Designer Spotlight: Charlotte Olympia

New Brand

Charlotte Olympia is now open at Bicester Village, just in time for Christmas...

To Celebrate the opening of the new Charlotte Olympia boutique, we caught up with the designer herself to find out the inspiration behind her designs...

To Celebrate the opening of the new Charlotte Olympia boutique, we caught up with the designer herself to find out the inspiration behind her designs...

Since exploding onto the fashion scene in 2008, your brand has been going from strength to strength. How do you maintain your creative flair for each new collection?

The essence of Charlotte Olympia comes from my love of a bygone era, so I am constantly inspired by old Hollywood glamour. I love collecting beautiful objects, so many of my more elaborate designs are pieces that can not only be worn, but also look fabulous on display. I enjoy working with colour and texture and travel is a big part of my life, so I am also constantly looking at different surroundings around the world.

What can we expect to find in your new boutique at Bicester Village? Will there be a chance to purchase styles from your signature Kitty collection?

There will be plenty of styles and silhouettes, from my signature high-heeled platforms and colourful pumps to my trademark feline flats and sneakers. There will also e a selection of handbags, playful clutches and small leather goods. 

Celebrities all over the world are fans of your designs. Who would be your dream icon to be spotted in a pair of Charlotte Olympia heels?

I love old movie stars and pin-ups from the 1940s and 50s, so I would have loved to see Rita Hayworth dancing in my shoes.

We understand you are expecting your fourth child congratulations! How are you preparing for having a new baby this time around? 

I’m making sure that I’m working more efficiently so that collections are designed ahead of time. In the past, it was standard practice to bring my babies with me to the studio to finalise collections or do castings for presentations. However, this one seems to have better timing because it's due before Christmas and not before Fashion Week! 

Can we expect to see more children’s collections in the future, inspired by your new addition?

Incy is a collection of miniature signature Charlotte Olympia styles for kids and the collection has grown organically over the years. However, there are new playful styles being added each season. 

Your designs are extremely unique to your brand, particularly the Island platform. Do you feel you should sacrifice comfort for style or is it important that you design a shoe that can be worn all night long? 

I design with both form and function in mind. I am a woman designing for other women so I try on all my designs to make sure they fit correctly and 'walk' well. It's very important to me that the shoe looks beautiful on and off the foot, but paramount that it can be worn regardless of heel height. 

 

 

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Do you have any exciting collaborations on the horizon similar to your recent capsule collection inspired by Spider-Man?

Next year will be the brand’s ten-year anniversary, so there will be several exciting projects to help us celebrate, including re-releasing past favourite shoes and bags.

You always look so glamorous! How would you describe your style? And do you ever have a jeans and trainers day?

When getting dressed I always like to make an effort, whether it's a Monday morning or a Friday night. I have my hair set in 1940s waves once a week and never leave the house without my red lipstick. It's my secret weapon: even when I have an 'off' day it has the power to make me feel a little more glamorous – that and a great pair of shoes!

How important do you think it is to accessorise an outfit? Would you say less is more or more is more?!

I love accessories, not just shoes and bags. I collect hats, gloves, hosiery and costume jewellery because they can instantly change an outfit. I often hear myself saying 'more is more', but the beauty of accessorising is that you can always take something off if it doesn't feel right, in which case sometimes less is more.

You travel the world and can speak three languages. Is there a pair of shoes and a handbag that you would always pack in your suitcase to suit any occasion?

I always pack my signature transparent Pandora Perspex clutch bag because it goes with anything and everything, a great pair of flats that you can wear day and night and a fabulous pair of heels to dress up for the unexpected. 

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