The UNDONE in conversation with emerging designer, Charlie May about her namesake label you need to know, and wear, now.
QUESTION ONE: How would you describe the Charlie May aesthetic?
I would say Charlie May is clean, refined with a focus on natural textures and a muted palette. It's all about the fit and the fabric.
QUESTION TWO: What is your approach when you start to design a new collection?
I start thinking about the pieces I'd like to have in my wardrobe for the next season before I've even finished designing the last. It stays in my head for a few months when I start to gather inspirations, mood boards and fabric ideas. Then we start to fabric hunt and sampling, quite often this turns everything on it's head and we find some ideas work better than others, and some mistakes turn out to work well too.
QUESTION THREE: As an emerging designer how has the online space helped you grow your business?
If it wasn't for having an online community such as blogs or now Instagram and Snapchat, I wouldn't have been able to grow my following from early on. It's an incredible power to be able to talk directly to your audience and share in their excitement for your brand.
QUESTION FOUR: Who is the Charlie May Women?
She's laid back and refined but still very cool, she likes to mix high end with street; and layers up knits, denim and alpaca to form a unique look.
QUESTION FIVE: What does a curated wardrobe look like to you?
I like to organise my wardrobe in terms of colour palette, so blacks move into navy, grey, blue, ice, creams, oatmeal and whites.
QUESTION SIX: What would be your one wardrobe necessity?
A great oversized sweater.
What are your daily rituals? Why do you do them?
I wake up in the morning and make myself a black coffee, watch the news and check social media channels. Then I like to work out with my partner before we have breakfast together. This gets me into a great headspace to start the day. I cycle to work where I check my emails first thing then plan our what's on for the day. I love my job mostly because everyday is different. I have an amazing team who make work as fun as it should be. Evenings are either spent having dinner with friends on a terrace somewhere in London or curled up on the sofa with a glass of red wine.
QUESTION EIGHT: What is your favourite form of social media?
I love Instagram because you can curate your page, make it lifestyle and really show yourself how you'd like. I also love snapchat actually because I feel like I can be myself and a bit sillier on there.
Now we have Instagram stories and I'm sort of flitting in-between the two. My team and I have two seperate snapchats so I like to mix the two stories together for Instagram sometimes. Either way all of these are great ways to chat to our audience.
QUESTION NINE: How do you stay inspired?
I'm inspired by my friends I surround myself with, (there are) so many inspiring women and men too that have their own businesses and are in London working so hard and looking great at the same time ;)
QUESTION TEN: Walk us through your AW16 collection that's currently available on The UNDONE now?
My favourite story from my latest collection is the alpaca fabrication, it's mixed with cotton so it's really soft and luxurious at the same time. It's a twill so it has beautiful delicate stripes running through it, this is in one of my all time favourite coat shapes; the drop shoulder, as well as a loose bias cut skirt and origami tank. Our indigo twill denim mimics the delicate stripe running through the alpaca and is in a cool wide leg trouser shape and cowl neck top with a raw edge.
I wanted to move into new territory for AW16, taking our denim to the next level whilst continuing our strength within the outerwear and heavier wool fabrications.