We are so happy to welcome playful and bohemian brand Velveteen to the Alex and Alexa family.
Here we interview Creative Director Laura Egloff to talk about the collection and find out more about the people behind the brand.
Read our interview with her below.
WE START WITH AN INSPIRATIONAL PLACE OR TIME AND THEN BUILD A STORY AROUND THAT FEELING
I started the brand in 2013 but I always use “we” and “our” because Velveteen would not be where it is today without the numerous people who work tirelessly in and around the incredible team that brings it to life.
Our tag line “Childhood with style…and a dash of sass” definitely sums up our approach to designing Velveteen. We create collections that are as soft and sophisticated as they are sparkly and fun. Velveteen’s DNA is strongly rooted in my 1970s California upbringing and mixed with the lessons and loves I’ve collected while living in New York, London, Hong Kong and Switzerland.
HOW DID VELVETEEN FIRST COME TO LIFE?
I always knew I wanted to be a fashion designer and probably drove everyone around me nuts with my singular focus on fashion. As a teenager, I used to sit in the back of math class sketching my designs. As soon as I had the opportunity, I moved to New York and enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME AND WHAT IS THE IDEA BEHIND IT?
The Velveteen Rabbit is a classic 1970s story book for children and is one of my most vivid childhood memories. My father read it to me at bedtime and the illustrations were so amazing that I held onto my dad’s original copy to share with my own children. When it came time to choose a name for the brand, I wanted something that spoke to very traditional childhood memories but also sounded rhythmic and appealed to a base that included all ages from babies to tweens and beyond.
WHERE DOES THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR COLLECTION COME FROM?
Our brand DNA is very rooted in my memory of a 1970s bohemian California beach lifestyle with a dash of rock ‘n roll inspiration and a sophisticated twist. We often translate styles from our ladies collections into smaller versions for Velveteen which also brings it out of the realm of the same silhouettes you often see repeated for children and gives our customers something new and fun with which to identify.
OUR BRAND DNA IS VERY ROOTED IN MY MEMORY
OF A 1970S BOHEMIAN CALIFORNIA BEACH LIFESTYLE
WITH A DASH OF ROCK ‘N ROLL INSPIRATION
AND A SOPHISTICATED TWIST.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO DO A KIDS LINE?
Like most people in fashion, I started out with a focus on women’s wear but life has a way of shifting paths in really cool ways. When my children were born I started to become obsessed with kids’ fashion. I really believe that going through the process of raising children is an invaluable education for a children’s wear designer to truly understand what they need, functionally, and what inspires them, emotionally.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT DESIGNING FOR KIDS?
There’s a freedom in designing children’s clothing that really appeals to me. In some ways, designing Velveteen is a lot like playing dress up as a child – the only rules are those that you apply to yourself. I can take more risks and don’t have to take myself so seriously.
WHAT IS THE AW17 COLLECTION INSPIRED BY?
The collection tells the story of the children of an eclectic group of adult friends in LA playing make believe while their parents are having a dinner party in the other room. The parents are academics and hipsters that come from all walks of life (various artists, Hollywood executives and musicians with a very bohemian 1960s -70s vibe).
WHAT IS THE DESIGN PROCESS AND HOW ARE THE COLLECTIONS MADE?
We start with an inspirational place or time and then build a story around that feeling. What would the children be doing? What would that sound like? What would the weather feel like? From there we start working through how that scenario would look in a Velveteen universe. From there the vision begins to take shape and we begin to sketch and fine-tune the details.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORK SPACE & DESK LOOK LIKE?
We recently moved into an old printing factory space with a huge roof terrace and we are in love with how open and inspiring it is. I have a very strict “clean desk” policy in the office, which I diligently ignore. My desk is always the most colourful and messiest in the office.
THERE’S A FREEDOM IN DESIGNING CHILDREN’S CLOTHING THAT REALLY APPEALS TO ME.
WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO WHEN YOU’RE WORKING?
Music is a big part of my inspiration but it’s so dependent on the mood in the office. I have a pretty eclectic mix of favourites from Neil Diamond and the Rolling Stones to Mina Tindle and Feist but sometimes we all need a little Justin Bieber in our lives…
WHAT ARE THREE THINGS YOU ALWAYS CARRY IN YOUR BAG?
My tape measure for impromptu garment measuring, a tube of Murad Cosmetics pomegranate lip balm and Bose sound cancelling ear buds so I can take calls on the run without being impolite to people around me.
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE YOUR BRAND IN THREE WORDS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Sophisticated. Sassy. Respectful.
AND FINALLY, DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS YOU LIVE BY?
Be kind to everyone and never be afraid to stand up for or to someone else when necessary.