not quite the same but interesting nevertheless.

How should the tees be styled, what should they be worn with?

Everyone should have at least one white tee in their wardrobe – they are wardrobe staples which means there is no rule to how they can be worn. My favourite way to wear them at the moment is over my maxi dresses teamed with bright accessories!

Why did you go into t-shirts?

The bottom line is that I started designing t-shirts because I couldn’t quite find ones that I wanted to wear!

What’s been the most important thing you’ve learn't about being a designer so far?

It may sound a little obvious but it has to be to write things down! It’s easy to forget ideas you have on the train or advice someone’s given you, so now I carry a notebook with me all the time! I do almost everything, from designing to processing orders. I’d love an extra pair of hands but cannot justify this expense just yet.

What are your trend predictions for the Autumn – can your tees still be worn then?

Oh yes! I’m excited about Autumn already, we’ve got some interesting things coming up! T -shirts are not exactly season specific, it’s just how you wear them that changes. For Autumn I’ll be wearing mine with my mannish trousers and over-sized jacket.

OK, we’re sold! Where can we get our hands on your fab designs?

All our tees (and soon to be launched bags) are available through our website at and cost from £12-£55.


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