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Jane McMillan | International Design Awards Jury

JANE MCMILLAN

/ Fashion Business Coach

Jane McMillan is a Fashion Business Coach living in London, where she works with entrepreneurial fashion designers to start and grow their fashion businesses from scratch enabling them to become recognised as leading fashion brands and propelling them to the next level of success.

Jane envisages a new future for Fashion Designers supported by a level playing field which is less dominated by large corporations. Where more designers have financial and creative freedom, working in a sustainable and ethical way, instead of being exploited and unfulfilled. Not everyone gets their dream design job after college and many no longer want to spend huge amounts of cash going through the college system.

She helps fashion entrepreneurs become more optimistic in achieving their dreams and gaining financial freedom for their future, even in uncertain times! Encouraging them to develop the right mindset to grow their business in a holistic way that fits around the lifestyles they want: to gain business skills; develop a collection for a receptive market; range planning; finance; sales & marketing; public relations; grow their customer list; position themselves as a market leader; work with manufacturers; build a team and scale etc.

McMillan built her own business from scratch with no financial investment whatsoever, and for fourteen years she was Creative Director and owner of the Mac Millan brand where she had the creative freedom to design her own unique vision of colour and texture. The original charm and heritage of a Mac Millan design was enriched by quality craftsmanship which caught the attention of London boutique “Koh Samui” who bought her very first collection in 1997.

In 2000, Jane was the first designer to start using digital prints in fashion, using vibrant patterns inspired by her Scottish heritage. Digital prints, at that time, were only being used on T-shirts and she started using digital printing out of necessity. As a cash strapped solopreneur, she didn’t have time to go out sourcing fabrics so started playing around on photoshop and making her own fabrics. Since digital printing had never been used in the realm of fashion she was not sure how receptive customers would be. It was actually a huge success and many designers thereafter started using the same digital methods.

MacMillan showed twice yearly on schedule at New York, London, Paris and Tokyo Fashion Weeks. With global customers including an HRH and top celebrities, Mac Millan was featured on television shows such as The Apprentice, Top of The Pops and X Factor; and in publications such as: Vogue, In Style, Marie Claire, Glamour and Cosmopolitan.

She has received many awards for fashion design including one from the British Fashion Council presented by Diana, Princess of Wales and in 2007 she was recognised by judges such as Hilary Alexander and Kate Phelan of British Vogue when nominated for Scottish Designer of the Year.

Jane was a member of the UK Governments’ Sector Skills Council for Fashion Design, and has worked with many of London’s top designers and for twenty years have been an Associate Lecturer, teaching the students at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design.

Now she wants to pass her knowledge and experience on to ambitious entrepreneurial fashion designers who are ready to turn their success switch ON! She believes we now have a unique opportunity in time where young people can reshape the world and she’s excited to see what this will lead to.