Featured in Great British Brands 2020

Paper London

The contemporary but timeless label crafted to make you feel amazing

Paper was born in 2011 after corporate lawyer, Philippa Thackeray, and Temperley London knitwear designer, Kelly Townsend, met and bonded over their love of fashion (and gin and tonics). The pair began to discuss the idea of launching a new label that would transcend seasonal fads but always feel contemporary and modern. After settling on the direction in which they wanted to go, they then ditched their day jobs and set out on their creative journey.


They chose the name Paper because it was literally the blank canvas on which to express their vision; the very starting point for putting ideas down until they could be fully realised. The brand was to have a clean, clear and decisive aesthetic and where better to start than with a clean piece of paper?


Kelly herself was raised in a family of architects and graphic designers which deeply influenced her own vision as a designer; the shapes and lines of these other design disciplines have then been translated into clothes that the label is now so renowned for. Paper stands for its statement graphic and architectural shapes in vibrant colours that are instantly recognisable.

Clothes that fit and flatter are a key motivation of the brand, together with the use of colour as a mood-enhancer

Paper London

The use of bold silhouettes is also part of the brand’s DNA, as noted by Harper’s Bazaar: ‘The sculptural silhouettes, exquisite fabrics and technical skills are what we most love about Paper.’ They create shapes that make the clothes as flattering as possible by ensuring that the narrowest part of the body is always highlighted. For example, well-fitting shoulders or a leg which is just wide enough to flatter any waist size can completely change the way a woman looks and feels about herself.


Clothes that fit and flatter are a key motivation of the brand together with the use of colour, as Kelly and Philippa feel strongly that loving the clothes you are in can make you feel like a new person, using colour as a mood enhancer. The journey so far has been an exciting one for the pair. In 2019, they were shortlisted for The British Fashion Trust awards and also received The British Fashion Council’s Contemporary Award two seasons in a row.


Paper is now stocked in over 50 stores worldwide, including Net-a-Porter, Selfridges, Intermix, Shopbop and Saks. Additionally, that all-important celebrity endorsement has never been far from Instagram, with gorgeous women such as a J Lo, Gigi Hadid, Margot Robbie and Taylor Swift, all being spotted wearing the British label.


Paper also takes its commitment to the environment seriously, launching its sustainable swimwear range. But while it is made from recycled plastic ocean wasted including fishing net, it doesn’t compromise on style, quality and the happy vibe that’s at the heart of the label. From blank beginnings this brand is developing into one of the UK’s coolest ones to watch.