Thursday, March 6

good vibes

Behind the curtain #3: conversation with Elizabeth Relin, founder and designer of WOWO
I told you in a previous post about WOWO Winter 08-09 collection that I would interview Elizabeth Relin, the brand designer. I eventually did.

Elizabeth was born under a lucky star.
She got the couture and fashion bugs from her French and US grand-mothers and developed a curiosity for the ethnic as she spent much of her childhood growing up in different places “Beirut, Madrid, Lisbon, Paris, ...”
. This would never leave her.

Elizabeth felt a strong desire to follow her passion for fashion. "I always wanted to have my own brand. Every experience was worth it. I was eager to learn". She began to design her own clothes and knitted her son's sweaters in a modern-baba style, inspired by the colourful fabrics she had brought back from India or Indonesia. Until she decided to launch her first kids collection, encouraged by a friend of hers. "I felt that a lot was done already in womenswear, I was looking for a niche market".

WOWO broke into the children's clothing market with a very personal style: "Vintage-ethnic-graphic" says Elizabeth, 3 words that capture her approach to life and work : the 70s spirit for the fun, a touch of retro because she has "a soft spot for old ladies wearing synthetic aprons with multi-coloured flowers", a blend of prints & colours bringing back some vibrancy from her travels. From Salvatore de Bahia she recalls "all these women in white eyelet dresses covering their hair with a turban...".

Elizabeth is like a radar, always seeking for inspiration, curious about everything and liking to be surprised. This is how she came up with a style of her own. She admires the work of the Japanese designer Tsumori Chisato for her sense of "too many details" and also because "she does not follow the standards". "My children?" Their influence is huge: Mateo, with his "Chinese face", brought the ethnic touch, Ruben who looked like "a grandpa from the 50s" gave the retro spirit and Angela taught her the 'mix and match'. She also used to call her brother WOWO.
Elizabeth is elated when she collects images, children books, photographs, street tags, pictures from a movie, embroidery pieces, dolls or tapestries from the 70s . "Everything is useful". Elizabeth never stops learning and does everything with passion and lightheartedness.

Faithful to the tradition of asking my guests to select a picture to illustrate the interview, I was not surprised by Elizabeth's choice: a photograph with children having fun but one little girl. Another example of her humour and philosophy to life. "Good vibes are essential for what remains a tough job at the end of the day".
The photograph is by Catherine Larré (WOWO - Summer 2002 collection).

Discover the Spring/Summer 08 collection here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

bonsoir Sophie
merci pour cet interview, je trouve l'article top !
à bientôt

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