Our team sat down with Colette Chrétien the founder and designer of La Fille Colette, a Boston based fashion brand. La Fille Colette is very proud to be made in the United States and prioritizes socially and environmentally responsible practices. We obviously had many questions related to their beginnings, the inspiration behind the brand and their future plans. Read on if you want to learn more.
Luevo: How did you start your design journey?
CC: I’ve been designing for as long as I can remember. I used to love drawing princess dresses when I was very young. In high school, I started to sew what I was designing, and once I started I couldn’t stop. I felt I had to make an original dress for each big event that was coming up. I generally procrastinated on these projects and remember finishing sewing my Prom dress after friends had started to arrive at my house to take Prom pictures.
Luevo: What is your favourite thing about being a designer? What path would you have followed, had you not become a designer?
CC: My favorite thing about being a designer is getting the opportunity to be doing what I love for a career, and not just as a hobby on the side. When I was younger, before I fell in love with designing clothes, I wanted to act, so perhaps I would be in New York or LA waitressing and going on auditions. I think I would make a fairly good actor, but a terrible waitress.
Luevo: What do you think has helped you most with your designing to date?
CC: Being a woman and having the kind of body I am designing for helps me immensely. I think that sometimes male womenswear designers believe women only want fantasy in fashion. Women want a touch of fantasy, but in clothing that they can comfortably sit down in at a desk all day or run to catch the train in.
Luevo: What obstacles have you had to face and overcome to get where you are today?
CC: The biggest obstacle for me has been starting a business from scratch. I have no formal training or experience in managing a company. When I started, I knew how to design and make dresses, and I have taught myself the rest along the way. Wearing so many hats is challenging, but it is also one of the most rewarding aspects of running a business.
Luevo: What inspirations did you draw on to create your latest collection?
CC: I looked to the works of Victor Vasarely and the op art movement for the graphic, geometric elements and contrasting color combinations.
Luevo: How would you describe your process of inspiration? What do you do to keep your ideas fresh and interesting?
CC: Inspiration strikes me the most when I am lying in bed about to fall asleep. This is the time designs will often come to me fully formed and the best time for me to really think through a design and work out the kinks.
I think for a designer or anyone creating any kind of visual art, it’s important to get out of the house or office as much as possible and be surrounded by new sites. I also love to collect and flip through art and fashion books full of beautiful and inspiring photography
Luevo: If you could describe your new collection with one word, what would it be and why? What would you say the overall theme of this collection would be?
CC: Versatility. I wanted this collection to be about getting a lot of mileage out of each piece. It was very important to me to design exciting clothes that women really want to wear, while still producing pieces that are easy to wear, and can be worn to a variety of events, and styled in a variety of ways.
Luevo: When will your latest collection be available online?
CC: My Fall/Winter 2015 collection will be available on my website, for pre-order July 15 and for immediate purchase by the end of August.