There just isn't anybody in shoe business quite like Charlotte Olympia. Hers is a brand that has managed to materialise the youthful exuberance of today with a jovial nod to the sixties - just one of the reasons why this shoe addict has been a fan of hers for years, seeking out and hunting down her stores abroad to take home whatever cat embellished, art splattered, vibrantly coloured designed shoes I can get my hands on, including these yellow beauties and the wonderfully abstract Wassily Kandinsky-inspired kitty flats. I sent a few questions to Brazil native, creative director and founder of Charlotte Olympia, Charlotte Dellal's way to ask her about her most recent collaboration with Havaianas, available to us via shoplcp.com. Read on!
It’s been wonderful as a consumer to see you reinterpret so many elements from the mid-century era - abstract art, old Hollywood, even telephones - and now reference it in your Charlotte Olympia x Havaianas campaign imagery. What is it specifically about that time that resonates so much with you - from your collections to your own personal style?
The essence of my brand comes from my love of old Hollywood; the 40’s and 50’s is a bygone era that I am nostalgic for and plays a huge part on the sensibility of the brand. As a child I used to enjoy watching old black and white movies with my mother; it was the glamour that got me into fashion.
Where did the idea for your signature and famous kitty design, now featured in your Charlotte Olympia x Havaianas capsule collection, stem from?
The Kitty flat was first introduced in my Fall 11 collection entitled 'To Die For', inspired by Agatha Christie novels from the 1930's. The idea was to take the classic velvet smoking slipper that was typically worn by gentlemen in that era, and create something more feminine and playful. The high vamp was transformed into a cat ear silhouette and the traditional monogram was replaced by a gold embroidered cat face.
Your shoes and accessories have always had this injection of humour and joviality to them, has that always been a conscious focus for the brand?
I love the glamour from the 40's and the playfulness of the 50's. It was an era rich in accessories where women would often dress in a classic outfit, but wouldn't shy away from playful accessories with a sense of humour.
How did your studies at Cordwainer’s influence this aesthetic?
I got a Degree in prod the development specialising in footwear at Cordwainers College, this taught me the craftmanship of how to make shoes, a helpful skill to have when designing something so technical and functional.
Your logo, also featured in the capsule collection, was inspired by your childhood love of Charlotte’s Web. What made you decide to use this inspiration in line with your brand’s identity?
The idea for the Charlotte Olympia spider web comes from the well-known and classic children’s book, E.B. White’s ‘Charlotte Web’; it was a favourite of mine growing up and of course the protagonist shares my name.
As a half-Brazilian, what is it about Brazil that is so unique that caused the world to fall in love with a brand so synonymous with the country and so globally ubiquitous as Havaianas?
Their colourful lust for life and sense of fun!
Describe the Charlotte Olympia brand in three words.
Feminine, glamorous and nostalgic.
Photography: Rachel Rebibo / Zara Shirt, Rosie Assoulin Skirt, Charlotte Olympia Heels /
Special thanks to @havaianasphils