Monday, March 7, 2016

Designer Kee Edwards on Exposed Zippers

Tell me about the decision to launch Loup Charmant – 
What were the driving influences for a resort-like collection year round?
I was inspired to create a collection of pieces women could wear on vacation or honeymoon, which celebrated their own femininity over any passing trend. It’s about clothes that reflect the light that women naturally radiate.
Making it a Travel /Resort / Lounge based line is about how intimate these times are in our lives. Times we celebrate, grow and love. I am very committed to nutrition and living a holistic lifestyle and wanted to create a brand that reflects that…something that sits just a bit outside of the fashion industry.
I love how our signature cotton fabric evokes heirloom Victorian dressing gowns and is 100% organically grown. 
How tied are you personally to this aesthetic? 
This is how I live. I’m a beach girl through and through, which is about wearing very little besides a bikini, and the pieces I do wear have to feel great that make me want to wear clothing.
I believe we’re all radiant and beautiful and that’s always my starting point for a new piece. I’m always thinking about women and what we need…
How something I create can make a woman feel beautiful and shine her light. 
This isn’t your first clothing line, right? How different is it from your first? 
Pretty different. My first line was a great learning experience, but it was a different time. 
Was the Loup Charmant concept always there for you? 
I think it really began on my honeymoon and while I lived in Miami. I wanted floaty, airy, romantic, sexy, natural pieces to wear. Things that breathe in hot sultry humidity, never try to hard, and always feel easy and natural. 
Do you ever find customers are unsure how to wear your pieces? 
Maybe a couple of pieces which aren’t about city dressing… but that’s what makes them so special and romantic for vacation, honeymoons, beach days…
Though I find so much of what we offer looks great in the city, as many pieces cross categories…beach / sleep / lounge / daywear… 
What was it like working with Madewell? Did they approach you? 
They were great and really so easy to work with. Yes, they met us at a Resort show that we did. In fact, we have many wonderful clients, from incredible resorts & spas, very special small boutiques and retail powerhouses like Matches and Barneys. 
I’m such a fan of the brand, I own many of your dresses. 
I love the dreamy pieces and always want to be comfortable without looking lazy.Were these qualities your goal? 
Definitely! And I love hearing how others feel and describe wearing them, so thank you. 
Why is it so important to you only to work with natural fibers? Do you consider Loup Charmant a fully sustainable brand? 
Absolutely. It goes back to my personal philosophy. I believe in the perfection of our natural world and that we need to be conscious of choosing non-toxic options for the products in our lives, from organic food to natural beauty products,
to of course fabrics.
Growing cotton is the number one use of toxic pesticides in the world and I wanted to offer an alternative to that with our organic cotton.
Our pieces are manufactured by fair wage employees here in the US, and a few things abroad, like our incredible cashmere from Nepal.
Our bodies prefer natural fibers. Our energy moves easily through natural fibers, but gets hung up in synthetics. This is why if you ever get a massage or other hands on healing work, be sure to wear only natural fibers so that the energy
flows and is released easily. 
How do you see the brand growing? 
We have been creating some exclusive styles and colorways for Matches Fashion and have some exciting new stockists for 2015. I see us expanding the online shop and customer relations, and building on the wellness basis of the brand as well.
Internally, we have a great team and I am looking forward to working and creating more with them, and creating more expansion in how we work.
Loup Charmant has been around for about 10 years now. In hitting that time marker, and many milestones, there’s a sense of being able to celebrate the moment and also to step back and dream the next decade. For me, that meant taking some time to expand my own horizons as well.
I recently took some time to volunteer in Tanzania with my husband, living in a small Maasai village, teaching school at an orphanage and building school housing in another community. Once back in NY, I took on another ‘Charmant’ project…reconstructing a sweet mid 1800s cottage in the Catskills, which will soon be available to rent.
I am enjoying taking time envisioning what’s next and in the meantime, living in the present and staying open to receive the mystery of the future as life offers it.

Thank you to the lovely Exposed Zippers - Ashley & Lisa,  
for the chance to 
answer a few questions. 
Im honored to be there with you :)
x Kee

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